HONG KONG JEWELLERY & GEM FAIR
September 16-22 / Asia World-expo (AWE) and Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong Figures: 3,752 exhibitors; 57,600 visitors
The Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair enjoyed its largest showing yet at its 33rd edition with exhibitors and visitors from 50 countries and regions that included, for the first time, South Africa, which debuted its own pavilion; and new exhibitors from Latvia, Myanmar and Qatar.
Most notable was the launch of a Bridal Jewellery Pavilion, a response to the solid demand of the global bridal jewellery market. Featuring exhibitors from mainland China, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the US, buyers in the new pavilion were treated to imaginative, one-of-a-kind masterpieces and the betrothal classics.
The Designer Arena was 26 percent bigger in terms of exhibition space this year and the variety of design influences was readily evident.
Young Chinese consumers are no longer interested in jewellery solely for investment purposes; jewellery is a part of their wardrobe, which explains why they are being targeted by stylish collections that are suitable for daily use. Tassel necklaces act as the perfect accessory that can be worn from day to night. The pearls or beads bring a little excitement
to work attire and the necklace can be draped round the back of the neck to accentuate a backless top. Synonymous with jewellery of the art deco period, the tassel has an enduring elegance that imbues both Eastern and Western aesthetics. Yewn’s Manchurian earrings had a more courtly air than some of the relaxed luxe offerings on view, as they paid tribute to the Qing Dynasty.
RAVISHING REDS AND THE MIGHTY TANZANITE
Rubies and pink diamonds brought a romantic air to proceedings. Rubies were the preference for statement rings, like Universal Jewellery’s grand heirloom styled pear-shaped Burmese pigeon’s blood ruby ring. Coveted Argyle pink diamonds from the remote north of Western Australia boasting a delicate palette that can traverse the palest blush, through cherry blossom and soft rose, to dramatic red, were utilised more subtly in designs by the likes of Japan’s Kashikey. Beyond the hands, spinel was also a florid favourite such as that paired with diamonds in Forms’ Geo Rhombus earrings. The reign of rubescence is here.
The arresting colour-change tanzanite that can radiate blue, violet and burgundy was fielding attention. Unlike most gemstones, tanzanite is only found in one location in the world and with Tanzania’s Merelani Hills’ mines facing a finite future, the exclusivity of this electric blue African treasure, said to be 1,000 times more rare than diamonds, will only increase. London’s Sarah Ho Couture employed tanzanites as feature stones in a very special pair of earrings created for actress Carina Lau.
LA BELLE ÉPOQUE
The era’s romantic influences were felt across the fair in opulent modern homages to 19thcentury tiaras and outsize drop earrings. The tiara was a key motif of the bridal jewellery on display, particularly Swarovski Gemvisions’ inventive examples.
Iris Chung, managing director, Swarovski Genuine Gemstones and Created Stones Business — Greater China Region, says: “Bridal jewellery at the moment is responding to women of different characters or personalities. You can be a bride who is a sweet princess, or a more avant-garde one who might wear a Vera Wang black wedding dress. When I look at The Twin Tiaras by Felicia Ltd, for example, I can imagine it with a tuxedo, black-and-white look.”
Nakaba Kowzu’s spiral tiara in black rhodium on the cover of Swarovski’s Gem Visions The Bridal Book: Tiara & Headband Special was a state-of-the-art design, while Judith Ripka drew inspiration from her home, New York and the timeless Chrysler building to bestow a feeling of American Royalty. The exceptionally light headband by Sabine Roemer was similarly of note, interpreting the reed motif to symbolise an everlasting commitment. Dramatic drop earrings across the show also made the call for bygone opulence, such as Bapalal Keshavlal’s spade earrings with emeralds and champagne diamonds.
There were some extraordinary necklaces at the fair, with Shanghai Kimberlite Diamond’s stand exhibiting several memorable creations, namely those by the talented Zhu Wenjun, whose 25-ct Moon Goddess design that was inspired by the moon rising from sea level, included 1,877 brilliant-cut diamonds. The concept demanded 1,800 hours to create by hand. Peter Lam’s showstopper earrings,
Stay Happy And Be Together, were no less resplendent or immense. Extending 20cm, the award-winning earrings mixed diamonds with pink and blue sapphires, and garnet. Their effect was as if to appear as suspended or dancing fireworks. –
From top: Royal Plume Necklace in 18k white gold with blue and pink sapphires, aquamarines and opals from Sarah Ho Couture; Tiara from Judith Ripka from Swarovski Gem Visions
Clockwise from right: Ruby ring from Universal Jewellery; Bespoke earrings made for Carina Lau from Sarah Ho Couture; Stay Happy And Be Together earrings from Peter Lam