Every year, in February, while roaming the aisles of the Doha Jewellery & Watch Exhibition, my eyes dazzle and my heart swoons with all the lavish jewels on display. But this year, I had a different agenda too. I was out scouting for what do the Middle East women prefer for their daily wear? What do they wear when going out shopping to the mall or while doing their every day work? I am sure they are not wearing their million dollar diamonds in every day wear … so I have put together a list of minimalist jewels that appeals to this maximalist lifestyle audience. The story was published in the April-May issue of the Solitaire Magazine (Asia Pacific edition). Also as the world is under lockdown and the magazine could not be printed… for the first time a digital version of the magazine is available for everyone to download… click here & enjoy!
Doha, one of the richest countries in the world, plays host to the Doha Jewellery & Watch Exhibition (DJWE) every year in February. Unlike other end consumer-targeted jewellery exhibitions, Doha is perhaps the only place with the power to pull the world’s most renowned names like Graff, Boucheron, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., and more, under one roof.
Targeting affluent Arab women and families – who are major buyers at the show – one can be sure to spot numerous candy -sized diamonds, necklaces loaded with Paraiba tourmalines, or one-of-a-kind creations while walking down aisles.
However, the same audience might also be looking for fun, unique, and chic baubles for daily wear, especially for bracelets, rings, and earrings. Here’s what we spotted this year.
London-based jeweller David Morris is much loved in the Middle East. Each year, they craft a capsule range especially for their Arabic clients. For 2020, it was all about ‘Pearls – the Queen of Gems’, which have a long and rich history in Qatar.
CEO and principal designer Jeremy Morris created ‘Pearl Rose’ – a collection that would appeal to the natural pearl devotee. Utilising cultured Akoya pearls, David Morris celebrates the beauty and rich lustre of the perfectly spherical Japanese Akoya pearls rich with colour, ranging from white to silver pink. The pearls sit in beautiful channel-set lanes with diamond rows on each side, resulting in a style that is contemporary and striking.
Every year, DJWE gives premium space to a select few ‘Young Qatari Designers’. One of them is Thameen Jewellery, founded by sisters, Mariam and Noora Al Meadadi, and is creating quite a stir with their jewellery inspired by Qatari motifs.
The ‘Desert Rose’ collection takes inspiration from the rose-shaped crystal rock that is found in the desert, symbolising willpower. The ‘Al Huwah’ collection seeks reference from the namesake plant with undulant leaves that grows in the midst of the desert in a circular shape. Stylised forms of the rose and the leaves turn into sweet looking pieces of jewellery in shades of gold, perfect for everyday wear.
Floral designs are a universal favourite. At DJWE, the five-petal ‘Petit Joli’ and ‘Ton Joli’ flower by Pasquale Bruni, offered in shades of sky blues, natural greens, pastel pinks, deep blacks, and serene whites, brought out child-like wonder from the guests.
The collection was designed for women looking for balance – sophisticated yet natural and dreamy yet down-to-earth. At the same time, it is also the simplest range that allows one to discover Pasquale Bruni’s vibrant universe.
“A stroll over at Pasquale Bruni’s stand will immerse you in an array of vibrant beauties, which will enliven your soul in a spark of a moment,” said Roberto Bocus, Global Commercial Director for Pasquale Bruni.
The new Akillis collection, ‘Capture Me’, is somewhere between seduction, provocation, and edginess. Here, designer Caroline Gaspard breaks all jewellery norms evoking love in a different and innovative way.
Graphic lines with triangular design motifs line this new creation, making it fiercely edgy and unisex. This universal collection offers bracelets and bands, and is available in white gold, pink gold, or titanium, along with a few options for earrings and necklaces as well.
With a religious forbiddance for Muslim men to wear gold in the Middle East, and considering their love for jewellery, the titanium wrist bands work best for men, while the diamond studded ones in pink gold are most preferred by women.
Among the impressive list of jewellers offering some serious pieces of high jewellery, one designer was there to have fun. Paris-based Marie Mas by Marie Cabirou’s collections, ‘Swinging Stones’ and ‘The Wave’, were a hit as they danced together with the wearer’s movements.
The ‘Dancing Open’ rings and bracelets, with shades of blues on one side and purples on the other, were a hit as everyone stopped by to try them on. The precious stones are set back to back, while a mechanism allows the gems to rotate and switch colour in sort of a domino effect.
Colour Me Up
Colour in every form is popular in the Middle East, from gemstones to coloured gold, from titanium to enamel. Italian brand Chantecler aimed to add more colour and sparkle with their fun enamel collection called ‘Paillettes”.
Paillettes is the epitome of a happy ad free era. The inspiration comes from paillettes that are used to decorate cocktail dresses to make the sparkle. The creations come in cascading necklaces closer to the neck, long chains that can be layered, tasseled rings, and earrings. Pink gold surrounds the colourful powder pink, sea green, white, black, and light blue enamels. You can opt to layer them in a single colour or wear multiple colours together for instant glamour and energy.
Stack ‘Em Rings
Stackable and top-open rings were very much in demand at the show and Yoko London delivered with their “Belgravia” collection. Extremely sleek in design, the rings feature a fine quality South Sea pearls accented with a gemstone and diamonds.
In addition to rings, the collection also offers bracelets and earrings, each celebrating classic precious gems, adding a mesmerising touch of colour. Known for their fine quality pearls, Yoko London is also famous for their rows of pearls in a variety of shades. In addition, the brand also offers very unique creations using pearls, resulting in a new look that gives the precious gem a new avatar.