THE CHALLENGES OF TRUE ART: TIME TRAVEL BROOCH BY WALLACE CHAN

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A MULTI-GEM BUTTERFLY BROOCH, IN KEEPING WITH THE BEST TRADITIONS OF CONTEMPORARY ART DECO

For a period of time, people knew me as the ‘Butterfly Man’.

 

From an interview with Forbes

Emerald Swallowtail, Apollo, Sylphina, Forest Giant Owl, Eighty-Eight, Peacock Pansy, Blue Morpho, Ceylon Rose, Ulysses, Monarch. What are they?

Butterflies.

A totemic animal in many cultures, butterflies are a metaphor for powerful transformation and rebirth, capable of changing both their state and way of life. They embody the lightness and transcendence of being, symbolic of love and immortality.

In the magnificent Time Travel Brooch by Wallace Chan, the combination of vertical and horizontal lines, alongside colorful gemstone dots, hint at the fragility of existence; wisdom and consciousness; focussing on the goals ahead; the capability to change perspectives and look at the events and challenges of life from different angles.

I think sleeping is a waste of time. But I have to sleep to survive, so that is one thing I have to spend time on. But it won’t affect me so much if I don’t shave and by not shaving, I will have saved at least three years in my life. I did the maths. And that is why I have kept this beard for over 20 years now.

 

From an interview in Winged Beauty: The Butterfly Jewellery Art of Wallace Chan

Wallace Chan implements all aspects of the beauty and symbolism of the butterfly in his jewelry masterpieces.

“When I was a young boy, butterflies were flying colors. As I grew older, I found them to be the embodiment of a great philosopher’s great philosophy – life is but a dream, only that we need to decide whether we want it to be the dream of a man, or the dream of a butterfly. I could not decide, so I became The Butterfly Man,” he shared his memories in an interview to Forbes.

Since his earliest explorations into the world of jewelry as a gemstone carver at the age of 16, first creating in malachite and lapis, then moving on to expensive, much more complex rubies, emeralds and diamonds, eventually becoming an internationally-recognized jewelry artist, researcher and innovator, Wallace Chan has invested hundreds of thousands of hours into the exploration and development of new, ground-breaking jewelry-making techniques and materials.

A modern-day alchemist and curious trailblazer in the realm of jewelry, Chan spent eight years researching and experimenting with titanium, its lightness, durability and color potential, which he now uses not only in his jewelry masterpieces but also in large-scale sculptures.

He spent seven years studying the hidden powers of porcelain, which led to the discovery of Wallace Chan Porcelain, a revolutionary, vibrant, smooth and radiant material, with an avant-garde spirit, five times harder than steel.

No wonder he does not have time to shave!

I had to invent my own tools, so I went to a factory to learn for six months as an apprentice, learning about the mechanics. Finally I thought I could transform a dental drill into the carving knife, but the dental drill was spinning 36,000 times per minute so once it touches the stone’s surface the stone cracks. So I had to put the stone beneath water to carve.

 

From and interview to National Jeweler

Among Wallace Chan’s unique, ground-breaking inventions are the Wallace Cut, inspired by his interest in reflections, a technique based on gem-faceting and 360-degree intaglio, generating a fourfold reflection on transparent gemstones. For that purpose, he even invented his own tools: modified dental drills. As if that was not challenging enough, this painstaking carving had to be performed underwater, so that heat and tension from drilling would not cause the gems to crack.

The other remarkable inventions by Wallace Chan include his revolutionary gemstone setting techniques, with which – unlike traditional jewelry – gems are set without metal claws. In the diamond claw setting method and inner mortise and tenon setting method, the gemstones are masterfully set within each other, preserving their natural allure, translucency, brilliance and color.

Each of my pieces has to be one of a kind but once I have mastered the idea, I want to move on. Seeking new challenge is the challenge. I love challenging myself.

 

From an interview in Winged Beauty: The Butterfly Jewellery Art of Wallace Chan

Wallace Chan’s artworks have been exhibited at many museums, galleries and art fairs around the world: the European Fine Art Fair, Biennale des Antiquaires; American Museum of Natural History (New York), Lévy Gorvy (Hong Kong), Naturama Museum (Svendborg), Canary Wharf (London), DIVA Museum (Antwerp), Fondaco Marcello (Venice), Asia House (London), Christie’s Gallery (Hong Kong), the Gemological Institute of America Museum (Carlsbad), the Capital Museum (Beijing), Kaohsiung Museum of History (Taiwan), and Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (Idar-Oberstein).

They are also part of the permanent collections of the British Museum, the Beijing Capital Museum, and the Ningbo Museum.

But Chan remains a relentless seeker and keeps looking for new inspirations, asking new questions and diving into impressive innovations.

THE EMBRACE OF STONES BY BOGHOSSIAN

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KISSING STONES, BROUGHT TOGETHER THROUGH EXCLUSIVE TECHNIQUE, MEET IN RAVISHING, GLACIAL EARRINGS
 

Generation after generation, the Boghossians – a family of Lebanese jewelers and philanthropists, currently operating flagship stores in London, Geneva, and Hong Kong – have been researching, developing and refining their signature stone-setting techniques.

The patented Kissing Stones technique treats gemstones with special respect for their beauty and imaginative approaches towards their luminescent facets – magnificent windows to dazzling light.

In the featured earrings, from the Boghossian’s Four Elements Collection, diamonds, tanzanites and aquamarines are supporting and holding each other in gentle embrace, breathing and living a life of their own, without the shackles of convention, nor restricted by metal settings. The ice-blue stones, topped by white diamonds, are shaped into architectural rectangles, made mellower and sweeter by rounded corners.

The marvellous gems exude the energy of two glaciers: one, submerged in nordic waters; the other, rising from the surface of a clear mountain stream, with a delicate diamond path crossing its luminescent surface.

The water elements, which inspired Boghossians for this creation, lost and found treasures from the depth of ice-cold water, crystals of salt against the bright and deep blue surface, come together in a piece which emphasizes your shining eyes and complements your exceptional jewelry collection.

A SPARKLING EYE-CATCHER: PEARL RAIN EARRINGS BY TATIANA VERSTRAETEN

A YOUNG AND POWERFUL ENTRY INTO THE FINE JEWELRY WORLD

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The time is ripe for magic to happen.

Before long, tiny, mischievous snowflakes will be falling on your warm face, dripping under the collar of your coat.

Look closer, as they slowly turn into magnificent, clear drops of spring rain, and transform into the fresh droplets of powerful summer showers, shimmering in the sun, playing with rainbows, cooling your sun-kissed skin.

The Pearl Rain fringe earrings in white, rhodium-plated gold, embellished with diamonds and pearls, designed by Tatiana Verstraeten – founder of the eponymous brand, which also happens to be the youngest jewelry brand on the legendary Place Vendôme – are exactly that: a mélange of all things delicate and feminine, deliciously fresh and irresistibly attractive.

Rhodium plating is known to increase the luster and light reflection of silver-hued metals; besides, it improves durability and makes them more scratch-resistant, making it a perfect match for this spectacular piece of jewelry. Long, delicate, almost invisible chains, supporting the tiny pearl drops, gently sway with your every move, caress your neck and radiate light like strings of rain caught in the sunlight.

Young, charming and talented, Tatiana uses, to her great advantage, the previous hands-on experience at Chanel, where she designed hats and costume jewelry – to make volume and movement the strong points behind her creations.

Intriguing and delightful, they catch the eye without overpowering the person wearing them.

These earrings are longing to be worn.

TASAKI: KEEPING TO TRADITION BY BREAKING THE RULES

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JEWELRY, FASHION, DESIGN, SCULPTURE. WHAT CONNECTS THEM? I’VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR THE ANSWER – AND FOUND IT IN TASAKI.

A brand which invites fashion designers to create jewelry. A brand which treats high jewelry like very expensive bijoux. Who are they?

Tasaki – the Japan-founded high jeweler – is an amalgamation of tradition, quality, flight of imagination and creative audacity.

Established in 1954, Tasaki went through several decades of classic, expert and yet undistinguished jewelry-making – to become a daring, refined and exquisite high jewelry house, loved and valued by the bold and stylish.

The only jeweler in Japan to have their own pearl farms, both locally and in Myanmar, Tasaki makes the best of what this ownership has to offer: exceptional and pristine, sustainably and ethically produced pearls of the very highest quality.

The brand is also a sight-holder with De Beers, ensuring them access to the highest-grade diamonds, which are then cut into the desired shapes in their own Kobe workshops.

On top of that, the innovative genius of Tasaki’s creative and scientific minds has developed and patented SAKURAGOLD™ – a metal with the texture of 18k gold and a deeper pink hue, embodying Japanese aesthetics and making it closer to the natural color of human skin.

What started as traditional pearl jewelry has been modernized and refined through many collaborations, such as the one with Melanie Georgacopoulos. Trained as a sculptor, Melanie sliced, drilled and faceted the pearls, just as she would have done in a sculpture, jumping the hurdle between classic yet unremarkable pieces to elegant, avant-garde and audacious masterpieces.

The company’s CEO Toshikazu Tajima joined in 2009, embarking on a mission to take Tasaki from a brand producing designs which “could have been anybody” to a traditional yet progressive, exclusive Japanese high jewelry house, willing to take risks to produce exceptional and ambitious jewellery with a taste for Japanese patience, spirit, heritage and integrity.

It was Toshikazu Tajima who got the idea of inviting fashion designers to work on Tasaki’s jewelry designs to help the brand push through the status quo of mundane classics and, instead, make its creations more appealing to a modern audience.

Using original stone cuts to create a cascade of diamonds and semiprecious stones, and always playing around pearls, Tasaki has created these special earrings. Cool blue arctic frost and fresh morning dew on the moss of deep woods: modern and close to timeless nature, inspired by its beauty and magnified by imagination, as well as the sculptural take and skill of the brand’s designers and jewelers.

TRADITIONS, CRAFTSMANSHIP AND SOME MAGIC: SILK ROAD COLLECTION BY SILVIA FURMANOVICH

WEAR A CARPET IN YOUR EAR. SOUNDS CRAZY? BUT LOOKS INCREDIBLE!

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Yes, you heard it right.

Tiny, exquisite, tactile carpets, rugs and textile pieces of immense beauty, adorned with diamonds, opals, sapphires, beryls, turquoise, tsavorites, peridots, citrines and pearls, transformed into the shapes resembling the windows of the magnificent Central Asian mosques and other ritual buildings, miniature paintings or tapestry, with painstakingly delicate details.

This is the new Silk Road collection by an award-winning jeweler and hardcore enthusiast of travel, meeting people and immersing herself in tradition Silvia Furmanovich.

A magician of the jewelry art and an avid traveller, this time she directed her gaze—and trips—to the historical cities of Uzbekistan, which were once a part of the famous Silk Road: a centuries-old network of Eurasian trade routes, spanning over 4000 miles between China and the Roman Empire, playing a crucial role in the cultural, economic, political, religious, ideological and conceptual communication between the Eastermn and the Western worlds.

“Four men tossed a silk carpet into the air, and as it floated to the ground I envisioned a pair of earrings,” Silvia shared her impression of the unprecedented crafts she witnessed in the country.

Fitting more than one and a half thousand fine needle stitches and tiny knots within a drastically reduced surface—to make a single pair of earrings!—required the immense craftsmanship of the local artisans and the maximum power of persuasion from Silvia. A several metre-wide fabrique had to fit within just a few centimetres. Not just fit—but be perfectly and delicately dyed to flawlessly cover every spot and dot within the miniature surface.

To achieve this unusual perfection, Silvia met and talked to dozens of Uzbek silk weavers, fabric makers and vintage textile dealers and watched them work, exchanging ideas and getting inspiration from the colors and patterns, learning the ancient crafts and secret techniques, which at some point might vanish into oblivion—but will now be eternally and timelessly present in Silvia’s jewelry artworks.

After that, Silvia worked with the artisans in her hometown São Paulo: to embed those miniatures into unique pieces of jewelry. Apart from the traditional, delicate embroidery, the earrings, bracelets, clutch purses of the Silver Road collection include marquetry, bamboo weaving and tiny paintings, enclosed within the frames of gold and adorned with colorful gems.

The featured earrings have been inspired by the decorative, indigenous, hand-embroidered suzani technique, traditionally implemented with a cotton or a silk base, which is then embroidered on top.

Those tiny pieces of art are a reflection of the huge depths of tradition, mastery and creativity: all tied—or, in this case, knotted—together.

BONES, SWIRLS AND CHARISMATIC SPIRITUALITY: DOGUMA’S SYMBOLIC COLLECTION

THE TALISMANIC NATURE OF BONES, PROTECTING AND GIVING US STRENGTH, CUDDLED IN A TIGHT, GENTLE CURL OF DIAMONDS AND BLACK GOLD

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From ancient people’s earliest attempts to turn bones into beauty⁠, to the contemporary art of turning precious metals and stones into dazzling bones.

Denis Nesterov, founder of Doguma Jewelry and an ex-director of Cartier boutiques, is a graduate in philosophy, a GIA gemologist and, as he describes himself, a stoic, with a passion for Buddhism and Japanese culture. He followed this path, from the depths of the mystical meaning of bones as the fundamental framework of every living creature able to stand on their feet⁠ to the ethereal beauty of dainty and bizarre jewels.

Denis works with Japanese and Hong Kong jewelers to create Doguma (the Japanese pronunciation for “dogma”): jewels with external beauty and internal meaning, made in no more than 88 copies⁠ – for golden pieces, and 888 copies⁠ – for silver pieces.

The number of jewels was not selected by chance: eight is a lucky number in many cultures. Turned on its side, it looks like infinity, and is linked both with balance and harmony.

This is how the earrings from the staple Doguma collection ‘Bones’ were created. Harmonious and daring, implemented in black gold, white and milk diamonds, these talismanic and emotional pieces are rolled up like tumultuous whirlwinds, pulling us into the designer’s imagination and bringing us to a new reality.s

The paradox of these mischievous little tornadoes and their bone-hard stability: make sure to wear them with pizzazz, but don’t lose the ground under your feet!

WATER IS LIFE, WATER IS LOVE: INFUSED JEWELS AND HERBAL TEA BY HEMMERLE

WHAT DO GEMS, HERBS AND GRANNIES WITH PINK HAIR HAVE IN COMMON? FIND OUT IN THE NEW COLLECTION BY HEMMERLE AND COLLABORATING ARTISTS

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The house of Hemmerle has recently presented a new high jewelry collection ‘Infused Jewels’, accompanied by a charming contemporary fairy tale by Greta Bellamacina, illustrated by Rosanna Tasker, and a fragrant herbal tea by Kräutergarten München, stored in jars hand-crafted by Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg.

Many exceptional talents came together to conceptualize and create this marvellous experimental collection, resulting in both an enchanting tea blend and a magical blend of jewels. Lavender, ginger flowers, orange and linden blossom, lemon balm, verbena, sunflower, rosemary, cornflower, cinnamon and strawberries: aromatic plants that, when infused in a cup of hot water, bring sensory joy, can also heal and start a conversation, They have been integrated into anodized aluminium, diamonds, bronze, bisque porcelain, natural pearls, demantoid garnets, tanzanite and real cinnamon sticks.

In the ‘Infused Jewels’ book, a girl living in a world where everything is planned to the tiniest detail, together with her eccentric (aesthetically!), pink-haired grandma, starts to plant herbs to restore the beauty that has been lost, and to make her sweet granny a cup of ginger tea.

How many cups of tea can you have? Some days I cannot seem to stop. It has become my ritual, bringing me closer to nature, making me happy and calm.

When I was a child, I thought that people who don’t dream are dead souls. So, slow down, look around, take a sip and dream. Let beauty and invigorating, fragrant tea become your ritual too…

 

DEFYING THE LAWS OF GRAVITY: RINGS, BROOCHES, BANGLES AND EARRINGS BY FENG J

A UNIQUE TRADEMARK TECHNIQUE HELPS THE JEWELRY DESIGNER CREATE PIECES LIKE NO OTHER.

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Lightness, transparency and gentle colors, with gems held together as if by magic, visually not supported by any structure: jewelry designer Feng J uses her own, unique, innovative “Floating set” technique to make the gems appear to be floating in air, reflecting, refracting and allowing light to pass through them – to enhance the effects of phenomenal transparency, weightlessness and luminosity, as well as defying the laws of gravity.

The idea behind this signature technique is to reduce the weight of a piece by minimizing the amount of gold holding the stones together, while simultaneously retaining the large scale of the creation.

In these delicate, harmonious pieces, the stones are hand-picked and custom-cut by hand into 1–1.2 mm double rose-cuts and allocated the one and only correct place in the design, which may take months.

The Calla Lily Ring in emeralds, rose-cut diamonds and double rose-cut yellow sapphires and tsavorites will sumptuously embrace your wrist with its elegantly curved, electroplated green-colored gold bangle arm.

The Dreamland Butterfly Brooch in chrysoberyl, yellow quartz, tsavorites, marquise white diamonds, diamond beads and electroplated gold is a creature from a wonderland where production and implementation, as well as the invisible metal structure holding the entire piece together seems like a dream.

The Green Willow Leaf Earrings in green tourmaline, double rose-cut tsavorites, chrysoberyls, tanzanites, aquamarines, white diamond and electroplated gold quietly sway in the warm, late-spring air and soak up rays of light, emphasizing their refreshing colors.

The Yellow Ginkgo Leaf brooch – in double rose-cut yellow sapphires, orange sapphires, rose-cut round diamonds, pear-shaped diamonds and gold – brings joy and energy on its vibrant, sunny leaves.

In the Green Lily of the Valley Bangle in double rose-cut tsavorites, chrysoberyls, tanzanites, aquamarines, diamond beads, white diamond and electroplated gold, Feng J’s signature “Floating set” technique brings fantastic naturalism into the artwork, made even more delicate with its open, organic structure, all achieved through superb craftsmanship.

DAYDREAM AND WONDER: TREE OF LIFE EARRINGS BY JEWELLERY THEATRE

DRAMATIC AND TRANSCENDENT BEAUTY FROM A LYRICAL JEWELRY BRAND – FOR DREAMERS AND FOR BELIEVERS

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From the orchards and forests of the Bible came timber, giving humans a chance to make fire and cook food. Trees are always close to us, offering energy, air, beauty and hope; shadow on a hot summer day, warmth on a cold hiking night.

Trees made us what we are now. Studies say that a surge in the size of the human brain, which happened around 1.8 million years ago, could be directly linked to this innovation in cooking: the possibility of roasting meat, fish and vegetables over fire – a process that made it easier for the human gut to absorb calories. Were we still eating an exclusively raw, unprocessed diet, we would have to spend more than nine hours a day eating to get enough energy for our amazing and exceptionally large brains! 

In Jewellery Theatre’s Tree of Life Earrings, strong, white gold branches hold diamond drops – the rest is up to your imagination.

Founded in 1998, Jewellery Theatre soon found its way and established itself on the luxury goods market. The ideas of the brand spin around the philosophy of combining life with art, fantasy with reality, through a sure-fire recipe that mixes the genius of outstanding designers and the skill of master jewellers with a tasteful addition of theatricality.

As for the Tree of Life Earrings: what emotions do they bring out in you? Thoughts about the meaning of life? Joy? Wonder? Sweet sorrow? A powerful emotional outburst?

The human brain, nurtured by oxygen produced by the trees, will keep wondering. Always.

DROPS OF HONEY AND MORNING DEW BY ANABELA CHAN

FRESH… LIGHT…DELICIOUSLY REFINED!

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As Spring kicks in with full force, body and soul are longing for airiness and joy.

The Canary Atlantis Drop Earrings by award-winning jewelry designer Anabela Chan unify the delicacy of leaf veins in citrus-hued recycled aluminium, white gold and rhodium vermeil, and the transparency of lab-grown and simulated clear white diamonds, yellow sapphires and canary citrines.

The earrings come from the Mermaid’s Tale collection, which was inspired by the magic and marvels of the ocean depths.

Although unable to travel much due to the pandemic, Anabela Chan found a way to explore the deep waters through the eyes and camera lenses of her friends, Valentine Thomas  – a former lawyer, now a freediver, chef and sustainable seafood expert – and underwater photographer Lily Wang.

Characteristic of all Anabela’s jewels is their unique recognizability: each piece is different, yet you can instantly tell who is behind their creation.

In her designs, she uses lab-grown gems and recycled metals, focusing on ethical and sustainable materials, techniques and innovations.

For this collection, Anabela opted for waste metals found in the oceans and on polluted beaches, to contribute to the restoration of marine ecosystems. For every creation sold, the Anabela Chan jewelry brand pledges, through Sustainable Surf’s SeaTrees project (source: https://sea-trees.org/), to plant one hundred of the mangrove trees that thrive in coastal saline waters, protecting and restoring coastlines and the seas.

The aluminium used in the Canary Atlantis Drop Earrings, as well as other pieces from the Mermaid’s Tale collection, comes from recycled aluminium soda cans fished out from the ocean and is collected from beaches by eco enthusiasts as well as by Anabela and her own kids.

Spring is calling:

To be joyful.

To be kind to nature and to people.

To breathe in fresh air and bask in beauty…

WHITE GOLD SWIRLS AND DIAMOND SPLASHES: DÉFERLANTE BY CHAUMET

EIGHT UNIQUE JEWELS, INCLUDING A SECRET TIMEPIECE, IN A NEW COLLECTION GLORIFYING THE MAGNIFICENT POWER OF OCEAN WAVES

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Spilling waves, plunging waves, surging waves. Collapsing waves, tidal waves, progressive waves. Capillary waves, refracted waves, seiche waves.

Shallow wavelets, where children like to play, and dangerous reef breaks, tamed by daredevil surfers. Mellow ripples and dramatic tsunamis.

Some caused by the friction between surface water and the wind. Others, by the gravitational pull on our planet of the Sun and the Moon.

These powerful surges of energy have now been immortalised in the new high jewellery capsule collection Déferlante by Chaumet.

The Déferlante (“wave” in French) collection consists of eight pieces which make up a parure: a tiara set with 1,600 brilliant-cut and step-cut diamonds; a necklace, using Chaumet’s signature fil-couteau technique, where stones appear as if they are floating; two rings (one transformable); two sets of earrings; a brooch; and a secret watch with a Swiss mechanical self-winding movement, which comes in a limited edition of three pieces.

Combinations of white diamonds of different shapes and sizes cascade down intricate settings of white gold. Bold angles and clean, sculptural lines generate the sensation of movement, the bubbling murmur of the foam, the sparkling joy of splattering surf, and the majestic realization of the fragility of us, humans, when faced with the forces of nature.

How many times have you found yourself mesmerized by the vastness of the sea, watching the horizon, catching the movement of the waves, losing track of time?

Déferlante by Chaumet is exactly that: graceful as the poetry, powerful as the surge, timeless as the World’s oceans.

EXCEPTIONAL JEWELRY AND PROMINENT PHILANTHROPY: MEET THE BOGHOSSIANS

GENERATION AFTER GENERATION CONTRIBUTING BOTH TO THE WORLD OF BEAUTY AND TO THE WORLD OF PEOPLE

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Following a massive earthquake in Armenia in 1988, the Boghossian family were among the first to measurably invest in the country’s reconstruction and fund multiple economic, educational and cultural activities in Armenian cities. Between 2006 and 2010, the Boghossian Foundation sponsored the design and renovation of the public Lovers’ Park in Yerevan. After a disastrous explosion of ammonium nitrate in Beirut in 2020, the Foundation provided Lebanese youth with emergency food rations, invested in rebuilding schools and awarded multiple scholarships.

These are just a few examples of the humanitarian and philanthropic work of the Boghossians: Lebanese jewellers of Armenian descent, who currently operate flagship stores in Geneva, London and Hong Kong.

The Boghossian jewelry brand is unique in the way they treat stones. Using signature, patented techniques – the Art of Inlay, the Kissing Stones, and the Merveilles – they keep their jewelry light, delicate and dreamy, allowing the stones to breathe and shine on their own, without the limitations posed by metal settings.

In the Art of Inlay technique, gems are carved and smoothly set within one another to create a bewitching contrast and interplay of colours. This method has been known from ancient times: the great Taj Mahal with its marble inlays is the most famous historic and artistic example and inspires many pieces of Boghossian’s jewelry.

In the Kissing Stones technique, the stones support and hold each other, as if in a passionate embrace, without the use of metal fixtures.

Meanwhile, in the sophisticated Merveilles technique, the gems look as if they are floating in air, freed from any golden backbone, creating an atmosphere of lightness and fluidity.

The development and refinement of these techniques must surely have taken many experiments, mistakes and shattered gems. The effort was worth it: today, exceptional and rare Boghossian jewels are highly sought after by art collectors and jewellery aficionados, and they are breaking world records at auctions.

Founded by Ovaness Boghossian back in 1868 at the centre of the Silk Road, the Boghossian brand does not rest on its laurels and stays strong in pursuit of its goals: to find harmony between Eastern and Western styles, to maintain perfect balance between cultural heritage and modern design, and to bring even more beauty and humanity into our world.

STORIES IN A LOCKET BY MARIE LICHTENBERG 

CULTURES, FABLES AND TRADITIONS FROM MANY DISTANT LANDS, UNIFIED IN JOYOUS AND COLORFUL DESIGNS   

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Forçat chains from traditional Creole jewelry. Mauli threads, crafted from used saris by artisans in Dhaka, India, which are said to protect the wearer. Hand-made Ghanaian beads, sourced from Krobo and Ashanti Ghana, which were once a form of national currency, now stemming from a know-how passed on from generation to generation. Golden chains handcrafted in Italy. French flair and emotionality.

Surely this is the very definition of “from all over the world”.

In her designs, Maria Lichtenberg has gathered colorful, meaningful and deep-rooted concepts, traditions and materials from many different countries and cultures, and transformed them into exquisite, fun and charming lockets.

Representing our purest and deepest feelings and desires, they come in a kaleidoscope of colors, emotions, materials and techniques. The uplifting mottos – Amour, Bonheur, Believe, Will Protect You Forever – are branded on the side of most of the jewels.

A traditional chain with a locket clasp that symbolizes emancipation and freedom in Creole culture was given to a teenage Marie by her mother – an artistic director at an advertising agency with Martiniquan roots, who also ran a small vintage jewelry boutique as a side business. “This style of Forçat necklace was crafted by slaves when they were freed,” explains Marie in her interview to Net-a-Porter.

Later, after years of working as a fashion editor for the ELLE France magazine, this spiritual connection with jewelry evoked the ideas behind what has now become the Marie Lichtenberg brand.

To make her designs come to life, Marie cooperates with jewelry experts, and sources materials and components from across the globe.

Amongst others, the techniques used in her creations include sophisticated hand-enameling; guilloche – a decorative technique where intricate and repetitive patterns are mechanically engraved into metal with a rose engine lathe machine; repoussé and chasing – metalworking techniques where the metal is shaped by hammering it to create a low relief design.

Déja vu: my mother gives me a long-desired candy. Hidden in a bright, golden wrapper, it promises the most delicious, sweet and phantasmagoric tastes available in our world.

This is what Marie Lichtenberg’s brand stands for: heritage, good vibes, personal connections, unforgettable memories and new, wonderful stories to be shared with the special people in our lives.

The only drawback of these irresistible, bohemian and talismanic charmers is that one is never enough.

They will leave you wanting more!

FOR UKRAINE

WHAT CAN WE SAY WHEN THE SKY IS FALLING?

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In these dark times how can we go to work and go about our daily routines when somewhere – not so far away – people just like you and me are losing everything they have: lives, health, homes, parents, children, friends, hopes, youth, love, freedom?

How can we, in our sophisticated, modern society, live with this?!

I remember, a decade ago, when I was just starting my career and trying to make sense of the fashion world, I admired Franca Sozzani (then editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia), who had a smart way of covering events happening around the globe: without polemic, but rather through incredible, expressive photoshoots.

I’ve promised myself that my art curation articles will never be subject to geopolitical context and opinions. However, today I’m finding it extremely difficult to stay neutral.

I continue working with a huge hole in my heart, praying for children who have lost their parents, for desperate mothers losing their young sons.

Time and time again I ask myself: isn’t it superficial to continue writing about material things such as art and jewelry when there is so much urgent pain? Today I had a tiny breakthrough:

There are no limits to ugliness, nor to beauty. There are no limits to pain, nor to happiness. There are no limits to how much people can destroy, nor to the beauty that they can create.

And there is also hope in the realization that there are still people around us who are able to create rather than to destroy.

Here is a piece of Nomis jewelry, born in Kyiv, Ukraine. A little piece from the fragile world of beauty, to represent the immense creativity and the beautiful people of Ukraine…

REFINEMENT IN ASYMMETRY: GALONS BY DIOR

THE RIBBONS OF DIOR FOUND THEIR WAY INTO HIGH JEWELRY. AND THEY ARE HERE TO STAY.

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We are all somewhat asymmetric. An ironically raised eyebrow, a lopsided smile, a flirtatious dimple on a cheek: this slight asymmetry is what makes our faces look emotional.

In the new high jewelry collection from Dior – Galons Dior – combinations of straight lines, curves, circles, dots, triangles, ovals, rectangles, spheres, cubes, cuboids and prisms of gems are arranged in delightfully irregular shapes from varying styles and epoch, demonstrating Victoire de Castellane’s revolutionary approach to jewelry: the modern eclecticism.

A new wave in the industry, these pieces are highly desirable and effortlessly wearable. All 81 original pieces, encrusted with clear diamonds, dreamy sapphires, luscious rubies and vibrant emeralds, intertwine twirling, waltzing ribbons: galons. Spontaneous and harmonious, they are sublime combinations of the incompatible.

Inspiration drawn from couture is not new to the creative director of Dior Joaillerie. Take, for example, the 2014 Archi Dior high jewelry collection, designed by Victoire de Castellane, which includes the Bar en Corolle emerald bracelet that resembles the sumptuous shape of Dior’s emblematic Bar jacket, while petal-shaped diamond earrings echo the anatomy of Dior’s Junon gown.

The clothes we wear are asymmetric, spontaneously swishing, whirling and creasing as we move. Beautifully cut hair is blown by the wind into the most unexpected shapes. But if those shapes have been brought to life by a true master, this seeming imperfection approaches perfection: appealing, enigmatic and tempting.

As tempting as the refined asymmetry of Galons Dior.

A LUXURIOUS BRIDGE BETWEEN THEN AND NOW: BOUCHERON’S NEW MAHARAJAH

THE FRENCH JEWELER DRAWS INSPIRATION FROM ONE OF THEIR MOST IMPRESSIVE ORDERS OF THE PAST. BORING? AU CONTRAIRE – UTTERLY ASTONISHING!

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If a Maharajah opened the doors of Boucheron’s studio today, what would he say?

The Maharajahs of India did not mind dressing up in the most expensive, sumptuous and rarе gems from tip to toe. The extravagant Maharajah Sir Bhupinder Singh, ruler of the princely state of Patiala from 1900 to 1938, was no exception – rather, an exemplary connoisseur of opulent and magnificent jewels.

According to Alain Boucheron, in 1927, the pompous arrival of the Maharajah to Place Vendôme was accompanied by caskets filled with a prodigious amount of precious stones -emeralds, sapphires, rubies and pearls (Master Jewelers by A. Kenneth Snowman).

A tribute to prosperity, high mastership and extreme beauty, Boucheron’s New Maharajah collection stands at the junction of two eras, two distinctive cultures and mindsets: those grandiose jewels created by Boucheron for the Maharajah of the past, and twenty-first century Europe.

Boucheron is building a bridge across centuries and continents. The Maison’s Creative Director, Claire Choisne, revisited one of the most desirable orders ever placed at Place Vendôme and figured out what they could offer to a modern Maharajah.

An epitome of jewelry tradition and history, this French luxury jewelry house, dating back to the 19th century, brings together advanced technology, cutting-edge craftsmanship, the highest industry standards and impressive heritage jewels.

In this new collection, curious and innovative Claire made a radical decision to use, with just a few exceptions, mainly transparent and white gems and metals: diamonds, pearls, rock crystal and white gold. She modernized the archive designs by resizing them and making them multifunctional, to fit the purposes and lifestyle of the contemporary international elite.

The New Maharani parure comprises three dramatic and delicate necklaces: the Majestic Lotus Necklace, the Crystal Necklace, and the Nacre Necklace, which were designed to be worn together. However, each of these masterpieces also shines on its own. Besides, the necklaces may be disassembled, rearranged and transformed into multiple wearable versions.

In the monochrome Majestic Lotus Choker Necklace, resembling, according to Claire Choisne, a diamond lace, diamonds intersperse with the pure drops of rock crystal to make the magnificent, transformable piece look featherlight.

The New Maharani Crystal Necklace, with several strands of carved stone crystal, interspersed with diamond details and white pearls, is closed at the back with cords and adorned with pearl tassels.

Meanwhile, the New Maharani Nacre Necklace has a large, flat tassel, crowned with a diamond and mother-of-pearl lotus flower, and can be transformed into as many as seven different forms, including a short necklace and two pearl bracelets.

Rock crystal symbolizes purity of thought, innocence and fidelity. The ten subtle New Churiyans Bracelets were inspired by the bangles of Indian brides. Their coquettish, tinkling sound is a subtle reminder of the wearer’s presence at any occasion and in any location. When not adorning the wrist, they can be stored on a mother-of-pearl bobbin, designed specifically for them. 

The product of innovation and the inquisitive mind of the creators, this retrospect with its modern outlook is anything but old-fashioned. The advanced technology and design, the sublime, monochrome and tastefully transparent palette, intelligent and masterful use of beaming diamonds, opalescent pearls and water-clear crystal make for an astonishing result, bound to remain in the history of jewelry. 

JEWELRY BY NIKOS KOULIS: WHERE LUXURY MEETS MASTERY

IF “EMOTIONAL JEWELS WITH THE INTENSITY OF A LOVE AFFAIR” IS WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, YOU CAME TO THE RIGHT PLACE

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Master of design, Nikos Koulis effortlessly fuses the strict, geometric motifs of Art Deco with refined, feminine flavor. Dynamic and light, with clean lines and intricate settings, his pieces radiate timeliness and timelessness with luxury expressed through a prism of meticulous craftsmanship and quality.

Nikos Koulis has a growing collection of trophies for his designs: the GEM Award 2020 in Jewelry Design; Couture Design Award 2015 in the Bridal Category; in 2016 and 2018
in the Haute Couture Category; in 2019 in the Gold Category – and the list goes on. But we should let his pieces speak for themselves.

A dynamic and flawless blend of gold, diamonds, colored gems and enamel produce ever-relevant jewels with a liberating, modern twist.

Most of Nikos’s collections are implemented in the classic black and white palette, while the addition of deep green emeralds, sensual pearls and seductive rubies adds a game-changing, uplifting touch.

The three pieces featured in this article, all set with white diamonds and emeralds, from the V and the Universe Line collections, carry a straightforward message: design dominates.

Nikos plays with shapes, repetitions and deceptively simple combinations to achieve a distinctive aesthetic: quintessential sophistication mixed with Western minimalism. The open triangle earrings from the V collection, in white gold, with white diamonds, emeralds and glossy black enamel, are an elegant experiment with the classic geometric shape.

The dangling, long earrings from the same collection, in white gold, set with white diamonds and emeralds, are a stunner. The exquisite stones in special shades and cuts are sourced by Nikos Koulis from all over the world.

In the long, chandelier earrings from his Universe Line collection – white gold with white diamonds and emerald – the masterful use of clear, translucent enamel enriches the natural radiance of the gems.

Nikos Koulis has tapped into the zeitgeist of today. Will he also become the designer of the future? With the artistic potential that he has exhibited so far, he sure can.

 

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