Showing posts with label jewellery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jewellery. Show all posts

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Bonjour Beirut: Falamank does vintage, modern and antique jewellery like no one else…

As someone with eclectic taste in fashion, I rarely make big definitive statements about my style. But here is one which I’m sure will be true for a long long time to come: if I had to choose only one jeweller to wear their pieces for the rest of my life, it has to be fellow Lebanese designer Tarfa Itani of Falamank.

I hear you ask what about my love for antique jewellery? Well, the best part is that Tarfa makes her own designs AND picks some amazing antique jewellery from around the world to sell or even transform into statement pieces without undermining or ruining their appeal.

I was first introduced to Tarfa’s work just over two years ago on my wedding day, when my fashionista extraordinaire cousin gifted me a delicate gold and diamond bracelet, featuring a flying dove. I instantly fell in love with it as it was something I would pick for myself and naturally I decided to find out more about this Beirut-based label and catch up with the designer for this blog.

An exceptional pendant from Falamank's Mosaic collection...  
'Omri' ring: Arabic for 'My life' as in 'sweetheart', how sweet is that?

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

When East meets West: My top 5 picks from ‘I Love Designer’

When I met I Love Designer founder G. Bond on my last trip in London, she was on a mission. As a product of Eastern and Western upbringing herself, she wanted to create a platform where East meets West specifically when it comes to creative and emerging talents.

Her recently launched e-boutique - which specializes in luxury accessories - is certainly one to stand out, as it carefully selects beautiful products from various parts of the world.

And while big brand names from both sides of the worlds are ever so expanding nowadays, smaller, independent boutique brands are much harder to get hold of unless you live in that specific city or part of the world where they happen to exist.

This is exactly where I Love Designer comes as an exciting new place where all these cool brands have become available regardless which part of the world you live in.

Rocking this Queen of Hearts bangle certainly takes some attitude!! I'm in love
with this piece from Manish Arora for Amrapali collection available on the site!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Chinese New Year: an updated take on Jade jewellery

One of the (many!!!!) things I love about living in Asia is how traditions are carried on from one generation to another.

Take Chinese New Year for example. Despite a largely westernized lifestyle in a city like Singapore, people still celebrate it massively and families gather for a traditional meals and exchange of Ang Pows on the night.

It’s the same with fashion. Instead of starting from scratch, a lot of the upcoming designers have been re-interpreting traditional clothes and jewellery to make them more relevant to their generation and lifestyle without losing their charm and identity.

While in clothes it is mainly cheongsams, in jewellery it has to be jade! Specifically Choo Yilin, a Singaporean designer who is updating staples like the solid jade bangle, ring and Bi (jade disc) to fit into our modern wardrobes.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

TSURA: Tribal chic jewellery

I donno if being a Middle Eastern or travelling a lot had to do with my fascination by tribal jewellery. So much so to an extent that in almost every city I’ve been to, I never left without a statement piece as a souvenir to later add to my ever expanding collection. For me, no piece of dainty diamond encrusted jewellery can match the charm these traditional pieces embody!

But as much as I love my OTT – sometime antique, decades old pieces - bought from rural parts of places like Yemen, Nepal, Iran, Syria and Jordan I do find it hard to pull off on daily basis and I’m always on the look for something slightly more chic and wearable yet still as interesting to go with my wardrobe.

My latest find, jewellery label TSURA takes inspiration from the travels of its HK-born Singapore-based designer Tara Thadani who grew up globe-trotting the world, and provides pieces with are tribal in their theme yet very wearable and chic.

TSURA's Daphne necklace is inspired by tribal potion bottle used in voodoo
practices. Who would have thought black magic could look so chic?

Friday, 14 December 2012

7 Fashionable Christmas gift ideas for HIM

We all know what it’s like shopping for the significant man in your life.

Whether it’s the husband, boyfriend, dad, son, nephew or best friend, no-one wants to descend into the Christmas cliché of socks, ties and aftershaves.

It’s always hard finding the right present for each person but finding a fashionable one is even harder.

Never fear, because auntie Bonjour is here to give you a handy guide to being the most awesome gift giver this festive season.

Luckily I’ve done the work for you and shortlisted my top Christmas gift ideas for HIM. Almost all of them are by Singaporean designers and there is something for every budget.

So whether your budget is S$30 or S$300, you’ll find something that will hit the spot. Thank me later ;-)

These LookMyBaboush Arabian-inspired unisex shoes is one my
picks for this Christmas' gifts.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Hadasity: Hand made statement jewellery from Singapore

When it comes to accessories, for me it’s go big or go home!

But even those people who prefer more dainty and classic pieces, they probably still agree that the more unique, spontaneous and preferably hand crafted the piece is – the better.

It's ironic that despite Singapore's leaning towards minimalist style, there seems to be a great deal of home-grown interesting and unique jewellery labels, one of which happens to fit right into my style–Hadasity.

I first came across this label at Soon Lee boutiquein Haji Lane and fell in love with the colourful and unpredictable pieces mostly assembled from vintage trinkets and wires. Recently I got a chance to meet Hadassah Lau, the extremely talented woman who designs and handcrafts every single piece at a Hadasity event to launch their new September collection.

Singapore jewellery label Hadasity
One of Hadasity's unique and stunning necklaces! So random
but beautiful...

Hadassah - founder of Hadasity jewellery label
Hadassah is as bubbly as her creations and clearly loves
her craft!

Friday, 3 August 2012

IEX Asian Heritage: Giving History a Fashionable Twist

Before I became a blogger, fashion played a big part of my life and was an essential component of any of my many travel itineraries. But believe it or not, there was one other thing which interested me (and still interests me) even more and constantly determines my next destinations. I’m talking about art and heritage.

As consumable as fashion might be, I’ve also always considered it to be an art form and a way of expression which has an esteemed place in the greatest museums in the world and has more to it than the surface value. Just one look at how fashion and culture intertwined in history is enough to show its cultural and even social value – from ancient times to modern day.

My idea couldn’t have been translated better than when I witnessed this marriage of heritage, culture and fashion in the shape of the IEX Asian Heritage project which launched this week at the Asian Civilisation Museum.

White Pauling Ning dress from the IEX Asian Heritage project in Singapore
How cool is it to know that this PAULINE.NING dress was inspired
by a piece of artifact in the museum? And yes, you can even buy
it now! That's museum shopping taken to a different level!

Singapore designer Diane Tang's scarf and necklace is inspired by pieces from the Asian Civilisations Museum
Want more? Here is a scarf and necklace by Diana Tang, a talented young
Singaporean designer who also took inspiration from precious pieces
of Asian history

Friday, 13 July 2012

13 Lucky Monkey: Custom skull rings from the Philippines

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise to you, but I’ve never been much of a rock chick.

Sure, I’ve got perfect headbanging hair, laugh at my husband bouncing around the room to 80s metal and regularly impersonate Slash at fancy dress parties, but that’s about the extent of my dabbling in rock n’ roll.

While I find the biker culture cool, I’ve never been near a real hog (I don’t even know how to ride a bicycle) and I’ve never been into skulls – even when they were massively in fashion with the Swarovski set.

So why am I talking about skulls, bikers and metal? It’s because I’ve found something that has opened my eyes.

Custom silver skull rings from Manila's 13 lucky monkey
Give me a hell yeah! Philippine label 13 Lucky Monkey's awesome skull rings

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

My Vintage Jewel Box: Artisanal jewellery, hand-made with love

One of the best things about artisanal jewellery is not only the individuality of the pieces but also the fact that you are keeping traditions alive. Ready-made, mass produced pieces can be pretty of course but they don’t have that charm. That special something which only a hand-made piece can bring to the table.

And it’s not just old aunties and uncles who are keeping this tradition alive. We’re lucky that there are still people like Carrie K flying the flag for a dying artform.

Another young buck (or deer) striving to prove Singapore does produce things is Ryn, a young artisan who hand-makes each piece of jewellery from scratch using traditional techniques and tools.

Breaking away from the conventional styles, Ryn’s works under her label ‘My Vintage Jewel Box’ have an organic-vintage touch - hewn from raw quality materials like silver, gold and natural gemstones, and heavily influenced by nature and vintage styles. 

Ryn, working on a set of rings at her humble studio space.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Singapore's Carrie K. Jewellery: Pin me up with style!

Don’t be fooled into thinking that simple is easy. On the contrary the simpler some ideas are, the more difficult it is to make them interesting and at the same time… timeless!

The secret? It’s all in the little details. Whether its minimalist décor, iPads or even shoes. It’s a painstaking process making something look so aesthetically pleasing yet effortlessly functional.

Take accessories as an example. How often do you see beautiful, unique yet simple jewelry? Hardly ever right?

The mantra of jewellery has always been more is more. Simplicity rarely enters into the equation unless we are taking about boring mass-produced pieces which are just ‘blah’.
Thankfully, Singapore has the answer in the shape of Accessories label Carrie K.

Who would have thought that something ordinary like the safety pin could be the inspiration
for this beautiful and delicate ring?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Weekend Want: Mudan’s exquisite jade necklace

One of the most profound heartfelt moments of the last few years was when I was given a vintage jade necklace by my mother-in-law.

The more I explored Asian culture, the more I realised how precious this gift was, not least because my husband’s mother is Hong Kong Chinese and fully understands the deep traditional and symbolic value of such a gift. Jade in Chinese culture symbolizes beauty, nobility, perfection, constancy, power, and immortality and thus has always the stone of choice since ancient times.

Such a precious gift was made even greater because she was given the necklace by her own mother. I’m not joking when I tell you I sometimes well up thinking about it.

My weekend want for CNY is this gorgeous coral and black jade
Red Flourish necklace from HK-based jeweller Mudan