British architecture is possibly one of the most stimulating sources of inspiration in design. Well, at least for fashion now. Independent Singapore high-end jewellery designer Simone Ng belongs to that pack, with her recently launched collection building on the idea of the grandeur and history of architecture of the British Isles.
And she got some expert help for the project too: by collaborating with her good pal and award-winning architect Jason Pomeroy for the outing. As a result of their tie-up, Ng has launched a six-piece, one-of-a-kind ring collection called Jewels Of Architecture that centres around buildings which Pomeroy shortlisted. Among the buildings that made the cut are the ruins of the Berry Pomeroy Castle and the Kings College Chapel at Cambridge.
Each of these places bears a special meaning to Pomeroy and are interpreted by Ng into whopper-sized, look-at-me, yet intricate ring designs, centred around a precious gemstone like a 9.56-carat unheated green peridot and 18.20-carat sugarloaf-cut aquamarine. Another spin that Ng gave to the architectural theme? Most of the rings come with a secret compartment under the stones to reveal more minute hand-crafted details that reflect the essence of the respective buildings. Here, Ng shares how the collection started.
How did your collaboration with Jason Pomeroy happen?
I have an inspiration theme for my collection every year. This year’s theme is “Quintessentially British” and involves everything English-inspired. I was in England last year and was very inspired by the various architectural styles of the buildings I saw.
This gave me the idea of a capsule collection based on iconic English buildings. To make it even more interesting, I figured ‘Why not collaborate with an architect?’. Naturally, I thought of my British friend, Jason [Pomeroy], whom I have known for many years.
Why settle on rings and not other forms of jewellery for this collaboration?
Rings are the easiest form of jewellery to admire when you have them on (as compared to earrings or necklaces). They are great conversational pieces too. In terms of the design, rings give me greater freedom to play on the design with lesser restrictions.
I am able to play up on the size and details without having to compromise the comfort and fit. Finally, rings are the most frequently worn piece of accessory compared to earrings and necklaces.
How was Pomeroy involved in the entire design process?
Jason shortlisted some key buildings in England as an inspiration for each of the rings. We arranged them according to a sequence whereby each ring would track the evolution of British architectural history, and also factor in how these buildings have touched Jason’s life.
I visited London twice to see these buildings myself to learn how one architectural design is different from another. Thereafter, I started to sketch the rings. For each design, I pulled the elements of the respective building’s architectural style to design the ring shank and within a secret compartment of each ring, the interiors of each building are featured in miniature size.
What were some of the design challenges you face for this collection?
Firstly, we couldn’t get hold of the sugarloaf-cut stones I so wanted to use as these high-quality ones are very rare these days — we ended up cutting them. Plus, translating the sketches onto real-life pieces was technically challenging. We also worked on a very tight timeline with my production team working almost 20 hours daily just to complete them on time.
There seems to be a lot of play on secret ring designs for this outing. Why so?
There are so many details in this collection and you can’t capture this wholly on the ring shank. I wanted to capture the beauty of both the facade as well as interiors of each building that the ring is based on. Having the interiors of the building housed in the secret compartment of the ring gives it a very special touch adds that extra layer of mystery.