Founded in 2002, SOLITAIRE is a well-established and most recognised women's jewellery magazine circulated in the Asia Pacific region. It covers the best and latest news and stories on fine jewellery, luxury watches and fashion from around the world.
Engagement rings with different diamond shapes, TIFFANY & CO.
Her wedding day is one of the most important days in a woman’s life. From the dress to the jewellery, down to the flowers and the shoes, every single detail of her wedding is of utmost importance. In addition, making sure that these details all work perfectly alongside each other to achieve the desired look is an uphill task.
We know, it’s overwhelming — but fret not, as we’re here to help you, at least with your bridal jewellery concerns.
Everything starts with a proposal and, of course, it involves a ring. The biggest dilemma is to pick between a diamond and a coloured gemstone centre ring, closely followed by the shape of the centre stone, and the colour of the metal. The best way is to let the bride’s personality give you hints — does she have a classic, bohemian, or contemporary style? Her favourite colour, shape, and preferred jeweller should be considered, too, in the quest for the perfect ring. Make sure to pick a matching wedding band that can fit seamlessly into the engagement ring to look like one big piece when worn together.
Tiffany & Co. is one of the most famous go-to jewellers for all kinds of engagement rings. In their boutiques, one can easily spot rings in every shape, size, colour, and budget.
The bride’s favourite colour, shape, and preferred jeweller should be considered in the quest for the perfect engagement ring
Consider the collar
Caren V-shaped all-white diamond necklace, HOUSE OF DEHRES
One of the most crucial elements during jewellery selection is the neckline of the gown and the matching necklace to go with it. According to Ronen Zion, Managing Director of House of Dehres: “When choosing your bridal necklace, consider your gown’s neckline. If it has a strapless or sweetheart neckline, choose a shorter necklace that is round and detail-oriented. If your gown has a halter or a deep V neckline, decorate your décolletage with a longer necklace and a dangling pendant.”
Most jewellers create necklaces in as many silhouettes as possible. Being the biggest piece of jewellery and the one closest to the face, the necklace will appear in every photograph, so make sure it goes well with the gown’s neckline.
“If it has a strapless or sweetheart neckline, choose a shorter necklace that is round and detail-oriented”
– Ronen Zion, Managing Director, House of Dehres
Hail the hair
Alice diamond tiara, GARRARD
The hair accessory totally depends on the hairdo. Tiaras generally work with updos and buns, whereas loose hair can be accentuated with a nice, gem-studded clip. Jewelled hairbands, a cross between a tiara and a clip, are very much on-trend these days. One can even have the tiara as the statement piece, and just pair it with other minimal accessories, such as a pendant and small ear studs.
Sara Prentice, Creative Director at Garrard, a jewellery house known to have designed tiaras for many royalties, shares her piece of advice: “Traditional tiaras have a wire framework at the base, which is wrapped with velvet ribbon in the colour of the bride’s hair. For modern tiaras, clients often request that they sit directly on their hair — this often suits contemporary hairstyles better and is easier to wear.”
“For modern tiaras, clients often request that they sit directly on their hair — this often suits contemporary hairstyles better and is easier to wear”
– Sara Prentice, Creative Director, Garrard
Bring on the blush
White and Pink diamond necklace, Moussaieff
A pop of colour can brighten a traditional white wedding, making it more vibrant and exciting. The choice of colour in jewellery could be in the form of metal or coloured gemstones and diamonds. Wedding gowns typically come in white, ivory, champagne and shades of pale pink, and the colour element can either complement the gown, the hair colour, the eyes, or maybe all three.
Mrs Alisa Moussaieff, owner and Managing Director of Moussaieff jewellers adds: “Colour is an unconventional jewellery choice for a traditional white wedding. However, our classic pink and white diamond collections add a subtle warmth combined with high glamour for any bride to be.”
“Our classic pink and white diamond collections add a subtle warmth combined with high glamour for any bride to be”
– Mrs Alisa Moussaieff, Owner and Managing Director, Moussaieff
Asymmetric South Sea pearl and diamond bridal necklace, YOKO LONDON
As a bride, one can definitely go a little over the top and flaunt some gorgeous jewels. But the trick is to not overdo it — it is imperative to create a perfect harmony among the necklace, earrings, bracelet, and the hairpiece. Make sure to wear only one statement piece, letting the rest of the accessories complement the main piece.
Pearls work beautifully when paired with a white wedding gown, making any bride look like a princess. Yoko London’s CEO, Michael Hakimian, shares his tips on bridal jewellery: “When choosing a style, you should consider the neckline of your dress and choose a necklace that complements this. Your wedding jewellery is something that you can reuse after the big day, so it is also important to choose something you will enjoy wearing again and again.”
“Your wedding jewellery is something that you can reuse after the big day, so it is important to choose something you will enjoy wearing again and again”
Messika Paris celebrates love and everyday-glamour with new bridal collection
Models wearing Messika Bridal collection
“I design jewellery that celebrates love and accompanies women — and more recently men — in every moment of their life”
What could be more moving, romantic, and precious than a marriage proposal or a wedding? Capturing these life-changing moments in a fresh, symbolic manner and creating jewellery that enables us to bring the charged emotions of such events with us wherever we go are the raison d’être of Messika Paris’ bridal collection.
“I design jewellery that celebrates love and accompanies women — and more recently, men — in every moment of their life,” says Valérie Messika, founder and chief designer of the Parisian brand. “Messika pieces are created to be worn on an everyday basis, with a pair of jeans, your favourite sneakers, or your favourite pullover.”
Valerie Messika, Founder and Chief Designer of Messika Paris
“My designs suit many different types of women because they are timeless”
At the centre of the bridal range is Valérie’s signature Move jewellery, whose concept of diamonds moving freely within a cage without ever getting out seems to symbolise the love and trusting freedom that bind an ideal marriage. The idea — modern yet timeless, elegant yet quirky — was spawned by a childhood memory.
“When I was a little girl,” explains Valérie, “my father, being one of the world’s top diamond dealers, would bring home diamonds and let me play with them. He would let the diamonds slide between his fingers, and the sight of the moving diamonds became the inspiration for my Move collection.”
Models wearing Messika Jewellery
“We are seeing upcoming trends like stacking bangles, layering diamond necklaces, and wearing ear cuffs to create a more playful look”
Messika prides itself in the quality of their diamonds, which are always in F-G colours and VS purity, unless requested differently by the client. The Move Uno ring features one diamond within a pavé cage, glittering like a single star and catching the eye as it moves. The Move Noa ring contains three roaming solitaires within a gold cage and band that fits the finger like a second skin. The third bridal ring — Move Romane — creates a sense of lightness and strength by combining architectonic and openwork design around a trio of moving diamonds.
“My goal is to answer women’s desires by enhancing their natural beauty,” says Valérie. She and her team spend thousands of hours pushing the boundaries of design, developing special in-house techniques, and working with gold and the most precious of stones to create unique pieces.
Diamond engagement ring
“My designs suit many different types of women because they are timeless. You can be romantic, a little rock ‘n roll, or even slightly edgy,” adds Valérie. “I’m very inspired by women like Kate Moss and Daria Werbowy, but also by true icons like Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly.”
And it doesn’t stop there. Ever intent on new ways for couples, bridal or otherwise, to declare their love for one another, Valérie has created Move for men. “Men have become concerned about their appearance, looking for both fashionable and comfortable accessories for their everyday look,” she says. “For several years now, jewellery has been worn where you least expect it.”
For the men’s collection, the pieces are in titanium with diamonds, and features rings and bracelets. Rings consist of a band with no embellishments, with a slot cut into the titanium and a single diamond moving freely in it. Three versions are available: Natural Titanium and Graphite Titanium, with a white diamond, and Total Black Titanium, which features a black diamond. Three matching bracelets with an identical aesthetic are similarly ultralight and evoke the same virility. They feature three movable diamonds each, and prove that diamonds on a man can be sexy and masculine. The last two years have seen Messika expand its men’s range to include necklaces and cuff links.
Move for men bracelets in three titanium versions with diamonds
“We are still a young brand and there are so many things to do,” enthuses Valérie about future prospects for her company. “We will continue to evolve. Already we are seeing upcoming trends like stacking bangles, layering diamond necklaces, and wearing ear cuffs and double finger rings to create a more playful look.”
Pearls have one of the most fascinating histories among all gems. From the dark ages where they were believed to have magical power of protection, to the Renaissance where laws were put in place to prohibit common people from wearing them, pearls have gone through so much. Yet their captivating beauty remains the same and, to this day, is being revered by many.
Jeux de Rubans earrings and necklace in 18K white gold, Akoya pearls, and diamonds, MIKIMOTO
Because of their delicate, natural, and pure nature — and despite the popular superstition in some cultures that pearls represent tears and should never be worn on a wedding day — pearl jewellery is traditionally a favourite bridal accessory. Just like the much-adored white wedding gown of today, pearls represented virtue and purity, especially in ancient cultures.
Although in the past years, diamonds and — with the rise of the ‘customisation and personalisation marketing’ to cater to millennials — even coloured gemstones have been more popular among younger brides, pearls never really went out of style. And this year, as proven by The Lyst Index 2019 Wedding Report, these classics are making a comeback. According to the popular global fashion search platform, pearl earrings and diamond tiara are among the most-searched bridal items online.
As they say, diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but pearls are the queens of gems. We speak to three of the most sought-after fine pearl jewellery brands to find out their latest bridal offerings.
Bloom Collection necklace in 18K white gold, Akoya pearls, and diamonds, MIKIMOTO
According to Crystal Leung, Marketing Manager of Mikimoto, the simplicity and lustre of pearls are flattering on the skin, making these natural gems a favourite among brides. “Ladies look radiant when they wear pearls because these gems exude a glowing, iridescent effect.”
The misconception about these classic gems, however, is that they’re not modern enough for the younger brides. “Generally, some people might have this idea that pearls are traditional jewellery, not contemporary enough,” shares Crystal. “But we have more trendy designs which are suited for women’s contemporary lifestyle.” One of which is the Jeux de Rubans collection inspired by the well-loved ribbons.
“Pearls are the easiest to match with any outfit,” adds Gerald Chia, Sales and Marketing Manager of Mikimoto in Singapore. “Probably every single item in our boutiques could be suitable for bridal items. M Collection, Day & Night, and Jeux de Rubans are few of our latest collections that are well-perceived by the market.”
NOTES TO THE BRIDE
Elaborate pearl jewellery pieces can enhance a simple evening gown, while a simple choker strand can bring out the intricate design of the gown.
The hairdo will play a role in emphasising the bride’s features. If she wears an updo hairstyle, dangling earrings will be a good option.
Choosing good quality pearls from reputable jeweller is important.
Model wearing Les Classiques stud earrings and Madame de Pompadour necklace, all from JEWELMER
Known for its stunning golden South Sea pearls, French-Filipino luxury jeweller, Jewelmer, believes that pearls are the ultimate symbol of love and fortune, representing femininity and fertility.
“The pearl has been worn by history’s celebrated figures,” says a spokesperson of the brand. “It has been seen as a symbol of luck, protecting its wearer from harm. It has similarly been used for spiritual awareness, promoting harmony and balance.”
Model wearing Swan earrings, Les Classiques strand necklace, engagement ring and wedding band, all from JEWELMER
For the bridal season, Jewelmer’s Les Classiques collection is among young brides’ favourites, with its classic and understated elegance. The Madame de Pompadour necklace echoes the feminine form with brilliant swirls and undulating lines, highlighting the elegance of diamonds and golden South Sea pearls.
“Jewelmer’s bridal selections evoke the golden light in every woman: from the blushing brides and bridesmaids, to their mothers who came before them,” says the brand. “A wedding, after all, is a celebration of love. It is here that a golden South Sea pearl becomes a personal memento, a gem to mark and remember a milestone.”
NOTES TO THE BRIDE
South Sea gems last a lifetime and can be passed on from one generation to another.
Pearl creations serve as an heirloom piece that can be treasured forever.
Pearls easily match various wedding dress designs and themes.
For an elegant bridal look, choose from classic pieces, like studs and strands.
Wedding bands from the bridal collection, ATLAS PEARLS
Inspired by popular Bali beach weddings, where sun, sea, and romance collide, Australian fine pearl jeweller Atlas Pearls’ new bridal collection is all about laidback and versatile elegance.
“People come from around the world to get married under Bali’s skies,” shares Pierre Fallourd, managing director of Atlas Pearls. “We’ve created a collection with pieces that are transformable, convertible, and interchangeable. Many of our bridal crowns can be worn as a necklace after the wedding.” Also among the collection are his & hers wedding bands and engagement rings, ready for last-minute proposals.
Models wearing Atlas Pearls’ wedding band and engagement ring
The extraordinary shine and brilliance of a South Sea pearl, especially one that is very rich and has a lot of depth, makes it an ideal accessory for the bride. “In Western cultures, pearls are often the symbol of pure love, and their shine is said to enhance and raditate the beauty of the bride,” adds Pierre. “In some cultures it is said to infuse divine love and help to understand the power of true love.”
NOTES TO THE BRIDE
Whether you choose hair accessories or a more traditional pendant and drop earring, the pearl is a perfect complement to your wedding ensemble.
When a woman wears pearls, we notice her beauty more, as opposed to when she wears diamonds, which keep our eyes away from the woman.
After the wedding, wear your pearls. They shine even more when worn daily, not just during special occasions.
Thirty years ago, Larry Jewelry and Lazare Diamonds took a vow to satisfy the most discerning jewellery connoisseurs in Asia and across the globe. It was a perfect match of two like-minded companies: Larry Jewelry is one of the leading fine jewellery companies in Asia with boutiques in Hong Kong and Singapore, while Lazare Diamonds is an iconic diamond manufacturing company based in New York.
RollerGlam earrings with Lazare diamonds
The splendid union they started in 1989 saw Larry Jewelry crafting exquisite jewellery using the finest diamonds from Lazare Diamonds. To this day, their partnership is a celebrated success, with Lazare Diamonds taking the spotlight in many of Larry Jewelry’s best-selling collections — foremost is the sleek and minimalist RollerGlam series. Beyond the ready-to-wear collections, Larry Jewelry also procures loose diamonds from Lazare Diamonds, which it then crafts into bespoke designs.
RollerGlam necklace with Lazare diamonds
“From Larry Jewelry’s beginnings in the 1960s and through the decades, our jewellery pieces stand out because of our avant-garde designs,” says Catherine Ng, Managing Director at Larry Jewelry Singapore. “Our craftsmen were, and still are, able to highlight the natural beauty of gemstones in exceptional settings, which captured the attention of Lazare Diamonds and sparked our partnership.”
The exclusive partnership made Larry Jewelry one of the first in Asia to retail laser-inscribed Lazare Diamonds. Their union has also set a gold standard in authenticity and transparency.
RollerGlam ring with Lazare diamonds
At Lazare Diamonds, only 1% to 2% of its production meets the strict quality and uncompromising ideal-cut standard. “Every diamond 0.18 carat and larger has the Lazare Diamonds logo and an individual identification number as proof of its authenticity as an ideal-cut Lazare diamond,” explains Laura Chow, Lazare Diamond’s Regional Director and VP of Southeast Asia. “The unique number may be used as proof of ownership in case of loss or theft.”
Laura Chow, Regional Director and VP of Southeast Asia, Lazare Diamonds, and Catherine Ng, Managing Director, Larry Jewellery Singapore
Bespoke designs remain the core of Larry Jewelry’s offerings, and Ng says more and more customers are requesting one-of-a-kind pieces, including engagement rings with Lazare Diamonds. “The Larry Jewelry business model is quite unique from other chain jewellery brands — we have a significant number of bespoke requests. The proportion of jewellery featuring Lazare Diamonds in comparison to our other diamond jewellery does fluctuate with demand and customised orders. Nevertheless, we embrace our partnership with Lazare Diamonds and their ability to supply us with loose diamonds to create exceptional bespoke and ready-to-wear pieces,” says Ng.
RollerGlam bangle with Lazare diamonds
In recent years, Larry Jewelry has seen a remarkable uptake of orders from the younger crowd. “Among the younger generation, the most popular remains the Lazare solitaire range. Whether they’re looking for a proposal ring or their first diamond, younger shoppers are very aware of what they want. Quality and brand recognition are crucial. The Lazare laser inscription and certification allow these shoppers to buy with confidence,” Ng explains.
The dreamiest and most bridal-worthy ensembles straight from the Cote d’Azur
Evoking good-old glamour and elegance, the Cannes Film Festival’s red carpet spectacle always serves as a refreshing palate cleanser after the drama and heavy guises of the Met Gala. This year, of course, was no different.
What caught our attention, however, were all the stunning, romantic looks that are worthy of saying “I do” in — lace accented-white dresses, tiered ball skirts, and the sweetest of pastel gowns paired with the most glamorous diamond high jewellery. From Priyanka Chopra and Bella Hadid’s ethereal looks, to Elle Fanning and Elsa Hosk’s pastel ensembles, the Cannes red carpet seemed to have given us a hint of the latest and most fabulous trends in bridal fashion. And we couldn’t be more excited about it.
Priyanka Chopra (with husband Nick Jonas) wearing a Georges Hobeika Spring 2020 bridal gown and Chopard jewellery
With her new husband by her side, Priyanka Chopra was a vision of happiness at the Les Plus Belles Annees d’une Vie premiere. She wore an actual bridal gown, complete with a voluminous, tiered skirt from Georges Hobeika’ Spring 2020 Bridal Collection. The Indian superstar aptly paired the dreamy gown with a necklace and earrings set, featuring 61ct diamonds, from Chopard’s Haute Joaillerie collection.
Toning down the risqué factor this year after a series of overly sexy looks last year, supermodel Bella Hadid surprised the crowd in a modest, bridal-perfect look at the premiere of Rocketman. The supermodel complemented the sheer, tiered gown from Dior with Bvlgari High Jewellery earrings and ring and a Serpenti bracelet.
Camila Morrrone in a Miu Miu chiffon gown and Bvlgari jewellery
Leonardo Dicaprio’s new girlfriend, Argentinian model Camila Morrone, made a stunning appearance at the premiere of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, wearing a Miu Miu chiffon gown featuring marabou feathers. But the star of her ensemble was a High Jewellery necklace with a 1.54ct round diamond and 105 round diamonds from Bvlgari.
Nieves Alvarez in an Elie Saab gown and Bvlgari jewellery
For Spanish model and TV presenter Nieves Alvarez, there was only one man to turn to for her Cannes opening ceremony look — Elie Saab. She finished off the sparkly number with Serpenti bracelet, High Jewellery Parentesi ring, and High Jewellery rings, all from Bvlgari.
Pretty in pastel, Swedish model Elsa Hosk looked every inch a Barbie princess in an Etro gown during the screening of A Hidden Life. She opted for a stunning pair of unique High Jewellery earrings in pink gold set with white diamonds, brown diamonds, and rubies, as well as High Jewellery diamond bracelet, both from De Grisogono.
Elsa Hosk in an Etro gown and De Grisogono jewellery
Another statuesque model, Barbara Meier, also turned heads at Cannes in De Grisogono jewellery. At the screening of The Dead Don’t Die, the German fashion model-slash-actress paired her Ziad Nakad sparkly beige gown with De Grisogono Vortice earrings and Chiocciolina ring.
For Iraqi influencer Rania Fawaz, only De Grisogono’s set of necklace, earrings and ring in white gold studded with white diamonds can do justice to her Julea Domani by Zeena Zaki gown. The Gypsy diamond set sparkled brighter against the romantic pale yellow, tiered gown.
Rania Fawaz in a Julea Domani by Zeena Zaki gown and De Grisogono jewellery
As the official partner to the festival, Chopard was front and centre at Cannes, dressing some of the most glamorous celebrities on the red carpet.
Elle Fanning in a Valentino gown and Chopard jewellery
Elle Fanning, the festival’s youngest jury, was a vision of Spring in a sweet and ethereal Valentino Haute Couture gown at the premiere of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The young actress paired her floral dress with a diamond bracelet, a diamond ring, and two yellow diamond rings, all from Chopard’s Haute Joaillerie Collection.
Wearing a Givenchy Haute Couture number, Chinese actress and Godmother of the Trophée Chopard 2019 Zhang Ziyi was all glamour and class at the La Belle Epoque premiere. To make the silver gown all the more striking, she accessorised it with a pair of diamond earrings and ring in 18K white Fairmined gold, both from Chopard’s Garden of Kalahari Collection.
Zhang Ziyi wearing a Givenchy gown and Chopard jewellery
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut looked every inch a bridal princess in a pink and lavender bejewelled gown by Filipino fashion designer Michael Cinco. The 32 year-old actress also opted for Chopard high jewellery to complete her look.
Donning one of Messika Paris’ most breathtaking high jewellery piece — the North Wind diamond necklace from the Once Upon A Time High Jewellery collection — Dilan Çiçek Deniz was easily one of the best dressed at the festival. The Turkish actress looked elegant in a baby blue Hakan Yildirim Haute Couture gown. She capped off her look with a pair of Desert Bloom earrings, a Mata Hari bracelet, and diamond rings, all from Messika Paris.
Dilan Çiçek Deniz in a Hakan Yildirim gown and Messika jewellery
Equally stunning in Messika was Brazilian actress Isis Valverde, wearing the Beloved Feather ear cuff, also from the Once Upon A Time High Jewellery collection, and the Snake Dance ring from the Born to Be Wild collection. Her white, floor-length Azzaro dress was the perfect backdrop to the stunning jewellery.
Meanwhile, Toni Garrn also wowed the crowd in Messika high jewellery. Wearing an Ulyana Sergeenko Couture white gown at the premiere of Hidden Life, the German supermodel capped her bridal-inspired ensemble with Desert Bloom High Jewelry necklace, Desert Bloom rings, and Diamond Catcher earrings, from Messika’s Born To Be Wild collection.
Soo Joo Park in a sequined Chanel top and pants and Chanel Fine Jewellery
Always one to stand out and not follow trends, Soo Joo Park favoured a sequined top and pants from Chanel at the premiere of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The Korean-American model paired the avant-garde look with sculptural diamond jewellery, also from Chanel.
Also at the same premiere of the same Quentin Tarantino movie, Margot Robbie opted for a white muslin dress from Chanel Spring-Summer 2019 Haute Couture collection. The leading actress of the film finished off her minimalist look with Chanel Fine Jewellery.
Stepping out in Chanel’s fully embroidered pink bustier dress, also from its Spring-Summer 2019 Haute Couture collection, Elodie Bouchez looked all dreamy at the Oh Mercy! premiere. The French actress opted for Chanel Fine Jewellery to cap her look, of course.
Margot Robbie wearing a white dress from the Chanel Spring-Summer Haute Couture collection and Chanel Fine Jewellery
Get to know the House of Moussaieff, the jewellery world’s best-kept secret
While many of the top brands are going big in marketing, the House of Moussaieff has, for over a century, taken a different direction. Shunning the limelight and letting their sparkling collections do all the talking, the UK-based brand has built up a loyal following of elites, heads of states, and deep-pocketed collectors who are in search of the rarest and most magnificent gems.
Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh at the British Academy Film Awards, wearing a Moussaieff diamond necklace featuring a 74ct natural fancy intense yellow diamond pendant with matching earrings
Considered one of the jewellery world’s best-kept secrets, the House of Moussaieff traces its roots to Bukhara, Uzbekistan, in the 1850s. Its founder, Shlomo Moussaieff, was known for his passion for jewels. He bought natural pearls directly from divers in the Persian Gulf and traded them throughout the region for exceptional gems from India. His son, Remo, expanded the business to become a leading supplier of rare pearls and gemstones to top Belle Epoque jewellers in Paris in the 1920s.
The third generation of the Moussaieffs saw Remo’s son, Shlomo Jr, moving to London and establishing the brand further with his wife Alisa. Together, they opened Moussaieff’s first London boutique in Park Lane in 1963, and then a second store on Bond Street in 2006. Today, these boutiques — together with those in France, Switzerland, and Hong Kong — cater to the most discerning clientele, including couples who are looking for the most exceptional pieces to have and to hold.
Marrying into the family business and learning on the job, Mrs Alisa Moussaieff recalls her passion for gems developing naturally over time. Now with over half a century of expertise, she is fondly known in the industry as the ‘doyenne of diamonds’ for her creative flair and deep understanding of fine and rare gems. Her creative and business acuity has been instrumental in making the House of Moussaieff an exclusive, highly respected brand reserved for royals and a distinguished few.
Necklace in platinum with marquise diamonds and natural pink diamonds from the House of Moussaieff’s Pink and White Diamond Bridal Collection
“You eat diamonds for breakfast and sapphires for lunch! Gems, designs, and strategy are constantly on the table,” quips Mrs Moussaieff, owner and managing director of House of Moussaieff, about what it’s like being at the helm of the brand. “The career was there naturally, as it was around me all day and every day.”
She says opening Moussaieff’s first boutique in London was a natural move that paved the way for their success. “London is a great place from which to develop a jewellery business, as there is such a flow of people from different nationalities who visit or live in London. Where there is interest, there is an incentive to create and to satisfy that interest,” adds Mrs Moussaieff.
As a designer, Mrs Moussaieff is drawn to beautiful gems, and she finds designing jewellery a fulfilling process. “To be able to do what I want without limitations in the way of design is the best part of my job,” she says. “Everything beautiful is my favourite,” adding that special colour, life and charm are a few characteristics that gems should have in order for them to be considered exceptional.
Mrs Moussaieff’s creations made headlines earlier this year at the British Academy Film Awards when Actress Michelle Yeoh graced the red carpet wearing a magnificent Moussaieff necklace with a 74ct natural fancy intense yellow diamond pendant and 80ct white diamonds, with matching earrings featuring 17ct natural fancy intense yellow diamonds and 7ct white diamonds.
Moussaieff Earrings and Necklace
Over the years, Moussaieff has amassed an impressive collection of rare gems, which also made headlines at auctions worldwide. These include the Moussaieff Red, a 5.11ct natural fancy red diamond, and the Moussaieff Blue, an 8.01ct fancy vivid blue diamond with internally flawless clarity.
When asked about inventory and demand, Mrs Moussaieff replies: “I cannot ensure there’s enough inventory to meet the demand. We can only hope that special gems appear either from the ground or from private sources or auctions. There is no guarantee.”
She also explains how the company’s “sourcing to design” process works: “Diamonds, when polished are at the international diamond centres like Antwerp, Tel-Aviv or New York and in the rough at tenders worldwide. Coloured stones are from international dealers or auctions. Then, when the stones are in our possession, the thinking process begins with what to do with them. I rarely purchase for orders, but rather what is good value and beautiful. Then a design is created with the stones in hand and handed over to the workshops.”
While there is no certainty in sourcing rare gems, there is indeed certainty that whoever is lucky enough to own a Moussaieff jewel is also fortunate enough to own a little piece of legend reserved for royals.
On 27 June 2019, two of Southeast Asia’s most popular chefs, Chef Malcolm Lee of Candlenut at COMO Dempsey and Chef Pim Techamuanvivit of nahm at COMO Metropolitan Bangkok, will be coming together for a ‘one evening-only’ culinary collaboration to celebrate the distinct flavours of Peranakan and Thai cuisine.
Before booking your seat, learn more about the celebrated Thai chef who curiously found her start in tech at Silicon Valley. However, it was the passion for cooking and upholding Thai culinary traditions that led Chef Pim to establish the Michelin-starred restaurant Kin Khao in San Francisco in 2014. Today, she is the very capable captain of the ship at nahm, which is a trailblazer in the country’s culinary scene because of its ingredients-first approach.
Tell us about your earliest memory of food that made an impact in your personal life. Would you say this was a catalyst towards your career in F&B? I don’t know if I had too many memories that don’t involve food. So, yes, I think that definitely was a catalyst toward my career in food.
Was the career shift from tech a difficult choice to make? What made you take the risk and what challenges did you go through before making a name for yourself? It wasn’t that difficult, really. My career in tech wasn’t all that well planned. I thought I’d be an academic, but I fell into a career in tech and really enjoyed it. But one day, I just realized that continuing to work in Silicon Valley long-term didn’t really appeal to me, so I thought I’d take a break for a few years to really find out what I wanted to do with my life and what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I started out writing about food. I found that easy because I’d already made a bit of a name for myself blogging, and then I opened Kin Khao. No other restaurants were cooking the Thai food I grew up with, the food I really missed, so I thought I’d try it myself.
For those who have yet to try your food, what is Thai food like in the hands of Chef Pim Techamuanvivit? Delicious. I try to make deliciousness the first priority. I think my food is a bit delicate, but I’m not saying that it’s tamed. I like to use great ingredients and I care about how the ingredients are grown, harvested, or made. So in my cooking, I try to keep a delicate hand so you could still taste the quality of the ingredients underneath it all.
What was your first experience with Peranakan food? Given this collaboration with Candlenut, what was your thought process like when thinking of the menu? Where or how does one start? When I was growing up in Thailand, my family vacationed in Phuket every year. There’s some influence of Peranakan food in the local cuisine, which call Ya-ya cuisine. That’s where I learned to love the food.
As for the menu, I think of the similar ingredients that both cuisines share, and then I try to pick a dish that showcases how we use that ingredient, but in a slightly different way. I think that would be interesting to the guests who are used to Peranakan cuisine, to try something that is at once familiar and different.
Is there a particular dish on the four-hands collaboration menu you’re particularly excited about? We are making Gapi Plah, an old Thai shrimp paste relish that uses a delicate shrimp paste from Chumpon province in the south of Thailand. The shrimp paste itself is quite different in texture and funk from Belacan, and we use a lot of citrus and young peppercorns in that relish so it should be really fun.
After working together with Chef Malcolm Lee on this collaboration, what is your view/understanding of Peranakan food now? I’m in as much awe of Peranakan food as I was before. What an interesting cuisine, what an exciting combination of flavours and textures – I’m a super fan! And I love Malcolm’s food. I think his touch is quite delicate too, and I look forward to learning even more from him in the coming days.
If cost wasn’t an issue or access to it was much easier, is there a particular ingredient that you’d use more often? What is it about this ingredient that you love? I also cook at my restaurant in the US, and I really wish we have the same access of great artisanal ingredients that are becoming more and more available in Thailand. We have all these interesting rice varieties I would love to use.
Outside of work, who is Chef Pim? What are the simple pleasures you enjoy? I enjoy cooking at home. As much as I cook in my restaurants, I still love cooking at home. That’s how I relax.
Weddings and flowers are always mentioned in the same breath. They are made for each other — much like Chanel and camellias. The flower of her passions, Gabrielle Chanel discovered the camellia in the pages of Alexandre Dumas’ La Dame aux Camelias — whose heroine always wore a white camellia to signify her purity — and became fascinated. And when her beau, Boy Capel, presented her with her first bouquet of camellias, she was smitten.
Without thorns or fragrance, Gabrielle found in the camellia’s geometric roundness and the classic and perfect symmetry of its petals a simple exquisiteness. The flower became one of her lifelong emblems and muses, especially the white camellia, which she would wear like a jewel in stark contrast against her little black dress.
Keira Knightley wearing the Rouge Incandescent transformable necklace in white gold, rubies, and diamonds
This year sees the Maison transforming this key inspiration of its founder into one of the most creative and experimental suites of Chanel High Jewellery ever — the 1.5 Collection. Gabrielle was a believer in numerology, and ‘5’ was her lucky number. Her twice-yearly fashion shows were held on the fifth day of the month. The 1.5 — ‘1 Camélia. 5 Allures’ — High Jewellery collection presents 50 pieces, about half of which can be taken apart and converted into at least five other variations to give the wearer amazing freedom of choice and unprecedented possibilities to express her personality. Numerology and transformability converge here in pursuit of the liberation and empowerment of women through fashion — exactly the life’s work of Mademoiselle Chanel.
The camellia silhouette is the inspiration of every design, expressed in a multitude of forms and accented with pink sapphires, red rubies, and modern rose gold. To achieve seamless transformability, Chanel’s jewellers had to devise discreet clips and fastenings that allowed parts to be removed and reattached with ease, so that women would readily wear the pieces in the way they wanted. And also, designs had to look complete and beautiful even after parts had been detached.
Révélation Diamant transformable necklace in white gold and diamonds
The results can be seen in the collection’s most technically challenging — and valuable — piece, the Révélation Diamant necklace. Priced at S$6.5 million and requiring more than 1,400 hours of work, the necklace’s versatility starts with the detachable camellia motif that can be worn in multiple ways, including as a hairpin and a brooch, and continuing with the necklace, which can be worn long or short, as a choker, or even cascading down a bare back.
Another convertible piece, the white gold Rouge Incandescent necklace with rubies and diamonds, reveals another openwork camellia motif encrusted with baguette-cut rubies. When detached, the camellia can be worn as a brooch.
Eclat de Diamant watch with its 8.02ct rose-cut diamond
The Cristal Illusion watch, on the other hand, uses rarely seen material in high jewellery — rock crystal or colourless quartz — in domes set with white gold cut-out camellias. Its dial flips to reveal a camellia, transforming the watch into a bracelet. Another watch has a design that showcases a diamond cut that was popular once, but now seldom seen. The Eclat de Diamant watch with its 8.02ct rose-cut diamond atop the watch dial, partially concealing its face, brings back the warm, antique quality of the rose cut and evokes the feel of an item meant to be passed down the generations. Its camellia motif can be detached and worn as a brooch as well.
Small as they are, the rings are transformable, too. The Rouge Tentacion ring, crafted in pink gold, red spinels and diamonds, has diamond petals that are removable to reveal a spinel ring, and can be attached to a small pink gold and diamond Camélia brooch for an oversized effect.
Camélia Treasure Box in white gold, mother of pearl, diamonds, cultured pearls, and tourmaline
Rounding off this constantly surprising collection is the Camelia Treasure Box, an ornate pillbox made of white gold, mother of pearl, diamonds, cultured pearls and tourmaline. The camellia motif that sits atop the lid can be detached and worn as a delightful brooch — a ‘secret’ in keeping with the free-spiritedness of Gabrielle Chanel, who once said: “You live but once, you might as well be amusing.”
As she turns 50, Jennifer Lopez shares some of her secrets to ageing gracefully and living a happy life — hoop earrings, included
Watching her night by night on stage in Las Vegas, one could never tell that Jennifer Lopez is turning 50 this this year — which she will be celebrating with a birthday tour, “It’s My Party”, on 24 July.
The superstar usually just shrugs and shoves the compliment about how she is ageing gracefully: “Listen, at some point, I’m going to age, and they’ll say, ‘She looks old!’ But, right now, I’m holding it together,” she laughs.
And holding it together she does, and gracefully so. Between her career as a producer/actor, a judge on a national television talent show, a jewellery/clothes/shoe designer, a doting mother to her twins, and a girlfriend to a famous athlete, her Las Vegas residency worth 100 million dollars was an ‘adrenaline boost’ every night.
Jennifer Lopez wearing a Versace ensemble during a music video shoot Image courtesy of Versace
I heard somewhere that only girls with very low confidence wear big hoops.
Oh, that’s so untrue. I’m a Bronx girl who loves her hoop earrings. Women should never go without earrings. Passing on them is an opportunity missed. And the ring… the bigger the diamond, the better.
So where does this confidence come from?
I grew up in the Bronx. I do think it gives you a certain tenacity, a certain drive, when you grow up with nothing and you don’t grow up with the privileges of going to a great school, or your parents don’t have money to send you to those things. It gives you a different upbringing. And like I said, it makes you a little scrappier and a little savvier in different ways — a street smart. And in the streets, you have to find a way in, even if slipping in the back door. But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If somebody said you could go back now and go to Harvard instead of doing what you did, I would say no way, no way.
What shaped your fashion style?
I had this very urban kind of upbringing with breakdancing in the ’80s, wearing Adidas, Doc Martens, man pants, and hoops. That street Bronx style is still very much part of me. I also grew up on musicals and looking at all these glamorous movie stars, the likes of Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, or even Jackie O. That was also very much part of what I aspired to be style-wise, the ’50s and ’60s glamour. As I started developing my style, I realised that those were the things that I liked. It was either very street or very glamorous — glamorous and kind of sensual. That became who I was. It is what I still often wear to this day: the big hoops, the gold jewellery. I always like to mix glam with a bit of the hood.
Jennifer Lopez, in a Zuhair Murad Spring 2019 Couture gown, with fiancé Alex Rodriguez (wearing a Vacheron Constantin watch) at the Vanity Fair Oscar after party Image courtesy of Vacheron Constantin
You have a new hit song called Dinero, in which you sing the lyrics with much conviction. In your music video, you aptly accessorized with a $4.5 million worth of Tiffany & Co. jewellery — from a half-million dollar platinum and diamond bracelet to a $450,000 diamond necklace. Why Tiffany?
Working with Tiffany & Co. on this project was the perfect fit, considering we were looking for jewellery that could complement an array of high fashion looks — from streetwear to high-end couture styling.
You recently teamed up with Giuseppe Zanotti for a two-season capsule collection of shoes and jewellery. How was the experience like?
The focus for my brand is similar to my approach to life: Be creative, take risks, work hard, and know what the consumer needs. I don’t like to feel stagnant. I look at my brand the same way. Innovation and creating art are key, and then providing customers with what they want and what they didn’t realize they needed. In the near future, I want to continue to grow my brands in the fashion space, particularly in Europe and the Middle East.
On your day-to-day life, how do you decide what to wear?
I pretty much wear whatever I want, and I have lots of different moods. Sometimes, I feel like dressing like a boy with Timberlands and baggy jeans and an oversized sweatshirt; and sometimes, I feel like Audrey Hepburn. I have many, many style influences, and I love fashion from all the eras. I have always loved playing with fashion, and I think because I’m an actress, I like different characters and I fancy myself to have many different sides — from sexy to demure to romantic to manly at times. I love it all, I love chic clothing and that’s my approach. I wake up and I dress however I feel that day, whoever I want to be. Sometimes I want to be simply Jenny from the block.
Jennifer Lopez with fiance Alex Rodriguez at the Oscars 2019
How do you take care of yourself?
I have some skincare secrets that I might be sharing in the next year. But it’s all about looking after yourself. I have kids, and all of that takes up a lot of time. I try to get a good sleep, I try to take care of my skin. I am not a smoker or a drinker or anything like that. And I just try to relax and be the best version of me that I can be. The moment I realize that saying no is more of a power than saying yes, or having the opportunity to say yes, has been very empowering for me. And that’s where I have learned to carve out time for what I need to feel good. Then I can be good for others.
What’s the best thing you would tell young girls who want to be the next JLo?
I think the biggest message that I could ever put out there is to love yourself. When we love ourselves, we make good choices. I believe that through my music and through the book that I wrote, all the things that I do, I always try to get that message out there, because we are not taught that when we were little. We are taught to love others and take care of others and not of ourselves, and that’s where everything starts. That’s where all good thing starts, within each one of us. I had to learn that the hard way. In the past five years, that’s become evident to me. I feel like it took me a long time, but I think it happens at a certain point in life when you start becoming more aware of what is important and what you are doing wrong. You actually have patterns, and that’s the thing that is actually wrong with you and not everybody else. That it’s actually you. And when you are humble enough and have been humbled enough to realise that, you start wanting to make changes.
From 1 June to 31 July, Cartier and The Palace Museum in Beijing are presenting Beyond Boundaries: Cartier and The Palace Museum Craftsmanship and Restoration Exhibition at the museum’s Meridian Gate Gallery. Following the success of Cartier Treasures – Jeweller to Kings, King of Jewellers, which was staged a decade ago, this cultural event celebrates the friendship between the famed jewellery house and China. In this exhibition, the encounter between Cartier creations and those of the Palace Museum is an invitation to travel through both time and space in order to appreciate the significance of the cultural connections between the treasures of the East and West.
What you can expect from this exhibition are over 800 pieces that date all the way back from the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644) until the present, which are gathered from the Cartier Collection, the Maison’s archives, the collections of the Palace Museum, as well as public institutions that include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, the Qatar Museums, Musée international d’horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland), as well as private and princely collections.
As the title Beyond Boundaries suggests, the exhibition’s main aim is to create connections, and is an invitation to go beyond anything that separates and divides — not only classification, categories, frontiers, continents, and limits, but also anything that seems immutable like knowledge, certitude, definitions or preconceived ideas. What is hopefully created from all this is a free space where a new vision of creativity might emerge.