JEWELLERY EDITORIAL

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2016/07/20

When describing jewellery, the words light, bright and clarity tend to feature heavily, but there is a wave of new jewellery that is embracing the darker side of precious metals and gems.

 

One of the most exciting features of the trend for all-black jewels is that there are so many ways to achieve the look. As well as man-made materials that can be tailored to a perfect black, there is also a wide range of natural gems that allow jewellers to tap into the gothic-grunge style currently captivating the fashion industry.

 

British jewellery designer Jacqueline Cullen presented a strong collection of all-black jewels at the most recent edition of London Fashion Week. The jeweller works exclusively with British gemstone Whitby Jet, which is naturally a coal-like deep black shade. The gemstone itself is matte, so Cullen cleverly gives her jewels a lift with geometric facets, sparkling black diamonds and bright yellow gold details.

 

Pyramid earrings in Whitby Jet set with black diamonds by Jacqueline Cullen
Pyramid earrings in Whitby Jet set with black diamonds by Jacqueline Cullen

 

Another natural element that offers designers a black palette is carbon, a material that Danish jeweller C6 by Anne Cohen specialises in. A recent collection C6 created in collaboration with car manufacturer Audi set carbon rings with square-cut black diamonds, creating a dark monochrome look.

 

Audi Sport carbon and black diamond ring by C6 by Anne Cohen
Audi Sport carbon and black diamond ring by C6 by Anne Cohen

 

Tahitian pearls too can offer deliciously opaque tones. Pearl brand Yoko London took the black theme to the extreme by creating a line of jewels with black pearls set on white gold that had been blackened with rhodium plating to a shiny shade that is as dark as the deepest night.

 

Black Tahitian pearl and black gold ring by Yoko London
Black Tahitian pearl and black gold ring by Yoko London

 

Rhodium plating can also be applied to silver to achieve a dark look, and this set with black CZs, is an affordable alternative to blackened gold and black diamonds. Silver jewellery brand Sif Jakobs has explored this combination many times in its collections, while Stephen Webster’s Lady Stardust collection offers a precious version of this style.

 

Fucino blackened silver and black CZ ring by Sif Jakobs
Fucino blackened silver and black CZ ring by Sif Jakobs
 
 
Lady Stardust earrings set in blackened gold set with black diamonds by Stephen Webster
Lady Stardust earrings set in blackened gold set with black diamonds by Stephen Webster

 

And for a great big chunk of inky black that will sparkle like the night sky, why not explore the option of black druzy? The littering of crystals on top of the mineral creates a wonderful sparkle. American jeweller Kimberly McDonald has created a pair of black druzy earrings edged by contrasting white diamonds, and the effect is truly, darkly cosmic.

 

Black druzy and diamond earrings by Kimberly McDonald
Black druzy and diamond earrings by Kimberly McDonald

Visit www.JewelleryNewsAsia.com for more industry news and features.

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2016/07/19

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The Paris Biennale des Antiquaires is not only one of the world’s most important antique fairs but it is also an important international stage for high jewellery brands.

 

According to a number of people who attend or exhibit at the fair, the antique dealers were upset that the contemporary high jewellers, who had their own exhibition area, were getting too much attention. The Syndicat National des Antiquaires, which organizes the show, decided that the remedy was to place the jewellers within the rest of the exhibitors. In addition, the organization wanted to increase the number of antique dealers so the organization also reduced the booth size of the jewellery exhibitors.

 

These changes resulted in many of the venerable jewellery brands to pull out of the show, including Parisian jewellers Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels; Booucheron; Italian jewellery house Bulgari, and Hong Kong jewellery artist Wallace Chan. So while the number of total exhibitors increased by 30 percent, the number of contemporary jewellery exhibitors fell from 14 in 2014 to four this year*.

 

However, the high jewellers exhibiting 28th edition of the fair (being held September 10 – 18 at the Grand Palais) are still among the most creative and innovative in the world.

 

Cindy Chao, the Taiwanese jewellery artist who has gained international acclaim for her hand-sculptured, gem-encrusted jewels. It is not only her first time at the fair but it the first time her pieces will be open to a public exhibition. The 41-year-old jewellery artist (who works under the brand, Cindy Chao Art Jewels) will be showing her most iconic pieces from her 12-year career and will unveil her latest “Black Label Masterpiece” jewels, her most celebrated and collectible works.

 

The Geneva luxury jewellery brand, de Grisogono, known for jewels and watches as flamboyant as the brand’s founder, Fawaz Gruosi, is returning to the Biennale for the first time since 2008. For the event the brand is focusing on larger precious stones of significant importance, most notably a 404-carat diamond it recently purchased that is being cut and polished in New York.

 

Another art jeweller known for “audacious” designs and using outsized materials is Boghossian. The brand, based in Geneva and Antwerp is known for its interpretation of what it calls an “East meets West” style—based on Armenian, Persian, Syrian or Byzantine influences. It is also known for what its “art of inlay” technique where gems are set within one another.

 

26.26-carat Ceylon cushion-shaped sapphire inlaid into a chalcedony bangle sapphire by Boghossian
26.26-carat Ceylon cushion-shaped sapphire inlaid into a chalcedony bangle sapphire by Boghossian

 

Nirav Modi, known for his Indian-influenced luxury jewels, will be featuring three one-of-a-kind pieces led by the Emerald Maharani Necklace made of graduated, rare, vivid green emerald beads totalling more than 870 carats complemented by more than 146 carats of oval shaped and pear shaped diamonds.

 

The Emerald Maharani Necklace by Nirav Modi made of graduated, rare, vivid green emerald beads totalling more than 870 carats complemented by more than 146 carats of oval shaped and pear shaped diamonds
The Emerald Maharani Necklace by Nirav Modi made of graduated, rare, vivid green emerald beads totalling more than 870 carats complemented by more than 146 carats of oval shaped and pear shaped diamonds

 

In total, there will be a minimum of 113 galleries from 12 countries exhibiting this year, making it the largest art event in 2016, according to the Syndicat. It also is the last time the fair will be held biannually. After this year it will be an annual event.

 

* Data Source: Syndicat National des Antiquaires


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewelleryNetAsia, UBM Asia Ltd or any employee thereof. JewelleryNetAsia is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the bloggers. 

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2016/07/18

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Anyone who stepped into the historic Place Vendôme square during Paris Couture Week this month would have noticed something a little out of place in such an urban setting – fields of wheat.

 

Artist Gad Weil filled Place Vendome with wheat during Paris Couture Week
Artist Gad Weil filled Place Vendome with wheat during Paris Couture Week

 

The wheat, neatly planted in black lacquered boxes, was an installation created for Chanel by Gad Weil, a French artist who is considered by some to be the founding father of street art. And inside the Coco Chanel suite at the Ritz hotel on Place Vendôme, there was even more wheat to be found – by the bed, in the bath tub and as the central motif for a striking new collection of Chanel haute joaillerie titled Le Blés de Chanel.

 

Jewels from Le Bles de Chanel collection
Jewels from Le Bles de Chanel collection

 

Chanel founder Gabrielle Chanel was a superstitious lady, known for her love of personal talismans, one of which was the simple sheaf of wheat, which she believed symbolised prosperity and wholesomeness. She surrounded herself with wheat sculptures and ornaments for good luck, as well as images of wheat in artworks created by her friend, the artist Salvador Dalí.

 

Le Bles de Chanel collier by Chanel
Le Bles de Chanel collier by Chanel

 

Le Blés de Chanel has taken this simple icon and turned it into a precious motif faithfully realised in gold and diamonds. Realistic sheaves of wheat adorned necklaces, brooches, earrings and cuffs, with marquise-shaped settings and marquise-cut diamonds and gemstones added to flowing forms to create the ears of wheat.

 

Chanel was not alone in her love of wheat. It is a national symbol in France of prosperity and wealth, inspired by bountiful harvest times, and other jewellers showing high jewellery collections during Paris Couture Week also embraced this positive emblem.

 

Across the square, Chaumet presented a collection called La Nature de Chaumet at its boutique that was dedicated to four themes: Oak leaves, lilies, laurel leaves and wheat. The L’Epi de Bic line dedicated to wheat offered up realistic artistic interpretations of wheat in gold and diamonds. Each of the designs had a lovely sense of movement with decorative precious ribbons to hold the sheaves in place, and most were in white gold with white diamonds. One warmer collection was created in 1980s-inspired brushed yellow gold, and the ears of wheat had a three-dimensional feel to them with diamonds stacked in high settings to create texture.

 

Le Nature de Chaumet ring by Chaumet
Le Nature de Chaumet ring by Chaumet

 

Le Nature de Chaumet earrings by Chaumet
Le Nature de Chaumet earrings by Chaumet

 

Boucheron also experimented with the image of wheat in its high jewellery presentation, which comprised jewels inspired by architecture, clothing and nature. Within the Nature Triomphante line was a suite of jewels that paid homage to the humble sheaf of wheat. The white gold and diamond designs have a more modern edge than those offered up by Chaumet and Chanel, with the wheat on an exaggerated scale sprouting out from a torque, a cuff and a ring that fits of one finger but spans across the hand.

Nature Triomphante torque by Boucheron
Nature Triomphante torque by Boucheron


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewelleryNetAsia, UBM Asia Ltd or any employee thereof. JewelleryNetAsia is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the bloggers. 

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2016/07/15

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In July, Parisians rolled out the red carpet once again for a week dedicated to the art form that has become synonymous with their city – haute couture. About five years ago, jewellery brands decided to join the couturiers and use this moment in the fashion calendar to impress visitors from around the globe with displays of extravagance, presenting new haute joaillerie creations.

 

I spent two days in Paris during Couture Week, dashing from boutique to hotel to private event space to see the most important new high jewellery collections. The scale of the jewellery was phenomenal, and its diversity was just as intriguing as the million-dollar price tags. While you can find lots more images of what I discovered in Paris on my Facebook page. Here is a rundown of 10 outstanding jewels.

 

Cape de Lumière by Boucheron

This incredible creation from Boucheron’s Porté Couture collection blurs the lines between jewellery and fashion. The cape is made entirely from woven gold thread and was created using a dressmaker’s mummy to ensure that it would fit a woman’s shoulders perfectly. The pattern made by the hand-sewn gold threads takes inspiration from one of Boucheron’s favourite motifs, the peacock feather. The gold threads have been set with tiny diamonds and from the clasp at front hangs an 81.61ct citrine. 

 

Cape de Lumière by Boucheron (front)
Cape de Lumière by Boucheron (front)

 

Cape de Lumière by Boucheron (back)
Cape de Lumière by Boucheron (back)

 

Inspirazioni Italiane by Bulgari

This juicy-looking cabochon necklace is from Bulgari’s latest high jewellery collection Magnificent Inspirations that pays homage to the glamour and heritage of the jeweller’s native Italy. Large cabochon gemstones were a key feature of the collection and this necklace shows off the style with aplomb. The 18ct rose gold necklace has been adorned with diamonds, amethysts, tourmalines, emeralds and spinels that add up to a total carat weight of 580cts. The designers at Bulgari have taken care to make sure that the back of the necklace looks just as good as the front, for evenings when hair is piled high, and the clasp has been fitted with a large amethyst cabochon and berry-red spinel bead with a diamond set at its centre.

 

Inspirazioni Italiane by Bulgari
Inspirazioni Italiane by Bulgari

 

Moisson d’Or by Chanel

The bounty of harvest time was the inspiration for this necklace in Chanel’s Les Blés de Chanel collection. Warm yellow sapphire beads – 997 in total, weighing 477.5cts, and chosen to represent the sun – create a lariat that sits around the neck and drops down the chest. The necklace is clasped at the front with an 18ct white gold and diamond wheat-inspired jewel – wheat was one of Gabrielle Chanel’s lucky charms. Marquise-cut diamonds trail down the necklace, which has also been fitted with a 16.8ct oval-shaped yellow sapphire.

 

Moisson d’Or by Chanel
Moisson d’Or by Chanel

 

Le Lys Passion Incarnat by Chaumet

Lilies were a key design motif in Chaumet’s Le Nature de Chaumet collection that took inspiration both from nature but also the archives of the French brand. Chaumet is well known for its precious tiaras and this new addition has been created in the image of the red lily. The tiara is made from white and rose 18ct gold and set with diamonds, pear-shaped red spinels from Tanzania, marquise-cut and round rhodolite garnets, and pear-shaped and round green tourmaline. As is the norm for high jewellery, this tiara can be broken down and worn in different ways with the two large flowers transforming into brooches. The largest of these brooches can also be worn as a pendant on a necklace of red spinel beads and green tourmalines.

 

Le Lys Passion Incarnat by Chaumet
Le Lys Passion Incarnat by Chaumet

 

Elizabeth Tower by De Beers

London was the inspiration for De Beers’ latest high jewellery collection, with each set of diamond designs referencing architecture from around the city. One of the most striking designs in the collection was this Elizabeth Tower necklace, which pays homage to a clock tower in London that most travellers to the city would know better as Big Ben. The pendant has been created in the image of the clock face with baguette-cut diamonds marking out the hours. The centre of the clock has been set with round and pear-shaped diamonds.

 

Elizabeth Tower by De Beers
Elizabeth Tower by De Beers

 

Chambre de la Reine by Dior

Dior’s high jewellery presentation during Paris Couture Week transported us to the glamour of the Palace of Versailles in the 18th century. Dior a Versailles is the largest haute joaillerie collection the brand has ever produced and it also featured much larger gemstones than normal, such as the pink sapphire at the heart of this necklace. This necklace, as was typical of the collection, is asymmetrical. One side is given over to an elegantly unfurling ribbon set with baguette-cut diamonds, while the other features rose-cut diamonds set in blackened silver, two elements very typical of jewellery from that era.

 

Chambre de la Reine by Dior
Chambre de la Reine by Dior

 

Ring Couture 05.1 by Kova

New fine jewellery brand Kova made its Paris Couture Week debut with its first ever offering of couture jewels. The brand presented a collection of six architectural cocktail rings designed around specially cut gemstones. This ring has been crafted in 18ct white gold and studded with white diamonds, and frames a cake-slice shape of clear quartz. The ring is designed to be worn on one finger but the width of it spans out across the fingers, and its height ensures that it makes an instant impact.

 

Ring Couture 05.1 by Kova
Ring Couture 05.1 by Kova

 

Collection II by Magdalena Frackowiak

Magdalena Frackowiak is a former Victoria’s Secret model turned jewellery designer and used Paris Couture Week to showcase her latest collection of understated luxe jewels. As you would expect from a fashion insider, the collection is minimal and fashionable, and one of its key elements is the very on-trend choker. The black velvet choker has been adorned with solid a 18ct yellow gold bead and is the epitome of laid-back luxe.

 

Collection II by Magdalena Frackowiak
Collection II by Magdalena Frackowiak

 

Pink Plumage by Piaget

The Sunny Side of Life collection unveiled by Piaget at Paris Couture Week was, as you might expect, bursting with colour and life. This pink sapphire and diamond ear cuff, designed to be hooked over the top of the ear and fastened to the lobe, and complementary stud, embrace the natural flamboyance of a bird’s plumage. Piaget chose to used marquise-cut gemstones to create this design, and this cut of stone was a major trend throughout all the collections at Paris Couture Week.

 

Pink Plumage by Piaget
Pink Plumage by Piaget 

 

Twist Émeraude by Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels kept it simple at Couture Week by unveiling Émeraude en Majesté, a collection inspired not by a theme but by a single gemstone – the emerald. While the theme was simple, the collection proved pleasingly complex with a wide range of emerald cuts and colours as well as diverse design inspirations. While emeralds were very much the key focus, other gems were brought into play in supporting roles, such as these mauve sapphires that join white diamonds to spiral round a cuff that ends in two emerald cabochons.

 

Twist Émeraude by Van Cleef & Arpels
Twist Émeraude by Van Cleef & Arpels


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone, and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of JewelleryNetAsia, UBM Asia Ltd or any employee thereof. JewelleryNetAsia is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the bloggers. 

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2016/07/13

Spanish jewellery house Carrera y Carrera’s latest jewellery collection draws inspiration from the ocean’s “countless mysteries yet to be discovered”, and, in particular, creatures from the deep. And it is certainly not the only designer to be plundering the deep blue sea in search of jewellery inspiration this year.

 

In a surprisingly savvy statement, Carrera y Carrera notes that the creation of its Océanos collection is “very much in line with the major fashion houses that have also surrendered to the charms aroused by the sea and the hidden universe it contains”. Rather than feigning that jewels inspired by the oceans is a brand new idea for a jewellery collection, never to have been brought to the bench before, the jeweller is remarkably honest. In short, the sea is a popular design theme in jewellery right now, and it does not intend to miss out.

Oceanos Pulpo yellow gold earrings with black pearls and diamonds by Carrera y Carrera
Oceanos Pulpo yellow gold earrings with black pearls and diamonds by Carrera y Carrera

 

The collection itself is a cleverly realised selection of jewels; some are fully formed miniature sculptures in gold of creatures like octopuses, while some merely reference the suggestion of a cresting wave or cephalopod sucker in a more abstract way.

 

Lots of other jewellery designers have been captivated by the oceans of late. Greek jewellery brand Venyx, for example, has built a whole collection around a magical underwater world invented by designer Eugenie Niarchos. Her jewels present creatures that seem to be from the ocean, yet have a fantastical edge that make you wonder whether you are actually looking at an alien lifeform – an otherworldly theme that she has actively pursued.

 

Moltke white gold, chalcedony and mother-of-pearl by Venyx
Moltke white gold, chalcedony and mother-of-pearl by Venyx

 

Other interpretations can be more straight forward, like the sea urchins featured in the work of Rodney Rayner and Helene Boghossian, the very sweet pink quartz and rose gold turtle ring within Boucheron’s Animalia family or Cassandra Goad’s simple seahorse pendant.

 

Honu pink quartz and rose gold ring by Boucheron
Honu pink quartz and rose gold ring by Boucheron
 
 
Seahorse pendant by Cassandra Goad
Seahorse pendant by Cassandra Goad
 
 
Sea urchin charms by Helene Boghossian Joaillerie
Sea urchin charms by Helene Boghossian Joaillerie

 

Whether exploring the mysteries of the deep or more familiar creatures found closer to the surface, designers and lovers of jewellery are captivated by the ocean’s power. So as Carrera y Carrera most deftly puts it, lets give ourselves over to “the fascination awakened by the sea and its wonders”.


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