Empire State of Mind
Harry Winston reminds us that there’s nothing quite as breathtaking as the Big Apple, says Nicolette Wong
There is just something about New York—the energy, the glamour, the people, the places— that makes it like nowhere else on earth. It has been a source of inspiration for creatives the world over, who are drawn to its vitality like moths to a flame. It is the birthplace of many treasures and icons, including the inimitable house of Harry Winston. It should come as no surprise that the marque should choose to pay tribute to the indefatigable city of its birth, in the form of its freshly minted New York Collection. The collection takes a personal touch with the jeweller’s journey through the city, with many of its points of inspiration coming from the brand’s history and founder Harry Winston’s own life. For instance, the City Lights pieces draw upon Winston and his wife’s love for Broadway performances. The couple was so enamoured that when Winston was promoting the 1949 cross-country exhibition of his jewels, it was Broadway stars that he sought to front the official programme. The pieces themselves do not take on the face of these stars, but they reimagined the bright lights and billboards that illuminate the incandescent avenue. When Harry Winston opened its first doors in 1932, it was located in midtown, right across from New York’s famous St Patrick’s Cathedral. This majestic building, whose neo-gothic architecture stands out among New York’s art deco edifices, would have been Winston’s daily city view, a sight he would have seen just as much as his own precious jewellery. Today, the designers at Harry Winston have used beautiful
pear-shaped emeralds in the Cathedral pieces to echo the pointed spires of St Patrick’s. The Cathedral pieces are far from the only ones in the New York Collection to draw inspiration from the city’s stunning architecture. Central Park, New York’s iconic green lungs, inspired beautiful bracelets, earrings and rings that look much like the quintessential top-down view of the park thanks to the strategic placement of diamonds, sapphires, aquamarines and emeralds. The brownstone buildings of the Upper East Side were turned into geometric Brownstone pieces, comprising colourful square-cut diamonds, turquoise, and sapphires in both blue and yellow. The collection also casts an eye on the cast-iron eagles that would have dotted much of the city in the early 20th century, including the Grand Central Terminal of Winston’s time. Now, the wings of the Harry Winston eagles are cast in platinum and set with white and yellow diamonds. The last source of inspiration lies on 718 Fifth Avenue, where Winston moved his flagship salon in 1960. It was a time when the city’s architecture would have skewed towards minimalism and clean lines, but it was at an 18th-century French-style building that Winston wanted to welcome his worldly clientele. The 718 Marble Marquetry pieces, crafted from diamonds and sapphires, recall the black-and-white marble tiling that decorates the interiors, while the 718 Chandelier suite captures the brilliant gilded bronze chandelier that illuminates the foyer. Finally, the 718 Emerald Vitrine pieces echo the seven gold-plated display windows that line the walls of the salon, each shaped like an emerald-cut gem—winston’s favourite. These have been miniaturised using real emerald-cut emeralds, surrounded by a bouquet of baguette, marquise and round-cut diamonds. Crafted completely in platinum, the New York Collection comprises a total of 32 pieces, to be sold exclusively at the marque’s salons worldwide. It is the perfect situation, considering the recent reopening of the Harry Winston salon here at Ion Orchard. We know where we will be headed soon.
CITY SIGHTS All of the pieces in Harry Winston’s new collection were inspired by New York City. Clockwise from above: Broadway necklace with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies, Chandelier ring with diamonds, 718 Marble Marquetry ring with diamonds and sapphires, 718 Emerald Vitrine earrings with diamonds and emeralds, Central Park bracelet with aquamarines, diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. On model: Brownstone earrings and necklace with diamonds, sapphires and turquoise