Bridg­ing the gap be­tween East and West

Solitaire (Singapore) - - Content - By Smitha Sadanan­dan

Sarah Ho has staked her claim in the in­ter­na­tional jew­ellery scene

Hav­ing un­veiled the Har­mony High Jew­ellery suite, a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Shang­hai Kim­ber­lite Di­a­mond Com­pany, at Basel­world 2017, Sarah Ho has staked her claim in the in­ter­na­tional jew­ellery scene. “This was an amaz­ing project to work on, and the pieces are to be ex­hib­ited in a new di­a­mond mu­seum in Shang­hai,” says the Hong Kong-born, Lon­don-based de­signer.

Fea­tur­ing 12 pieces, the col­lec­tion takes in­spi­ra­tion from the “for­tune of bloom­ing flow­ers”, with pe­ony as the cen­tral mo­tif. What im­presses most is the way Ho merges her sig­na­ture lace­work in dif­fer­ent shapes and forms with the an­cient Asian art of pa­per cut­ting.

“I love flow­ers as they cap­ture spe­cial mem­o­ries for me,” she says. Her keen eye for de­tail and her love for blos­soms and colour also re­sulted in the se­cond chap­ter of the Hid­den Gar­den col­lec­tion. “The Wis­te­ria Suite is in­spired from the Wis­te­ria that graces Lon­don town­houses in the sum­mer, trans­form­ing the brick­work into rich spec­ta­cles with their cas­cades of vivid blooms.” Us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of beads and baguettes in vi­brant colours to rep­re­sent the flow­ers — a tech­nique she now uses a lot in her de­sign — Ho has cre­ated jew­els that spring into a riot of sum­mery hues.

Her unique in­ter­pre­ta­tion of con­tem­po­rary Asian and Bri­tish aes­thet­ics has en­abled the jeweller to build a global brand. Ho looked to her Asian roots — though con­sciously steer­ing away from fam­ily, fame, and for­tune in Ma­cau

Us­ing her creativ­ity in her phil­an­thropic ini­tia­tives, Ho sup­ports can­cer char­i­ties both in the UK and Asia

— to strike out on her own in 2006. “I had been liv­ing in the UK since my teens, so it was a nat­u­ral choice for me to launch my brand in Lon­don.” It has not been an easy jour­ney run­ning the busi­ness side, she ad­mits. “There were nat­u­rally mis­takes along the way, but I learned from them. And this has made me much stronger, both per­son­ally and as a brand.”

First launched as SHO Jew­ellery, the brand was later changed to Sarah Ho Lon­don. “I felt that with the SHO Jew­ellery name, any­one could be the de­signer be­hind the brand. I wanted the brand to have a soul,” she ex­plains. The change, which co­in­cided with the launch of Sarah Ho Cou­ture to cel­e­brate five years in the busi­ness, made per­fect sense. With the clien­tele in each mar­ket hav­ing a dis­tinct pref­er­ence, the de­signer built on the trend, par­tic­u­larly to ap­peal to the Asian mar­ket. “Our cus­tomers in Asia are very knowl­edge­able about gem­stones and are al­ways search­ing for some­thing that is spe­cial or rare. So I have de­signed pieces us­ing some ex­quis­ite gem­stones that I have been col­lect­ing over the years,” she ex­plains.

See­ing her de­signs come to life and worn by so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple in­spires her to cre­ate jew­ellery that is sig­nif­i­cant to the wearer. “I al­ways try to cre­ate mean­ing­ful pieces that re­late to them on a per­sonal level.”

Us­ing her creativ­ity in her phil­an­thropic ini­tia­tives, Ho sup­ports can­cer char­i­ties both in the UK and Asia. She de­signed a white gold mono­gram ban­gle for the Emer­alds and Ivy Ball in sup­port of the Can­cer Re­search UK. The award-win­ning de­signer also made a lo­tus-in­spired neck­lace, in 18K white gold, for the Loti Foun­da­tion in China. Set with bril­liant-cut and mar­quise di­a­monds, the neck­lace — adorned with 16 South Sea pearls and cultured pearls — was auc­tioned at Loti’s char­ity gala in Bali. It helped raise over USD1 mil­lion for un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren in China.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP Ex­quis­ite Beauty neck­lace, de­signed by Sarah Ho for Kim­ber­lite Di­a­mond For­tune of Bloom­ing Flow­ers ear­rings, de­signed by Sarah Ho for Kim­ber­lite Di­a­mond Im­pe­rial Crest ring with ru­bies and di­a­monds

THIS PAGE Model wear­ing jew­ellery pieces from the Numerati col­lec­tion OP­PO­SITE PAGE Rings from the Wis­te­ria col­lec­tion fea­tur­ing var­i­ous pre­cious gem­stones

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT For­tunei pen­dant in 18K gold, jade, and di­a­monds Wis­te­ria red long ear­rings in 18K rose gold, white di­a­monds, rube­lite, ruby, and red opal Jew­ellery de­signer Sarah Ho Numerati Num­ber 1 ring Numerati Num­ber 9 ring

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