Local talent adds shine to London showcase

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 June, 2012, 12:00am


Some of Asia's most creative jewellery designers will be at Brilliant, a diamond exhibition taking place at Masterpiece London this weekend.

Michelle Ong of Carnet and Wendy Yue - both from Hong Kong - as well as Taiwan-born, New York-based Anna Hu and Cindy Chao are showing the best of their work.

Masterpiece London, now in its third edition, is the city's leading art and antiques fair. It presents an amazing array of antique jewels.

Jewellery expert and author Carol Woolton was asked to curate an exhibition which would resonate with the other sculpture, art and architecture on show.

'Carol has always loved my pieces, which are artistic works but can be fun,' says Ong, who is showcasing a yellow and white diamond William Pear brooch and a new pair of chandelier earrings, Sunwave, that feature flat diamonds worked in an antique crochet effect.

These took over a year to make in her Hong Kong workshop.

'There is no such thing as serious jewellery. It is a serious thing to make, but you can play with how you wear it,' Ong says.

Her pieces are presented alongside a mosaic bangle of trees set with coloured diamonds, and pagoda earrings from Wendy Yue for Annoushka. There's also a diamond fan with a detachable brooch by Chao and a double-hooped hibiscus ring from Hu.

'Chinese designers have a strong influence on jewellery design at the moment, making ancient motifs and rituals modern,' says Woolton.

'They bring a new contemporary vision to design and a delicacy in the way they work with stones, like painting watercolours.'

There are extraordinary interior pieces on display, like a diamond and black gold chandelier by Solange Azagury-Partridge valued at GBP1.8 million (HK$21.7 million) and the 3-D portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, by Chris Levine. The hologram shows her wearing the diadem she wore for her coronation, recreated by luxury brand Asprey. The piece is in a sealed-bid auction on July 5.

'I'm trying to show how modern diamonds are, and their new role within an artistic environment - diamonds in artworks,' explains Woolton, who has also attracted fashion contributions.

The worlds of fashion and jewellery are inextricably linked. But they collide head-on in Karl Lagerfeld's jewel-studded leather collar. This creates a striking new way to wear diamonds. It is the first piece of jewellery he has designed and has a 'heroic whiff of grandeur', says Woolton.

Hermes presents a diamond and gold-chain bag, and Bruno Frisoni at Roger Vivier has collaborated with the East India Company on a pair of diamond-studded shoes.

The design, which will come to Hong Kong and China soon, is based on the fleur-de-lis shoes that Roger Vivier designed for the Queen to wear to her coronation, with the added flourish of black feathers.

Brilliant at Masterpiece, London runs until July 4. masterpiecefair.com