Natalie Imbruglia
Pic by Court McAllister

Natalie Imbruglia lives at the intersection of ‘glamour’ and ‘down-to-earth’. When LUCY BALLENTYNE meets her, she’s wearing a white suit by Australian label Ginger And Smart that is classically chic, yet contemporary, and is adorned in Kailis pearls. There’s no doubt of her exceptional and well-documented beauty – she is wide-eyed and stunning. But when asked by The Telegraph earlier this year about her career trajectory, she self-deprecatingly confessed ‘I’m the laziest artist I’ve ever known’. The Kailis brand ambassador is very, very likable. 

Imbruglia is in Perth to promote the new Enlightenment Collection by Kailis Australian Pearls. Each piece in the range incorporates the art of guilloché, a process of turning and engraving metal and layering enamel using machines that are up to one hundred years old. The craftsmanship is the same that has been used since the 18th century, perhaps most famously in the creation of Fabergé eggs. Kailis pairs the technique, available in three colours, with its famous untreated South Sea pearls and round, brilliant cut white diamonds to create pieces that are a unique, contemporary take on classic pearls. When I ask Imbruglia about her relationship to luxury jewellery, she gives me another one of those deliciously down-to-earth responses and explains that at one point, it wasn’t for her. “I used to kind of be a bit more of a hippie and wear lots of quartz crystal and rose quartz,” she says, before she quickly turns around and says “Then, once you’ve worn your first diamond, it’s no looking back really.”

When I suggest we talk about Torn on the condition that we move on quickly, she laughs and reassures me that she doesn’t mind. Imbruglia says of the song, “I just feel really blessed. I mean, I still have people telling me all the time the song is being played in various different places around the world, and there’s just so much love for that song. It’s just a really nice feeling to have been a part of something like that so I’m just incredibly grateful.” She observes that it has a timeless quality about it, and when she declares that “it doesn’t go away”, she laughs, but not out of spite. In the post-Melissa George-French Bulldog world, Imbruglia’s total lack of resentment is refreshing.

The performer really brightens when asked about her recent forays into stage acting. Imbruglia talks passionately about the training she undertook for two years in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Ivana Chubbuck, and how it paved the way for her turn in Alan Acykbourn’s Things We Do For Love at the Royal Theatre Bath earlier this year. The singer recalls, “I really wanted to go study acting, because I’ve always wanted to learn a method… She gives you notes as you do it, and she was quite brutal. So that was great experience.” Imbruglia gives the impression that it isn’t the work, but being able to continue to learn and develop that she values: “I just love learning like that.”

Gracious, grounded and generously bejeweled – I think I’m in love.