Singapore JewelFest 2012: Ten Nights of Bewildering Brilliance

A sea of twinkling diamonds lay before my bourgeois line of sight, their fiery intensity winking at me as their iridescent refractions play off their glass cases prancing onto the walls as they come alive. Bewildered by their sparking splendour, I brave a step closer allowing myself to be engulfed by their brilliance. Indeed, Singapore’s JewelFest 2012 is upon us with a breathtaking selection of the finest in jewellery craftsmanship from over 60 jewellers from around the world. An air of privilege surged through me as I stepped into the custom built pavillion at Ngee Ann City Plaza on the first day of the very first edition that runs from the 12th to the 16th; followed by the second edition which begins on the 17th to the 21st of October 2012. Not to be forgotten, a first-ever men's jewellery collection will also be unveiled on the 18th accompanied by fashion designer Ashley Isham's menswear S/S 2012 collection.

Bursts of blooming floral prints and a touch of class
This year, an astounding array of international jewellers have graced us with their exclusive designs and finest of craftsmanship. Some of the newcomers to the decade-long fest are designers Jurio, Japan whose rings feature sculptural head busts that look right at home alongside fine art; Cindy Park, Korea who deals exclusively in rare gems; Holstad & Co, Norway; and Choices by DL, Netherlands who has a range of interchangeable pieces bringing about wearable versatility.  My heart skips a few beats as I snap picture after picture of each and every precious gem. I soon realize that my photographs do no fair justice to the allure that each of these jewellery  pieces has on you in person. There is a slight hypnotism, a drumming at the back of my mind, a longing for such beauty previously unknown and a sudden jerk back to reality. The most expensive piece of this year's event goes to Lebanese jeweller Mouawad whose exquisite Snow White Princess Diamond Watch with a total of 106.93 carats of 233 colourless diamonds is priced at a cool $8.8 million.
Her majesty the Snow White Princess Watch. A timepiece of epic proportions.

Singaporean jeweller and designer Zaigham Zaggi of CZARL introducing his collection to the media.
My media pass! 

Not without effort, I find it ridiculously difficult to leave booths. The passion and drive from designers such as Jurio, Japan; Jovel, Hong Kong, Famosi Gioielli, Italy; Yvel, Israel; and Caratell, Singapore with their stories of how they derived their creations shows that underneath that hard, polished, sleek exteriors of these precious minerals, an intangible emotion exists. A truly unreplicatable piece especially when it comes to one-of-a-kind pieces. A trend I've noticed although I am not sure whether it was made intentional or not was the prevailing ocean or sea theme. Most jewellers had at least one customized piece that reflected the waves or the underwater life.

A dazzling emphasis of the unsual beauty of South Sea Salt Water Pearls and 18k yellow gold by Yvel, Israel
As Connie Hon of Jovel Jewel explained of her customised designs,"The pieces I've brought here are handcrafted. You won't be able to find the same pieces anywhere even in my collection. They have stories and meaningful themes behind them that reflect the personality of each customer. I've carefully designed them so that they astound even on the reverse. You won't feel like you've been wearing the same piece as it transforms right in front of you under different lights into different colors."

The delightful and talented Connie Han from Jovel Jewel, Hong Kong.
One of Connie's one-of-a-kind ocean inspired pieces.

One of the highlights of the Jewelfest feature a special participation from part sultry actress, part mother of all children Angelina Jolie who has donated her Colombian emerald jewellery set for charity and in turn lending considerable celebrity power, attracting somewhat sizable crowds to the MIIORI, New York booth. In respectable philanthropistic fashion, the sale of Angelina's lightly worn but well-loved pieces will be donated to a children's charity. In addition, the fest also displays her Style of Jolie collection, a collaborative design effort between the actress and renowned jeweller Robert Procop.

Angelina Jolie's Style of Jolie collection in all its stunning Colombian emerald beauty.
Singapore based jewellers Lee Hwa, Caratell Diamonds and TianPo too showcase their designs in magnificent fashion. Lee Hwa Jewellery recently premiered their Destinee in Glass collection which uses advanced technology from Austria to set the diamond within a glass orb giving off the illusion of a larger carat size as it appears to be suspended in motion. These baubles of beauty seem to have a fun, holidaying spirit about them. Caratell's latest Gardens by the Bay feature rings are embellished with a palate of diamonds, tsavorites,  ice jade and moss quartz in artistic representation of Singapore's iconic supertrees and flower domes. A ravishing miniature garden that you can adorn.
Dainty diamond baubles of delight. Destinee Glass by Lee Hwa Jewellery
There's an undisputable relationship between fashion and jewellery. At exactly thirty minutes past the official catwalk schedule at 7pm, the lights dimmed to holla in the first wave of models decked out in overwhelming decadence of the most expensive pieces together with Ashley Isham's SS13 collection of bright colors and unadulterated femininity set amongst sheer lace and bold floral prints. It's a strong nod towards French artist, Sonia Delaunay's signature use of bold colors and angular shapes. The look is sensuous, effortless and a brilliant summation of the contemporary woman. Having been a part of the JewelFest last year, it's no wonder that Ashley once again takes charge of the official catwalk fashion this year too. Although Bobby Tonelli did not host this event as he did previously, he turned up as a celebrity guest instead. I managed to catch a glimpse of him as he was being interviewed by E! No photographs with him this time around but then again there's always next year.

Singaporean born designer Ashley Isham in the midst of an interview
Can't miss that bright blue whizzing past ever so quickly!
Hints of  Ashley's eastern heritage shows through
Now that's an ensemble to knock the entire room off their feet
Bobby Tonelli who looked amazing. 
Some relaxing tunes just before the catwalk
Caratell's Nature, Garden by the Bay and Cubism collection
Underwater wonders captured by Famosi Gioielli's masterful craftsmanship
Jurio, Japan's outstanding take on nature. 
By Day
By Night
Valerie and me. All grins after the attending the catwalk.
I'll be dreaming of stars tonight.


Occasional hand model with a taste for adventure.

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