Singapore-based designer Simone Ng says she has always been fascinated by the grandeur and opulence of tsarist Russia and the intricacy of the royal family’s jewels, especially those worn by Catherine the Great. To wit: her latest collection, From Russia With Love, which is also a celebration of her 15 years in the jewelry business.
Last year, the Malaysian-born designer was picked up by Harrods and became the first Singaporean name to join its stable of luxury brands. Prior to landing at the famed London department store, she operated her business, Simone Jewels, solely on a private client basis, largely catering to an Asian customer base since she founded the company in 2006.
Now, the Harrods presence is bringing Ng recognition on an international stage. From Russia With Love is the perfect introduction to her passions and strengths as a designer: history, art and architecture, culture, and, above all, using jewelry as a vehicle for telling fanciful, richly textured stories.
Comprising five statement jewels, each piece is one of a kind, from earrings and rings that place pink tourmalines in a cocoon of sweeping tulle ballerina skirts, to lockets that open to reveal treasures inside, a clear homage to the heritage designs of the iconic Fabergé workshop in St. Petersburg.
In fact, a key feature of the collection is the guilloche enameling technique and figurines used in the renowned Fabergé eggs and other creations.
Completed over a time period of five months, the jewel below opens up to reveal a miniature white enamel Russian ballerina. (And maybe it’s just where my head is, having just listened to the “Anastasia” episode on the You’re Wrong About podcast, but I see an allusion to the spectacularly ill-fated Romanov princesses’ snow-white dresses in the dancer’s gown.)
The inside of the locket below depicts Tsar Nicholas II on his imperial yacht, The Standart, in hand-painted enamel.
Rounding out the collection are the graceful “ballerinas” (up top and below), an artistic interpretation of graceful, spangled dancers in flight.
Top: Ballerina earrings in 18k rose gold with pink tourmaline and diamonds, $11,000; Simone Jewels
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