MIGNON FAGET is driven to design jewelry derived from natural and architectural forms found in her native New Orleans environment.
“I was born here and I’ve lived here all of my life. What is so beautiful about Louisiana comes out through my work. It is a mysterious place.”
Mignon Faget began her design career in 1969 with the launch of her first ready-to-wear clothing collection. The success of the collection prompted her to explore what might be the perfect belt, pin or necklace to enhance these ensembles. This early exercise and her studies in sculpture from Sophie Newcomb College led to her first jewelry forms. Since then, jewelry has become her all consuming interest in the field of design.
From the beginning, she has worked closely with natural forms, never simply duplicating but always extracting the substance, the essence of a particular shape…refining it to perfection. “My work is like a journal. Whatever it is that I am particularly interested in at that phase of my life comes out in my work.”
A fifth generation New Orleanian, Faget has flourished in the culture and traditions of her birthplace. Her collections reflect this. Her first jewelry collection, SEA, is the transformation of the natural jewels found on the Gulf Coast into wearable objects of adornment. Botanical designs include HIVE and indigenous plants such as Banana Leaves, Cycas, Palmae and BAMBOO. ROMANESQUE RETURN reflects the architectural details of the historic Henry Hobson Richardson Library located on the famed Lee Circle. IRONWORKS is a study based on the historic Vieux Carre work of Marcellino Hernandez, the most renowned of the Spanish iron forgers in Louisiana. LOUISIANA features touches of whimsy with the Gumbo Necklace and Mardi Gras Charm Bracelet.
Mignon Faget’s formal training in the arts began at Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University from which she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with a concentration in sculpture. She furthered her studies at l’Atelier de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris and the Parsons School of Design in New York. Faget returned to Tulane University to take post graduate classes in botany and other areas of personal interest.
Faget has long been an active preservationist and art advocate. She has donated proceeds of her designs to the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana to aid in the Gulf oil spill clean up, NOLA for Life to combat gun violence, and Dash30Dash NOLA in support of the former Times Picayune newspaper employees. Her first gallery building was donated to the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. She has been an active leader and supporter of the arts and has served on boards for several of the local museums. The Historic New Orleans Collection and the Louisiana State Museum Capitol Park honored Mignon Faget with a retrospective exhibit examining her life’s work, titled MIGNON FAGET: A LIFE IN ART AND DESIGN.
"For me, designing a collection of jewelry is highly personal. It begins with an idea and evolves into objects of adornment." Read about the design process in Mignon's Studio - Transformations.