JeweLuxe 2022 back to dazzle with some of the world’s most unique bling

Visitors can feast their eyes on more than US$200 million (S$287 million) worth of jewels and gemstones at the annual JeweLuxe fair. PHOTO: JEWELUXE WORLD

SINGAPORE – At first glance, the baby octopuses look alive. Their writhing tentacles reach up, as if searching for food.

But human hands, not nature, created them, with about 280 hours devoted to just one pair of octopus earrings.

Studded with amethysts, diamonds and purple sapphires, these works of wearable art were crafted by Masterstrokes by Jewels Emporium, an Indian jewellery house known for its French enamelling techniques.

The earrings are one of the highlights of JeweLuxe 2022, an annual luxury jewellery fair featuring some of the most celebrated houses and designers from around the world.

From Oct 21 to 30, Singapore, also represented at the event, will be the setting for more than US$200 million (S$287 million) worth of jewels and gemstones.

Back with a bang after two years of remaining fairly low-key, the fair also returns to its 10-day duration and trademark tent set-up outside Ngee Ann City, which had been its mainstay venue since its inception in 2017.

Due to the pandemic, the 2020 edition was held over four months at various partner retailers’ premises all over the island, while in 2021, it was hosted at JeweLuxe’s pop-up gallery at Scotts Square for a year.

JeweLuxe also serves as the anchor event for UltraLuxe, a Singapore Tourism Board-supported festival that promotes haute design and meticulous craftsmanship in not just jewellery, but also watches, fashion and lifestyle pieces.

Growing out of JeweLuxe, one of Asia’s premier jewellery events, the inaugural UltraLuxe includes appreciation workshops and runway shows in its line-up.

“UltraLuxe marks a pivotal point in the evolution of JeweLuxe. Over the past two pandemic years, the luxury market has seen continued momentum and interest, and is expected to grow further this year,” says Ms Angela Loh, JeweLuxe founder and creator of UltraLuxe.

She adds that appreciation of creations by independent brands has increased as well-heeled consumers around the world “rally behind niche brands in their respective cities”.

Of more than 60 jewellery brands exhibiting at the fair this year, 26 are from Singapore.

“Singapore brands have a certain flair that merges the pragmatic with the whimsical,” says Ms Loh, noting that this quality caters to a “society of more rational and practical shoppers”.

One of the most affordable pieces at the fair – a handcrafted pair of 18K gold drop earrings by home-grown brand Risis – is priced at $580, while other jewellery pieces are retailing for millions of dollars.

A growing concern for nature can be seen in this year’s designs.

Some jewellers, says Ms Loh, have processes to ensure environmentally friendly practices throughout their supply chain. Risis and Kimberly McDonald, for instance, take care to reduce their carbon footprint during production. The American label also uses recycled materials to create jewellery.

At the end of the day, UltraLuxe is all about “purpose-focused” luxury, Ms Loh notes.

“Purposeful luxury is the pursuit of purpose and meaning in design and craft,” she explains. This means finding value not only in what will support one’s sense of self, but also what will sustain world culture, natural resources and the environment.

“It is about going beyond fads and the conventional,” she says. “Coupled with borders reopening and consumers investing in purposeful luxury before the goods and services tax (GST) hike next year, we are expecting a strong response for the festival as we head towards the year-end festive season.”

Here are six exquisite pieces to whet your appetite.

The Odyssey Necklace by Poh Heng Couture (Singapore), $370,000

PHOTO: POH HENG COUTURE

Empress Dowager Cixi might well have taken a shine to this Mandarin collar-inspired necklace if it had been presented to her. Crafted with diamonds and 18K white and yellow gold, it showcases the ancient Chinese art of goldsmithing. Complete the look with a matching pendant, bangle, earrings and ring.

Natural Geode Drop Earrings by Kimberly McDonald (United States), $31,150

PHOTO: KIMBERLY MCDONALD

Sustainable luxury is Kimberly McDonald’s approach to jewellery. This pair of earrings accentuates the natural beauty of geodes – hollow rocks that contain crystals – with diamonds, emeralds and white gold. Former US first lady Michelle Obama is said to be a fan of the jeweller.

Lotus Marquetry Earrings by Silvia Furmanovich (Brazil), US$12,550 (S$17,990)

PHOTO: SILVIA FURMANOVICH 

Made using the lavishly ornamental art of marquetry, these earrings pair 18K gold with diamond, citrine, ruby and sapphire. They are part of the brand’s Egypt collection, which celebrates the splendour of the archaeological sites found along the Nile River.

Destino Incantato Necklace by Sicis Jewels (Italy), US$142,935 (S$204,990)

PHOTO: SICIS JEWELS

Dripping with diamonds, tanzanites and rubellites, this white gold necklace makes use of micro mosaic, a Roman craft that became particularly popular in the 18th century. The technique involves cutting miniature pieces of opaque glass and stones into tiny pieces assembled to form images. In this necklace, the pieces, known as tesserae, have been arranged into striking, colourful lines.

Unconcerned Youth Brooch by Tenzo (Estonia), US$38,000 (S$54,500)

PHOTO: TENZO

This brooch is a fine example of the ancient craft of glyptics, the art of carving gemstones into ornaments. Featuring a carved ametrine, this sapphire-and-diamond encrusted brooch showcases the work of master craftsman Vladimir Popovich.

Moldavite and Diamond Tower Ring by Zahira (Thailand), US$14,500 (S$20,790)

PHOTO: ZAHIRA

One of the world’s rarest gemstones, moldavite is a greenish glassy stone that was formed after a meteorite strike in Europe some 15 million years ago. This art deco ring blends a rare 10.63-carat moldavite with 18K white gold and 2-carat towers of pave diamonds. Due to the scarcity of moldavite, the value of this piece looks set to rise in the years to come.

JeweLuxe 2022

Where: Tent @ Ngee Ann City, Civic Plaza, 391A Orchard Road
When: Oct 21 to 30, noon to 7pm
Admission: Free
Info: https://str.sg/wHv5

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