There’s nothing like a pair of statement earrings, a collar necklace or stacking ring set to take your ensemble to the next level. We got behind the scenes to round up the most popular jewellery designers to find out how their love affair with jewellery began and their take on 2020’s jewellery trends that millennial shoppers and collectors can’t get enough of!
Valérie Messika shunned the humble marble as a child: instead she toyed with the gemstones that her father, a stalwart in the French diamond industry, would bring home from work. It was this child’s play that helped lay the foundations for her own career. Her designs always start with the stone; Messika’s motto states: You need to feel passionate about the stone to create amazing pieces.
Move is Messika’s iconic collection and was born with the desire to give freedom to the diamonds. The Move Classic Pavé Bracelet consists of three moving diamonds thanks to an ingenious system of rails. On the first version, the diamonds were static, and everybody was trying to make them move, so Messika developed a new system with moving diamonds.
Move symbolizes the love of yesterday today and tomorrow. Also in this collection is My First Bracelet which represents the purity of the first diamond. The pavé bangle, from the Move Noa collection, combines the purity of naked gold with the power of the three moving diamonds. This collection is one of the closest to her heart as she named this collection in honour of one of her two daughters.
The Glam’Azone double ring illustrates Messika’s vision of women: strong, triumphant and radiant. The inspiration behind this collection is from the helmets, arrows and shields of warriors to instil their strength in 21st century women. It is a consensual jewel thanks to its removable chain that allows multiple to be worn.
In 2020, Messika predicts that the jewellery trend will be on clips and ear stacking so she highlights this in her jewels this year. Messika’s clients opt for ultra-contemporary looks with surprising neoporté. If we can give one piece of advice to all women, it’s to wear their jewellery in everyday life.
Annoushka Ducas fell into designing jewellery completely by chance about thirty years ago. Her mother ran a fish business and asked her to design presents for her clients who were top chefs across London. She ended up designing little fish cufflinks and sold on the surplus! This unique creativity fuelled with her ability to interpret colour, render texture and lend movement and mood to her pieces is the spirit behind her brand.
The Lattice Earrings are her playful take on a traditional pearl drop, featuring a beautiful natural wonder from the Iloilo region in the Philippines – The Golden Pearl. She made her first trip there over 25 years ago and has since worked with the master craftspeople there.
The design takes direct inspiration from the fishing nets which so often get discarded on the ocean floor. She wanted to pay homage to the beauty that sits quietly beneath the ocean surface, so she crafted a delicate interlacing chain mail design in 18K yellow gold and set it with diamonds. She then gently suspended a single Golden Pearl within the net.
Annoushka collaborated with The Vampire’s Wife to create a collection of thirteen charms, each inspired by legendary rock star Nick Cave’s songs. This Annoushka X The Vampire’s Wife Charm Bracelet is talismanic with each charm telling a story, written by Nick through his lyrics.
In this piece, 18K gold is used as it allows for minute detail and working mechanisms, which adds that sense of discovery and light-heartedness in her pieces; one of her favourite hidden details in his collection is that the barrel of the revolver spins to reveal one single diamond bullet inside.
In 2020, Annoushka feels there’s a distinct return to the bold, after what feels like an eternity of paired back minimalism. Designers are looking back at previous design decades – the retro era of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s feeds into that trend for maximalism.
Although Anna Hu was born into a prestigious gemstone family, classical music captured her attention as a child. She had always dreamt to be a solo cellist, but after an injury, her father encouraged her to take a different path in life, telling her that she always had a talent in gemstones and colours. Each stone is equivalent to a note in a musical composition and that’s how she discovered her newfound passion.
The Summer Bamboo Earrings is part of her Four Seasons Series. Inspired by the scene of warriors fighting in a bamboo forest in the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the earrings depict two dragonflies alighting on branches in a thicket of bamboo. Bamboo marks summer’s coming and resilient character in Chinese culture.
Hu was listening to Chopin when designing the Enchanted Orchid Ring/Bracelet, so it is no accident that it may be the most romantic piece in her creations. It blends Monet’s impressionistic colour palettes with elements of traditional Chinese brush painting.
In order to achieve a naturalistic look, she worked from an actual orchid. The briolette diamonds cascading from the centre of the flower allude to the use of such gemstones in Edwardian jewellery of the early twentieth century. The Enchanted Orchid Ring/Bracelet is a transformable piece that can be worn as a ring or bracelet.
In 2020, Anna Hu believes abstract motif and avant-garde pieces will catch the eye of jewellery aficionados. She’s spending a lot of time in new product research and development while working closely with French artisans including 3D computerized simulations of where to set each stone, waxing, moulding, actual stone setting, polishing, engraving, etc.
When Anabela Chan was 15, she was fortunate enough to meet and interview the late Andrew Grima at the Burlington Arcade for a school art project. Grima is known as the father of contemporary jewellery and was a pioneer in using interesting coloured gemstones such as topaz and aquamarines and casting found objects like twigs and pencil shavings in his highly creative pieces. Together they shared their art and Chan has been mesmerised ever since.
The Rose Magnolia Earrings are from Chan’s latest collection, BLOOMS. It features recycled aluminium from soda cans paired with laboratory-grown and created gemstones. The unusual psychedelic iridescent colours have been achieved using physical electro vapour deposition. Interestingly enough, the same technique used in the car industries to colour car bodies.
This Emerald Butterfly Collar is a modern interpretation of an open collar necklace, an array of dazzling pear and round brilliant faceted laboratory-grown and created emeralds and diamonds appear to be floating on the necklace, with dynamic dancing butterflies pavé-set with gemstones.
In 2020, Anabela Chan presents her first fully traceable mined gemstone collection using blockchain technology. As lab-grown jewelry is a dominant trend incorporated by many, she strongly believes that sustainable diamonds are the future. Witnessing the talented celebrities shinning more light on our world-positive diamonds are a testament to her vision.