I’m in love with the new Modern Heirloom fine jewellery collection from Singapore artisan jeweller Carrie K.
Everyone who knows me even a little bit knows I love rings, and more recently, earrings. Likewise, they know that one of my favourite places to buy jewellery brands is from Singapore artisan jeweller, Carrie K.
So you can imagine my joy when I saw the first pieces of its newest collection, Modern Heirlooms.
The thing that makes Carolyn Kan – the founder and designer of Carrie K – such an interesting jeweller, is her dedication to creating pieces that are somehow attached to her Singapore heritage but that look nothing like an obvious recreation.
There is always a certain consideration that Carolyn applies when she designs; she doesn’t take the most obvious route towards referencing ‘local flavour’, and generally designs first from a point of genuine interest and love for the things that make Singapore special. She also has a quirky sense of humour.
Carolyn is basically the nicest person in the world too. #justsaying
The new Modern Heirloom fine jewellery collection has been inspired by Singapore’s Peranakan heritage, in particular the colourful traditional tiles. But unlike just about every fashion student I’ve ever had the misfortune to critique, Carolyn didn’t just go with over-wrought patterns of teal, fuschia and lemon.
Although the designs were based on the stylised plants and animals of the traditional tiles that can be found across Singapore from Chinatown to Little India and Geylang Serai, when you look at the geometric and streamlined jewellery pieces the connection does not smack you in the face.
“The Modern Heirloom Collection was designed to create relevant interpretations of important elements of our Singapore Heritage in the hope that these meaningful reminders will be handed down to future generations,” says Carolyn.
There is a very Art Deco feel to the designs overall, including the sharp lines, the pearls and the fact that Carolyn chose to use white gold instead of yellow for the settings. The colours come from rubies, emeralds, blue sapphires and diamonds and well as semi-precious stones such as amethyst, peridot, topaz, and jade.
As well as the refined, pared-back aesthetic, Carolyn has continued her penchant for mechanical things by fiddling with the designs to include multiple functions. There’s an ‘over ring’ that you wear with the core Heritage Rings; this creates an impressive cocktail ring that you can breakdown into a smaller everyday piece. As with all Carrie K. pieces, the designs come in a number of price points. Starting from only SG$288 for the silver version of the Heritage Outer Ring with topaz, that you pair with a silver and ruby, blue sapphire or emerald Heritage Ring for SG$388. You can also splash out on a luxe version that is made of 9 karat gold with a great emerald for SG$1,288.
Another inspiration for Carolyn for the Modern Heirloom collection was Si Dian Jin – usually connected to weddings but actually based on the Chinese concept of ‘four generations under one roof’. You can also see echos of this concept in the architecture of the traditional Chinese four-pointed roof. That concept is where the overall design of the rings comes from – the outer ring with four ‘points’ and the inner ring with four stones that represent the four generations.
The rings are obviously my favourite pieces, but the earrings are damn nice too. Like the rings, the earrings are also multifunctional – the Heritage Ear Drops can be worn either as simple studs or with the additional ‘drops’ which you can buy separately. Prices range from $368 to $588 depending on the type of stones you choose. Top of the line is the pair that comes in 9 karat gold with amethyst and London blue topaz or white topaz which cost $1,488. I’m also loving the studs in rhodalite garnet or dark tarvorite garnet for $1,188.
Basically I’m impressed with the whole collection – as if that’s not obvious. I just have to work out how to pay for all the pieces I want.
The Carrie K. Heritage fine jewellery collection is available from the new Carrie K. Fine Jewellery Atelier located at #02-02 National Design Centre. The atelier will feature the custom and bespoke services, and you can shop for the ready-to-wear Carrie K. collection at the Keepers PlayShop at #01-01 National Design Centre.