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Best of the Best 2007: Diamonds

Jill Newman

The ethereal diamond creations of Carnet by Michelle Ong (+852.2805.0113, www.carnetjewellery.com) command attention without overpowering the wearer. “Some women feel like they have to suffer to look good,” says Ong, referring to large, heavy jewelry. “I like soft, flexible jewelry that becomes a part of a woman.” Her latest designs include a pair of matching lacy diamond cuffs appointed with large rose-cut diamonds that appear to float against the skin. Using the same technique of setting the diamonds in a concealed gold track, she also crafts rings, earrings, and jewelry watches set with white, brown, and black diamonds. Ong’s collection is available only at her newly opened boutique on Queen’s Road in Hong Kong’s Central district.

Taffin’s James de Givenchy has created a series of edgy designs for a collection commissioned by Sotheby’s Diamonds (212.894.1400, www.sothebysdiamonds.com), the auction house’s diamond retail division. De Givenchy’s pieces include a tree-shaped pallisander wood brooch appointed with 37 pear-shaped diamond leaves, and 15 pieces that pair the gems with black rubber. “We are pioneers in approaching jewelry this way,” says Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds.

“Some women wear diamonds to show their worth,” says de Givenchy. “I would like to get rid of that connotation.” He describes his favorite piece—a necklace with 16 round diamonds strung together in a row like buttons and fastened with rubber loops—as “classic yet kinky.”

Wong supplied de Givenchy with an extraordinary cache of white and colored diamonds and gave him complete artistic freedom. “I didn’t have to worry about the money aspect,” de Givenchy says. “It was very liberating.”

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Copyright by Julian Lee Studio
Photo courtesy of The Forbes Collection, New York