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Mon, Mar 25, 2013
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Making a buzz
by Paige Lim

From bees to beetles, insect-themed jewellery added a buzz to the recent Paris Fashion Week.

British designer Sarah Burton showed a bee-inspired collection for Alexander McQueen, which included a crystal bee neckpiece and tortoise shell bee plexiglass cuff.

At Lanvin, models were adorned with butterfly and dragonfly brooches, while Tory Burch at New York Fashion Week embellished her looks with bejewelled scarab beetles and dragonflies.

Accessories which sport creepy crawlies are not new. Many jewellers, including American jeweller Tiffany & Co and Swiss jewellery and watch label Chopard, have been drawing inspiration from the world of nature.

Ms Chrystean Tan, marketing manager of Tiffany & Co, says: "We have been putting up bee and ladybird designs since our brand was established in the 1870s. These designs are timeless."

But insect-themed bling is gaining popularity, as brands go beyond the usual crowd-pleasing bee and butterfly motifs.

For example, Marni's spring/summer 2013 jewellery collection showcases accessories, such as leather bracelets and necklaces, with quirky wooden insect embellishments, complete with eyes, antennae and wings.

As part of its Tropical Paradise collection launched last month, Swarovski released pendants, a ring and a bracelet adorned with a multi-coloured beetle with two large faceted crystals for wings.

Taka Jewellery, too, carries limited pieces with creepy crawlies such as ants, grasshoppers and spiders.

Over at Dave Fine Jewellery, Ms Rasti Annisa Iwan, its marketing executive, says the home-grown label's bee and spider designs have been selling well since they were launched in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

She says: "Life-like insects may not appeal to some people so we try to make our designs quirky, playful and desirable."

Not all jewellers are jumping on the unusual insect bandwagon, though.

Home-grown brands Citigems, Soo Kee Jewellery and Goldheart carry mostly pieces which bear butterfly designs.

Mr Gary Goh, brand manager of Goldheart, says the market for unconventional insects is small, while butterfly pieces have always been popular.

At least 95 per cent of Goldheart's butterfly-themed jewellery launched in January have been sold, he says.

"The butterfly is a key feminine design which many people like," he adds.

Take Ms Frances Chua, 46, a senior communications manager, who owns jewellery pieces with butterfly, dragonfly and ladybird designs.

"To me, insects such as ants and beetles are not really desirable. I view them more as pests and I would not want to wear a pest as jewellery."

She adds, however, that she might buy the pieces if the motifs are "artistically designed".

The insect theme might find more favour with the fashion crowd, says fashion stylist Jerome Awasthi.

"Unconventional insect jewellery has more of a masculine vibe so it may appeal more to men. But it also works for women who want an edgier look."

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Grasshopper ring, price upon request, from Chopard, 01-03 Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Part of its high jewellery collection, this playful design features a 65.9-carat rubellite atop diamonds, garnets, tsavorites and tourmalines.





Praying mantis earrings, A$532 (S$690.84), from

These quirky earrings in sterling silver will turn heads with the blue dichroic glass torso of the insect and its cute stick-like limbs.







Enamel and crystal ladybug earrings, $11, from

Sophistication and whimsy come together perfectly in this pair of white enamel earrings.




Spider ring, $196, from Dave Fine Jewellery, 03-17A Wheelock Place

Fear the eight-legged creature no more with this alluring spider rope-ring made from smoky quartz and garnet.





Dragonfly and lily pendant, $239, from Thomas Sabo, B2-78 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

The green enamel lilypad provides a nice earthy contrast to the classic silver dragonfly, making this a stand-out piece.








Dragonfly cuff, £395 (S$747), from Alexander McQueen,

The dragonfly design cleverly incorporates the fashion house's signature skull motif.







Butterfly ring, $268, from Goldheart, B1-30 Wisma Atria

From Goldheart's Colourella collection, this butterfly ring in rose gold features purple amethysts, red garnets and diamonds.





Queen bee charm, $124, from Pandora, 01-37C Raffles City Shopping Centre

For a touch of royalty, attach this silver and 14K gold queen bee charm onto any accessory.







Ladybird charm, $53, from Pandora, 01-37C Raffles City Shopping Centre

Give your outfit a youthful touch with this adorable ladybird charm in silver.






Scarab beetle necklace, $4.17, from New Look, B2-04 Ion Orchard

The beetles that made your skin crawl in The Mummy movies are much more palatable as an accessory in warm hues of deep red, blue, purple, black and gold.










Dazzling Flutter diamond pendant, $142, from Citigems, B2-03 VivoCity

Add a touch of class to your outfit with this butterfly pendant in elegant curves of white gold.







Beetle ring, $320, from Swarovski, B1-17 Ion Orchard

Featuring an eye-catching beetle, this ring, made of Swarovski's exclusive crystal called Pointiage, sparkles in a gradation of colours.






Bee Doorknocker earrings, $32.17, from

These eye-catching earrings feature a bee design with coloured stones. The chunky golden bees give a retro twist to the whole look.





Crystal insect necklace, $79, from Mango Touch, B2-17 Ion Orchard

This embellished pendant on a grosgrain ribbon chain will spruce up any outfit with its vibrant tropical colours.






Dragonfly brooch, $89, from Chomel, B2-52 Ion Orchard

Add some sparkle and glitz with this dragonfly brooch encrusted with crystals.






Lady Arpels Coccinelle decor, $150,000, from Van Cleef & Arpels, B2-210, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

This luxury watch with a white gold and diamond pave case has an enamel and diamond setting dial and features a tiny red ladybird at the side.






Dolce Festa Gemstone Butterfly pendant, $671, from Soo Kee Jewellery, B2-66 Ion Orchard

Stay pretty with this pink amethyst butterfly necklace which can take you from work to play.






Bee pendant, $6,250, from Tiffany & Co, 01-05 and 02-05 Takashimaya Shopping Centre

Part of the Tiffany Garden diamond pendant collection, this feminine bee piece features rose-cut Tiffany diamonds on a 16-inch platinum chain.





Midnight bug necklace, $42.90, from

Admire the intricate details on this piece with its faceted stone setting and pyramid-style stud detailing, topped off with a golden bee in the centre.





Escargot ring, $47,100, from Boucheron, 02-01 Ion Orchard

Crafted from white gold, the escargot's body is in white diamonds while its carapace is covered in yellow, orange and brown sapphires.





Leather bracelet with wood insect, $530, from Marni, 02-28 Hilton Hotel Singapore

This leather bracelet from the new Marni jewellery collection has a geometric wood insect embellishment with antennas and eyes, creating a realistic effect.





Beetle pendant, $170, from Swarovski, B1-17 Ion Orchard

Featuring a figurative beetle, this pendant zings up your daily wear.





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