After whisking her fans away to the ocean last fall with the Hidden Reef collection, U.K.-based designer Annoushka Ducas is starting 2020 with a special, limited-edition quartet of cocktail rings in collaboration with young Hong Kong–based art jeweler Austy Lee.
Exhibiting Lee’s strengths—structurally complex executions, psychedelic color stories—and Ducas’ affinity for whimsical shapes, strong narratives, and a deep-rooted affection for her Russian heritage, each ring is a sculptural, onion-domed palace named after one of four Russian cities: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, and Sochi.
Lee, who is an alum of Hong Kong–based Adler Jewellery and the design team at Wendy Yue, lent his technical flair in precise architectural forms, faceted pearls, hand-cut lapis, and even a movable central spire in the Kazan ring (pictured below).
Each ring is also blended with elements of one of Ducas’ signature collections, Touch Wood. The idea of “touching wood” is the British version of “knocking on wood.” It’s a way to ward off the onset of misfortune and stems from an instinct to protect and preserve a condition of stability, or to quickly ask the universe to deliver something you or others hope for, often after saying it aloud.
Ducas has chosen ebony elements to express her Touch Wood story, and for the Austy Lee collaboration she worked a piece of wood into the designs so that each ring is both a talisman and mini monument to fanciful Russian architecture.
“I have always loved statement jewelry where there is no compromise,” Ducas said in a prepared statement. “Austy Lee’s jewelry is the perfect example of that: exquisitely crafted and beautifully detailed, it is wearable sculpture, rich in colour and complexity. I am so glad I wandered into his treasure trove of a studio in Hong Kong. His enthusiasm when he introduced me to his beguiling collection had me smitten on the idea of working together and I am delighted to introduce his work to a global audience through Annoushka.”
The rings are available exclusively at Harrods.
Top: Kazan ring with Tahitian faceted pearls, ebony, blue sapphires, and diamonds in 18k white gold, price on request; Annoushka x Austy Lee
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