Just like our taste in food, our jewellery choices are personal, yet can change with time. We asked women from different backgrounds to tell us about the labels that they still return to, and why.
“I’m a flower designer at Flourish by Charlene (flourishbycharlene.com). I believe that designing is like painting, whether it’s with floral arrangements or creating bespoke jewellery.
For jewellery, I tend to gravitate towards unique pieces that aren’t mass-produced and are challenging to replicate. I discovered Madly through social media and my friends. I like how the process is bespoke and I have the space to be able to create anything beyond imagination. Madly has a vast array of gemstones to select from, which aids in the design process. There’s also the ease of knowing that a certain standard of artisanship is assured.
My favourite piece is this pair of free-form dangle earrings, gifted by my parents for my upcoming wedding. It was specially designed with movement and fluidity in mind, using colours reflective of the ocean depths. The earrings can be worn multiple ways to suit any occasion: as a stud, a stud with jacket, or a stud with jacket and several dangles. I went to Madly with the “impossible” task of only wanting rectangle blue-green indicolite (it was hard to find the correct shade) for my bespoke earrings. Founder Maddy and Pauline worked closely with their suppliers to source the exact shade I was seeking. Designer Renee was also patient to assist me in designing the piece, while taking into account my character and lifestyle.”
– Charlene Liang, Singaporean
“I first met founder and designer Manjrie Gupta at the 2018 AWA Christmas luncheon. The beautiful jewellery from her namesake brand Manjrie caught my eye and we started talking as she showed me all her wonderful pieces. Her warmth and openness is reflected in the pieces, with each design being unique. The craftsmanship and fine detailing made me take my time to look carefully at each piece.
What started as a simple business transaction evolved into a friendship, with me supporting her through hosting her home sales at my apartment. I love supporting women’s businesses, especially when they’re as creative and professional as Manjrie’s.
Since discovering the brand over a year ago, I’ve collected several pieces from different collections, some of which I wear with casual outfits, while others are saved for more festive occasions. I like how the pieces reflect traditional Indian craft, but there’s also a modern aesthetic that translates well for international clients. I love the Unbridled Meenakari collection, which uses beautiful enamel work accented with uncut diamonds (polki).
One of my favourite sets is from the Enamoured Emerald collection, crafted with hard-carved, natural emeralds. The pieces evoke indulgence from regal times, fine workmanship from Indian roots, along with a European aesthetic. The brand also provides certificates with the jewellery as proof of the authenticity of the gemstones used, which assures customers that we’re getting the best quality.”
– Jo, American
“I first discovered Embrace Jewellery in 2011 through a girlfriend. I usually shop on Embrace’s online site, but I also enjoy visiting the Embrace+ boutiques to check out exclusive in-store collections. I own around 20 to 30 pieces from the multi-label store, and my favourite brands are Spanish label UNOde50 and RAS for their light yet sturdy accessories. My newest purchases are these Embrace x Jar of Salt necklace, bracelet and earrings.
I tend to go for earrings and rings with intricate details, as most bracelets are too large for me. One that fits me well is this Unode50 bracelet, which I’ve had for years. It’s one of my favourite pieces as it looks hardy and is great for travel. It never goes out of trend and doesn’t look too loud. I wear it all the time – almost every day – during work, when I’m out on the weekends and even when I’m overseas!
Embrace’s pieces are classic, unique and longlasting. I bought my first Embrace Jewellery ring in 2011 and still wear it today. Though I rarely polish it, it hasn’t rusted or lost its shine! The store’s founder Shareen told me that she spends extra to make sure her pieces are made with rhodium-plated sterling silver. One tip to maintain the jewellery is to store it in ziplock bags after use.”
– Cathryn Lee, Singaporean
“I’ve been a fashion, portrait and family photographer (@sabrinasikora) since 2003, and a model since 1999. I like to wear big and bold jewellery – and lots of it! I’m 184cm, so I always joke that if I wear small jewellery you can’t even find it on me.
Being an expat, I’m always meeting new people and on the hunt for new friends, as people are always on the move. Jewellery has proven to be a great conversation starter. Wearing a statement piece attracts comments, so it’s a great way to break the ice as I find that sometimes my towering height can be intimidating.
Lustre’s founder Anaita reached out to me via Instagram when I first moved to Singapore and we met for coffee. She was one of the first people I met here and we immediately hit it off! I loved her open and enveloping personality that made me feel instantly at ease, and her sense of humour. Then I got to know the jewels and that was it – I was hooked!
As a model, I’ve worn a lot of jewellery, from high street to high end. Her brand was like a breath of fresh air. The pieces are made of natural stones that are beautifully cut and intricately designed, and she has an obvious passion for her work. I love that she has a mix of standout pieces and effortless accessories made to be stacked and layered as you wish.
Lustre is perfect for gifting as the designs are lovely and the quality is high, but the price still remains attractive. I can buy from her stunning studio or online, and she ships worldwide, which means my friends back home can enjoy the range, too.
As for my favourites, I have a few single- and double-line cuffs and I like to layer them. Another show-stopper is a massive malachite pendant set on a silver dholki bead strand. Malachite is a great stone to wear for air travel, which I do a lot of. Recently I’ve also picked up the new Solitude layering necklaces that come in a set of four. There are so many gorgeous treasures available and there’s always something to love at Lustre.”
– Sabrina Sikora, American