September 1 2014

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3 posts tagged "Cindy Chao"

The Gift of Gems


Cindy Chao ringIf you’re on the prowl for an accessory in the 3.5 to 4.2 million dollar range, we suggest checking out Cindy Chao’s latest endeavor. The jewelry designer, who shows her high-wattage wares during the Haute Couture shows in Paris, was tapped by Sotheby’s Hong Kong to create a very special ruby ring to celebrate the auction house’s fortieth year in Asia. “When I was shown this stupendous ruby, I was tantalized by its beauty and grandeur, and I was immediately inspired,” offered Chao of the 8.03-carat Burmese “pigeon’s blood” ruby that Sotheby’s asked her to incorporate into her design.

The piece, which will go up for auction alongside a series of equally stunning accoutrements in Sotheby’s Hong Kong’s fall sale this month, also boasts a healthy sprinkling of diamonds. The pavéd stones cover ribbon-shaped tendrils that wrap around the giant rouge gem. “I have always believed that magnificent gemstones are nature’s ‘accidental’ works of art, and its most precious gifts to us,” Chao told “With the idea of ‘gift’ in mind, and inspired by the organic flow of ribbons, I designed this ring as if a gift is being unwrapped—continuous pavéd ribbons that seem to fly in the wind and have been caught within a fleeting moment, encircling and cradling the ruby.” Chao’s ultra-rare design will go under the hammer on October 7, so if you like it, you should probably put a bid on it.

Photo: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Haute Bijoux and a Gemstone Phone


During the Fall ’13 Couture shows, which wrapped in Paris this weekend, houses debuted their jaw-dropping, and often blinding, haute joaillerie collections. Aside from a prominent seventies vibe, one thing came through loud and clear in the season’s jewelry presentations: a return to the statement stone (or perhaps we should say stones). Tina Isaac rounds up the most brilliant baubles from Dior, Chanel, Boucheron, Versace, and more, below.

A Cher Dior bracelet CHER DIOR:“I always create families, so I think of these pieces as the babies of Dear Dior,” said Victoire de Castellane during a preview of her new line of high jewelry for the house, which she has dubbed Cher Dior. “I was thinking of specific words—like “fascinating,” “sparkling”—and thinking about how to render those in gems.” True to de Castellane’s style, the resulting 21 pieces are “classic without being classic”—an array of symmetrically designed, smaller, lighter wares with colorful center stones, lacelike settings, and surprising color combinations. Take, for example, the Exquise Emeraude earrings, whose central gemstones mismatch, or the riot of colored sapphires in the Majestueuse Multicolore necklace. The Jardin Avec Fleurs earrings, whose floral design and pastel colors seem lifted straight out of the eighteenth century, were de Castellane’s starting point and remain her favorite. “It’s like a game,” she said. “These are pieces that you can wear without ever getting bored.”

Boucheron Perles D'Eclat RingBOUCHERON: This year, Boucheron, the first jeweler to open shop on the Place Vendôme, is celebrating its 120th anniversary at that address. Because the light is particularly beguiling in its south-facing atelier, head jewelry designer Claire Choisne has devised an eight-chapter story—one episode for each of the eight facets of the Place Vendôme—dubbed the Hôtel de la Lumière. One of her masterpieces picks up on a 1948 latticework necklace in sapphire and diamonds, while completely modern rock-crystal pieces are inlaid with pavé diamonds. The Perles d’Eclat necklace, for example, features large rock-crystal beads held together by the diamond slices that the house pioneered; the beads gradually progress from frosted to transparent, and inside the transparent ones sits a 3-D bouquet of diamonds.

One of Chanel's haute lionsCHANEL: Gabrielle Chanel was known to say that she was “a worker bee born under the sign of Leo.” Because the powerful, protective beast is also the symbol of Venice, where the designer traveled to recover from Boy Capel’s death, and because the house recently signed on to sponsor the restoration of the winged lion atop St. Mark’s Basilica, Chanel presented the timely Sous le Signe du Lion, a 58-piece collection inspired by the majestic feline. Pieces ranged from literal (a diamond-covered Lion Céleste which, extrapolated from the Venice city insignia, shows the beast in profile with his paw atop a sizable diamond) to the CGI-worthy (Lion Mosaique features a lion’s head emerging in three-quarter profile from a gemstone background). The Lion San Marco ring, created in tribute to St. Mark’s Basilica, is carved from a piece of lapis lazuli and set in gold and platinum with a center diamond. Only five of these were produced, and they sold out well before couture week began. Continue Reading “Haute Bijoux and a Gemstone Phone” »

On Our Radar: Pinky Rings


I’m a jewelry girl—and more than any other pieces, giant, chunky cocktail rings are at the top of my list, the bigger, bolder, and more colorful, the better. But after seeing the glut of them over the past few years, the style doesn’t seem as fresh to me as it used to. I’ll never give them up for good, but now I’m feeling the forgotten pinky ring. It’s an unexpected accessory, and as I’ve been adding more classic and neutral pieces to my wardrobe these last few seasons, I’ve found it adds the kick of surprise I’ve been looking for. Last week, I saw a gorgeous collection of diamond-encrusted pinky rings from the Taiwanese designer Cindy Chao. Those’ll be available in September at Bergdorf Goodman, and they’re to die for. But in the meantime, here are a few favorites in stores now, from Bulgari’s classic coin ring to a chic new way to wear your heart on your sleeve—I mean, pinky.

Left to right: Paloma Picasso for Tiffany Double Modern gold ring, $2,250, available at; Ileana Makri pink gold skull ring with diamonds, $3,285, available at; Bulgari coin ring, $4,450, available at

Photos: Courtesy of Bulgari; Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.; Courtesy of Barneys New York