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Watches & Jewellery

These Designer Jewellery Brands Make The Most Unique, Intricate Pieces

#1: Lauren Khoo
Who: This New York-based Singaporean, who launched her label Lauren X Khoo in 2014, boasts megawatt credentials: an architecture and visual arts degree from Brown, a graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America, and a prominent family name that she’s notoriously press-shy about (which explains why she declined to share her profile photo). She prefers to let her works speak for themselves, and they do – her stockists run the most trendsetting of retailers, including Dover Street Market and www.modaoperandi.com. From US$1,600 (S$2,250). #1: Lauren Khoo
Her signature: Wearable works of art that are pretty, playful, yet thoroughly modern, bringing to mind the designs of revered, game-changing jewellers like Victoire de Castellane and Solange Azagury-Partridge. Her latest collection of rings and pendants, for example, is inspired by the animals in the Chinese zodiac, but the results look more akin to mini Jeff Koons sculptures. She also has a knack for pieces with moving parts – cue her Delight & Bleed Me pendant, which comes in the shape of a three-dimensional rose gold and ruby-encrusted heart, with three white gold arrows that can be pierced through it. #2: Daniela Villegas
Who: She’s Salma Hayek’s sister-in-law (yep, she’s Mexican) who started her Los Angeles-based namesake label in 2009, and went from insider secret to fashion A-lister after a Salvatore Ferragamo tie-up two years ago. #2: Daniela Villegas
Her signature: Bold, eclectic and wildly unexpected nature-inspired pieces (from US$1,100, www.net-a-porter.com) that look like they should belong in a natural history museum – except that they’re encrusted in gold and a vibrant mix of coloured stones. Creepy crawlies are a speciality – think oversized cocktail rings in the form of spiders and beetles (the latter reportedly incorporates the head of the real thing). She also has a decidedly cheeky side, reimagining the likes of a bird’s skeletal remains into drop earrings swinging from emeralds, or a rose gold guinea pig-shaped pendant that can be opened up to reveal a “baby” inside. #3: Suparin Chavanaves
Who: Thai high society regular, marketing expert, and scion of the family behind 102-year-old, Bangkok-based high jewellery business Mian Teck, known for its Art Deco and Edwardian-inspired pieces. Two years ago – after stints at Gucci and Polo Ralph Lauren in New York – she started Chavana, an offshoot of Mian Teck that she co-runs with her cousins. #3: Suparin Chavanaves
Her signature: Sprightly, fashionable updates of the ornate, vintage styles her family helped champion. Introduced to Singapore last year by diamond company Facets (call 6235-1724 for private appointments), they include the Black Deco collection that reinterprets graphic Art Deco shapes into cool yet elegant rings and bracelets, all in black onyx and white diamonds. Meanwhile, the Heritage pieces reinvent the jewellery of ancient China and Egypt in a bold, punchy mix of carved and coloured stones. In the Signature line, classic designs festooned in rubies, sapphires and emeralds are given a modern twist with innovative cuts, showing off the brand’s meticulous craftsmanship. An adapted version first appeared in Female‘s April 2016 issue.  Like this? See how Hermes’ graphic jewellery can be worn multiple ways.