Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Contents -

An ex­u­ber­ant burst of vivid hues colours this year’s high jew­ellery launches


The in­tense green hue of the emer­ald held a mag­netic al­lure for Pierre Arpels, who would trans­late its mys­te­ri­ous beauty into suites of mag­nif­i­cent jewels for royal fam­i­lies around the world, in­clud­ing those from Iran, In­dia and Egypt.

These sto­ried lega­cies form the in­spi­ra­tion for Van Cleef & Arpels’ Émer­aude en Ma­jesté col­lec­tion, which, as the name sug­gests, vaunts a won­drous cor­nu­copia of green gems set in spellbindi­ng jewels. To­day, due to di­min­ish­ing mines in the world, size­able emer­alds are get­ting harder to find; hence this elab­o­rate col­lec­tion fea­tur­ing more than 1,400 carats of the stone is truly a feast for the eyes and the senses. Each gem, or “Pierre de Car­ac­tère”, as the mai­son calls it, was cho­sen for its colour, level of in­clu­sions, brilliance and cut.

Out­stand­ing emer­alds from old mines make their ap­pear­ance as well, no­tably in the Grand Opus set, which fea­tures 127.88 carats of Colom­bian emer­alds. The neck­lace, shaped in the form of in­ter­twin­ing rib­bons, cul­mi­nates in two gadroon-shaped emer­alds that evoke the royal out­fits of ma­hara­jahs. There is also the Clau­dine neck­lace, an ex­er­cise in op­u­lence and grandeur, that borrows its in­spi­ra­tion from 19th­cen­tury French courts: here, nine emer­alds from old Colom­bian mines weigh­ing a to­tal of 42.07 carats are sur­rounded by a gar­land of di­a­mond mo­tifs.


Bul­gari takes an in­ci­sive per­spec­tive into its sto­ried her­itage and reimag­ines the icons that have come to de­fine its iden­tity. The Ser­penti makes a be­jew­elled ap­pear­ance in the Mediter­ranean Eden chap­ter, which is in­spired by the in­ten­sity of hues and fluid forms found along Ital­ian coastal re­gions. In the Ser­penti Se­dut­tori, a pair of pear-cut ru­bies mimic the hyp­no­tis­ing gaze of a snake, cap­ti­vat­ing the be­holder with their in­ten­sity, and peek­ing out se­duc­tively from a head of di­a­monds crowned with a blue sap­phire. This pen­dant studs a neck­lace stringed with di­a­monds, ru­bies and sap­phires. The Fiore Al­le­gro neck­lace re­sem­bles a bou­quet of joy­ful blooms, re­splen­dent with petals of aqua­marines and rubel­lites. From the Ro­man Her­itage line-up, the Par­entesi makes a come­back from the 1970s, and is a feat of ar­chi­tec­tural great­ness, in­flu­enced by the traver­tine stones that line the roads of the city.


No longer re­stricted to state din­ners and black tie events, high jew­ellery is con­structed with the mod­ern woman in mind; it is not to be re­lin­quished in the re­cesses of your vault, as it is ver­sa­tile enough to be worn on a daily ba­sis. Francesca Am­fithe­atrof, cre­ative di­rec­tor for Tif­fany & Co, un­der­stands this con­tem­po­rary woman very well, and her sec­ond Blue Book col­lec­tion for the Amer­i­can jeweller is re­plete with such wear­able cre­ations. The Art of Trans­for­ma­tion ex­pounds on the theme of the ocean that was in­tro­duced last year, and fea­tures mo­tifs de­rived from na­ture: take, for in­stance, the starfish cuff (above) that is mis­chievous yet sen­sual. Three starfish, stud­ded with green tsa­vorites, blue sap­phires, and white di­a­monds, are hud­dled to­gether to hug to the wrist. Then, there are the Smooth as Silk rows of neck­laces (right) that have been in­ge­niously engi­neered to skim the curves of the neck, their plat­inum struc­ture feel­ing like satin on the skin.


Life’s a breeze at Pi­aget, as its lat­est high jew­ellery col­lec­tion, Sunny Side of Life, cel­e­brates sum­mer in all its splen­did hues. The joy­ful sea­son is rep­re­sented by a plethora of bril­liant stones, in­clud­ing yel­low and white di­a­monds, neon-blue Paraiba tour­ma­lines, Colom­bian and Zam­bian emer­alds, pink sap­phires, lapis lazuli and more. Elic­it­ing the plea­sures of loung­ing un­der the sun amidst a ver­dant land­scape are pre­cious green emer­alds, which take cen­tre stage in sev­eral pieces: a 12.06-carat pear-cut Colom­bian emer­ald glis­tens amidst a bou­quet of mar­quise-cut di­a­monds, while a wreath of emer­alds and di­a­monds nes­tles a dainty watch. Then, there is this pair of ear­rings that mimic the wings of a flamingo, cradling a 5.31-carat Mada­gas­car pink sap­phire.


Tra­di­tion and in­no­va­tion might make for un­likely bed­fel­lows, but it’s a mar­riage that works bril­liantly for Chopard. For its 2016 Red Car­pet col­lec­tion, it has har­nessed the use of ti­ta­nium, which al­lows it to match the kalei­do­scopic colours of the stones to the metal. The re­sult is a pow­er­ful state­ment, whereby the multi-hued gems and the ti­ta­nium seam­lessly in­te­grate into one an­other, mak­ing for a har­mo­nious ef­fect. There are no flashes of gold to in­ter­rupt the pic­ture; more­over, ti­ta­nium makes for a hy­poal­ler­genic and light­weight al­ter­na­tive to con­ven­tional met­als. In­ject­ing fur­ther zest into the col­lec­tion is a host of pris­matic opals that steal the lime­light in a range of flo­ral-themed rings (pic­tured here).


A visit to Gabrielle Chanel’s apart­ment above her bou­tique at Rue Cam­bon, Paris, is like step­ping into the book of her life: it re­veals the mo­tifs and sym­bols she held dear, like bu­colic wheat. It re­minded her of her hum­ble be­gin­nings, and is a sym­bol of re­newal and hope. Les Blés de Chanel draws on this em­blem of abun­dance for a col­lec­tion of 62 pieces that en­cap­su­late the dif­fer­ent stages of the wheat har­vest, from the bud­ding of the new green seedlings to the har­vest­ing in Au­gust. In Brin de Prin­temps, green tour­ma­lines and aqua­marines rep­re­sent the nascent buds. Hues of yel­low rep­re­sented by sap­phires and di­a­monds echo the golden pe­riod of flow­er­ing, like the Mois­son d’or, a joy­ful string of yel­low sap­phires ac­cen­tu­ated by a bou­quet of di­a­mond- and sap­phire-stud­ded wheat.


There are pearls, and then there are Golden South Sea pearls, an ul­tra rare type that boasts a gilded lus­tre, and only comes from golden-lipped oys­ters found around the Philip­pines and In­done­sia. Given that they typ­i­cally come in light cham­pagne hues, find­ing one in an in­tense golden colour is not very easy—now, imag­ine find­ing 17 of these, all with the same brilliance and tone, and of sim­i­lar sizes. The re­sult is this out­stand­ing Miki­moto high jew­ellery neck­lace (right) that comes wrapped up in a bow of di­a­monds. Adding a dose of sweet­ness to this choker of Akoya pearls (far right) are ac­cents of pink sap­phires that punc­tu­ate each link. The gra­di­ent of the sap­phires dark­ens as one nears the crux of the neck­lace, which then cul­mi­nates in a cen­tre pink sap­phire weigh­ing 9.91 carats.


At Louis Vuit­ton, its sig­na­ture mono­gram flower un­furls its petals in a flurry of pre­cious gem­stones and met­als, mark­ing a new mile­stone in the mai­son’s high jew­ellery as­pi­ra­tions. Blos­som is a blend of fem­i­nin­ity and ar­chi­tec­ture, as the ro­man­tic fo­liage is coun­ter­bal­anced by vivid colours, touches of onyx and sharp lines that de­lin­eate the let­ter V, a sig­na­ture of the mai­son. A burst of im­pres­sive coloured stones, in­clud­ing man­darin gar­nets, tsa­vorites and iri­des­cent black opals, make for evoca­tive and emo­tional ac­cents, an­chor­ing each piece with dra­matic state­ment. This pair of chan­de­lier ear­rings (far left) is es­pe­cially in­trigu­ing, as it fea­tures the French house’s mono­gram flower that di­min­ishes in size and cli­maxes in a pear-shaped spinel. Each flower is crafted of shim­mer­ing white opal and sur­rounded by di­a­monds.


Claire Choisne, cre­ative di­rec­tor for Boucheron, re­turns to the very roots of the mai­son to seek stim­u­la­tion, and finds a spark at its abode in Place Vendôme, home to the world’s most lux­u­ri­ous jew­ellery houses. Within the 26 Vendôme story, var­i­ous chap­ters de­tail­ing the brand’s legacy and de­sign codes ap­pear in the form of state­ment-mak­ing suites of neck­laces, rings, ear­rings and more. Tak­ing its cue from the art deco el­e­ments that abound at the Boucheron res­i­dence in Paris, the Damier Cabo­chon neck­lace is a play of geo­met­ric shapes and monochro­matic colours, like baguette- and bril­liant-cut di­a­monds and onyx. The Passe­menterie line-up is a can­vas for a spellbindi­ng ar­ray of coloured stones. The high­lights in­clude rings where a black opal and a Cey­lon star sap­phire are the stars, as well as a neck­lace with tour­ma­lines, rubel­lites, spes­sar­tite gar­nets, di­a­monds and multi-coloured sap­phires em­bed­ded within rock crys­tal.


For the mai­son of Dior, Château de Ver­sailles holds spe­cial mem­o­ries: Mr Dior’s in­au­gu­ral col­lec­tion was pho­tographed there, while the first col­lec­tion by Dior Joail­lerie’s artis­tic di­rec­tor Vic­toire de Castel­lane was in­spired by this stately palace. Her chimeri­cal imag­i­na­tion is once again en­rap­tured by this château, this time by the dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments that evoke the grandeur of the glo­ri­ous era of French monar­chy. There is a strong Ro­coco in­flu­ence in the space, and its or­nate, cur­va­ceous form makes its way in the Dior à Ver­sailles col­lec­tion. In­tri­cate, elab­o­rate mo­tifs that spell the curves of S and C—preva­lent dur­ing the Ro­coco pe­riod—are mod­ernised with bril­liant- and baguette-cut di­a­monds, multi-coloured gem­stones, and a com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent met­als in­clud­ing gold and ox­i­dised sil­ver. Bows make a re­cur­rent ap­pear­ance as well: not only were they the mo­tif of choice for the royal fam­ily, but they also harken to the mai­son’s haute cou­ture ori­gins.


Themed La Na­ture de Chaumet, the French mai­son’s high jew­ellery line-up pays trib­ute to the flora and fauna gen­er­ally as­so­ci­ated with monar­chy and Greek gods. It might sound lofty, but who bet­ter to em­body this em­blem­atic ex­trav­a­gance than this famed royal jeweller. Within the col­lec­tion, we find mo­tifs like the lily (flower of in­no­cence and em­blem of kings), the lau­rel (sign of vic­tory and an ode to the god of mu­sic, Apollo) and the oak (an in­signia of Zeus and a sign of strength), that are elab­o­rately cap­tured in a me­nagerie of pre­cious gems and met­als. A whim­si­cal com­bi­na­tion of pearls, di­a­monds and sap­phires is strung to­gether to re­sem­ble the un­du­lat­ing roots of an oak, while the Fir­ma­ment Apollinien set is rem­i­nis­cent of Julius Cae­sar’s lau­rel.


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