The world is going through a tough time right now, but for Angela Loh, the CEO of annual jewellery and timepiece event JeweLuxe, that’s why it is even more important to continue with the yearly retail showcase to “inspire everyone to remain exceptional and not let the pandemic dull their inner dazzle”.
In its fourth edition, the ongoing 2020/21 edition of JeweLuxe started last November, featuring a new decentralised format. Held across venues including Lee Hwa Jewellery, Elliott & Carmen and Caratell, the event this year spotlights top independent jewellery houses, designers and watchmakers from around the world — a plus for jewellery lovers who miss travelling. Their designs have been categorised under three key curated showcases: Iconic (Lee Hwa), Legacy (Elliott & Carmen) and Advocacy (Caratell).
Says Loh, “Our aim has always been to broaden the local perception of jewellery and watches to one that is more global, and where value goes beyond the precious gems per se. In recent times, we have seen an increasing global demand for iconic designs and craft by world-class independent designers and watchmakers, amongst many who trust and invest in these designs and pieces.”
An exceptional brand making its debut at JeweLuxe is Podnesbesnaya & Podnebesny Jewellery (P&P Jewellery) from Russia. Helmed by pearl specialist Ksenia Podnesbesnaya and her gemologist brother, Ilya Podnebesny, P&P Jewellery shines with striking designs — featuring its signature angel-wing motifs or unusually shaped shanks — made using top-grade pearls and coloured gemstones.
Via an e-mail interview, Podnesbesnaya shares that she first became interested in pearls as a student in Japan, “the motherland of cultivated pearls”. Having studied pearls for several years in the 2000s in Japan, she now applies that extensive knowledge to her creations. Working with pearls has its unique challenges, says Podnesbesnaya, noting, “The beauty of a pearl is subtle. It’s hard to select matching pearls, because we need to match so many characteristics: size, shape, surface clarity, lustre, body colour and overtone. The most challenging thing is drilling. Even a professional is at risk of damaging a pearl, which could be worth a fortune, by cracking or chipping it.”
Despite these challenges, she enjoys the fact using her designs to change people’s perception of pearls as traditional or conservative. “”I don’t like pearls’ is a phrase we often hear when clients first come to our boutique. But their views change after I show them our pearls and how to wear them,” she says. “Pearls are the most democratic gems in terms of versatility. They can be combined with diamonds, coloured stones and with each other: black pearls with white, golden with black. We love bold combinations. The bolder these combinations are, the more interesting your look and the greater your individuality.”
Below, discover more about the other top jewellery brands available at JeweLuxe 2020/21.
Unique, cutting-edge and game-changing: These qualities define the pieces selected for JeweLuxe’s Iconic showcase. They are available for viewing and retail at Lee Hwa Jewellery stores. The brands in these category include P&P Jewellery, Paolo Castagli, Leonori, Alessandra Dona, and Ophion — a Spanish brand specialising in Swiss-made watches.
Updating the ancient arts of cameo-making and mosaics and adapting it to one-of-a-kind jewellery designs, Amedeo and Sicis Jewels, respectively, are two of the brands in the Legacy showcase. Aside from these two names, Legacy celebrates “jewels of lineage and heritage”, including Marina B of the Bulgari family and Faraone Mennella. The Legacy showcase is hosted at Elliott & Carmen (#01-24 Raffles Hotel).
Caratell is one of Singapore’s most sought-after jewellery brands, thanks to the vibrant, highly detailed and often transformable designs of its founder and designer Michael Koh. The Caratell boutique (#01-01 Nomu, 20 Handy Road) hosts the Advocacy showcase, which celebrates “powerhouse brands of celebrity status, lineage and heritage” such as Russian jewellery designer Tenzo.
For more information, visit the JeweLuxe website.