Layered necklaces, stacked bangles and bracelets, and ear cuffs—these are some of the trends in jewelry to take note of if you’re planning on buying a gift for yourself or someone special, according to jewelry designer Kristine Dee.
However, Dee has learned in her 15 years in the fine jewelry business, to design “not just one look,” trends notwithstanding, as women have different personalities, tastes and lifestyles.
“And even while I research on the trends, the design is still my style. Not all trends will suit everyone,” she said. Dee creates one-off pieces.
For her new collection, “Faces of Beauty,” the pieces are grouped under four segments: classic, contemporary, romantic and bohemian. The pieces are named after women and make use of colorful stones.
The Violette bangle, for instance, is a festive vine on the wrist made of oval tanzanite, octagon-cut amethyst, oval pink tourmaline, rubies and diamonds set in yellow gold.
The Eirenne dangling earrings, though somewhat extravagant in design and proportion, are rendered in softer, muted colors—20.34 carats aquamarine, 1.18 carats yellow aquamarine and 4.46 carats kunzite set in 14k rose gold.
Dee holds a master’s degree in Industrial Design from New York’s Pratt Institute, and was designing furniture for export before she switched to jewelry design because “I found it more fulfilling.” She fell in love with the medium when she took up silversmithing and jewelry design classes at Pratt.
Perhaps owing to her industrial design background, she’s known for her cuffs and bangles—“maybe because they’re bigger so there’s more room to create design,” she said.
She does, however, make very stunning earrings using both precious and semiprecious stones. Filipino women love earrings, she said, “kasi mabilis makaganda, kita agad,” Dee said with a laugh.
Even older women are learning to wear jewelry that are not part of a set, but mixed and matched, as long as the colors of the stones are unified and cohesive.
“My clients want something special and unique,” she said. “There are so many Hong Kong-setting pieces available, but the women who come to me don’t want that.”
She advised, “If you’re buying for someone, dig a little. Find out what they like. Take photos of the pieces they wear and take those with you when you shop, or when you’re having a special piece made for them.”
Dee’s designs can be viewed at her showroom in One McKinley Place in Bonifacio Global City (tel. 0917-8950816).
Jewelers are facing more competition with the popularity of designer handbags, and even gadgets and travel, said Dee.
Still, she said, “I think people should buy something they can cherish, apart from being an investment. Gold increases in value, and diamonds can be reset or reused. Besides, it’s something that you can pass on to your loved ones.”