Bold and sassy
Increasingly, marrying couples are replacing the bride's all-white and groom's all-black attire with colours and styles that reflect their personalities better, with jewellery to match.
"Statement pieces are all the rage for weddings this season," says Ms Eunice Lim, merchandiser at Poh Heng Jewellery. So the traditional si dian jin - four jewellery items given by the mother-in-law to her new daughter-inlaw - are not confined to gold pieces in classic designs. They now come in interesting shapes and lines, or they have bold and sassy appeal.
They can be customised according to the wearer's preference, or be sufficiently flexible to pair with other outfits when the wedding celebrations are over.
|On the twig (clockwise from top): Verdante necklace, Voi, $26,929; Flowing with Nature pendant, Jadeite Collections, $16,800; Ethereal Dream earrings, Bedazzled with Tesoro, $4,800; Orient Bliss Peranakan Collection, Goldheart, $197,808; Butterfly jade brooch, Sunida, $6,800, and Jadeite Charm necklace, La Tienne, $3,300. On the forehead: Hasli choker, The Jewel Box, $38,000. On the eyes: Diamond eyelashes, Soo Kee, $11,328. On the fi nger: Honey Jade ring, $12,000, Jadeite Collections. On the wrist: Boussole (Roberge) watch, $14,586, Mouawad. On the neck: Perfume bottle, Mouawad, $12,933. Flowers used on this page: Anemone Coronaria, Zantedeschia, Ivy Vine, Hypericum, Twigs
Poh Heng's Spring/Summer creation Gracelle is one such example. The necklace plays up feminine beauty with a multi-strand South Sea pearl necklace and features an eye-catching jewelled butterfly resting on a ruby-red rose.
Mr Gary Goh, assistant brand manager of Goldheart Jewellery, says: "Brides these days look for versatile pieces which they can wear on their special day as well as daily. The items tend to be smaller, but they are very fashionable.
Classic designs and floral motifs remain highly popular, though artistic designs are fast becoming a trend."
When deciding on the jewellery for the big day, "the overall look is the most important", Mr Goh adds. "From the bride's hairstyle to the colour and design of her gown, all these will affect the choice of jewellery. Our Orient Bliss collection, in collaboration with Ted Wu, offers brides five glorious themes for weddings - Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Peranakan and Thai."
Diamonds are forever
"Looking for a jewellery piece that will make a great gift to keep for generations requires an emotional involvement, and time and patience are part of the whole experience," says Mr Vinod More, managing director/gemologist at The Jewel Box.
"The greatest challenge is to find something truly special at a fair value yet worthy of being a legacy, and the greatest reward is achieving success in the hunt for the perfect piece, even if it means commissioning a oneof- a-kind item from a skilled jeweller. Essentially, a great heirloom piece should defy the fickleness of fashion and transcend ephemeral trends to give its owners ageless designs."
Ms Ivy Choa, manager of DeGem-Singapore, adds: "For investment, a reasonable size to consider is one carat and above. Go for gems like natural fancy-coloured diamonds as these are limited in supply and thus have more value.
The stone should be clear, such as EFG, and should come with international certification."
Bespoke pieces that feature artistic designs and large flawless stones never go out of style.
They also make for the best financial, if not emotional, investments.
"Big stones such as fancy yellow diamonds, blue diamonds and pink diamonds, raw or cut, have been escalating in price. The extremely rare blue diamonds, for example, have jumped five to 10-fold (in price)," says Mr Jean Nasr, vice-president, advertising and promotion, Mouawad. "I would advise people to collect pieces that they feel an emotional connection with, pieces that have special meaning, and give them joy."
Ms Choa notes that diamond shopping for the next generation is becoming a trend. Parents are also imparting what they know about gemstones to their children from a younger age.
Bling for impact
"When it comes to pieces that make an impression, the new generation is inclined to wear jewellery associated with celebrities and pieces that are easily recognisable," says Mr Nasr.
Not only has Mouawad's jewellery adorned the rich and famous, the brand has also collaborated with today's trendsetters for its Signature Collections. The Andrea Lieberman for Mouawad Jewellery Collection, Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bras Collection and Heidi Klum Jewellery Collection for Mouawad will be presented at the Singapore JewelFest.
Singaporeans are not shy to show off their possessions. "They prefer diamonds to other gems, and it's common to see young professionals wearing half-carat diamond rings, pendants and earrings to work," says Ms Choa.
"For cocktail or special functions, they'll don their 'investment' pieces, such as rare gems which may range in size from two to five carats."
Lifestyle bling is not confined to decorative pieces. German premier jewellery brand Hellmuth, which markets its pieces as "wearable art", offers items like cufflinks and jewelled timepieces under its Hellmuth Swiss Watches range.
Homegrown Soo Kee Jewellery has developed four unique and innovative lifestyle pieces - a bejewelled lipstick case, diamond eyelashes in collaboration with shu uemura, diamond-encrusted microphone and a gemstones- studded jewellery box.
"These items showcase our creativity and are also functional," says Ms Geraldine Loh, senior brand manager from Soo Kee. "Our lipstick cases provide a new level of possession for women and contribute to a more complete look. You can use the jewellery box for your precious items, and the microphone can be used when you want to make an impression - songbird Stefanie Sun used it when she sang at our Diamond Studded Affair event in 2007. If there is demand, we will design more such interesting pieces."
This article was first published in The Straits Times on Oct 24, 2008.