The Black Book for May 2014

In focus this month: QNET 99 Names of Allah watch collection; Piaget Rose Passion watch and jewellery collection; Bulgari's Save the Children pendant; and Marni's spring/summer 2014 jewellery collection.
QNET's 99 names of Allah timepiece. Courtesy: QNET
QNET's 99 names of Allah timepiece. Courtesy: QNET

According to Islamic tradition, the Prophet Mohammed is said to have invoked Allah by a number of names, 99 of which have been revealed to mankind. These endearments, extolling the virtues of Allah - ranging from the All-Compassionate and the All-Merciful to The Source of Peace, Inspirer of Faith and Guide to Repentance - have been captured in a handcrafted timepiece by QNET. The Swiss-made, stainless-steel and sapphire-crystal watch has a Swiss quartz - Ronda movement and comes in two colours, black and silver. The dial depicts the 99 names of Allah in an intricate Arabic calligraphic inscription that has been crafted by masters of Oriental art. A prominent Hong Kong-based direct-selling company, QNET is also active in the health and food industry and sports sponsorships, including F1 and football, and has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


The Swiss scion Yves Piaget's passion for the luminous rose blossomed in the 1960s, when the flower - with diamond-set gold petals - was first included in his Maison Piaget's watch and jewellery collections. Earlier this year, the house launched an exquisite collection of 100 jewels and watches, all featuring Piaget's vibrant flower motif, unique for its lacy petals. Combined with precious stones, including pink sapphires, yellow diamonds and emeralds, the floral creations boast all-new designs and include cuff watches, rings, necklaces, earrings and even combs and tiaras. The Rose Passion collection also pays tribute to the "Queen of Flowers", Joséphine de Beauharnais, the former empress of France, who, in the early 19th century, cultivated an impressive collection of roses in her gardens at Château de Malmaison. In fact, Piaget has taken on a project to renovate this iconic rose garden over the coming months.


To mark its 130th anniversary, and as part of a renewed campaign to stem childbirth deaths, Bulgari has launched a silver and ceramic Save the Children pendant. The Italian fashion and jewellery house, which has partnered with Save the Children since 2009, hopes to generate ?1 million (over Dh5m) to save 50,000 newborn children's lives through collaborated efforts with the NGO. Over 170 celebrities, including the likes of Meg Ryan, Naomi Watts, Jon Hamm and Oliver Stone, have supported the campaign so far. Part of the proceeds from the sale of Save the Children jewellery - the pendant, and a silver and ceramic ring with the Save the Children logo engraved on the inside that was created to mark Bulgari's 125th anniversary - are donated to charity, and the amount has exceeded over Dh100m so far. The brand also contributed Dh7.6m to renovate the iconic Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy, this year. The pendant is available at all Bulgari stores in the UAE for Dh1,500.


As the models gathered backstage for the last leg of Marni's spring/summer 2014 runway show in Milan last September, a power cut caused the sound system - playing Sid Vicious's My Way - to come to a halt. The show went on anyway, and all present agreed that the Consuelo Castiglioni-designed collection was so beautifully handled, with its softly sculpted shapes and seductive fabrics, that the silence actually enhanced the "serenity of her vision".

So it's not surprising that despite being better known for its ready-to-wear clothing, Marni's jewellery collections have found a way to make a splash year after year. While the pieces in the spring/summer 2013 collection received rave reviews for the unique use of wood and brass paired with eco-friendly materials such as recycled plastic bottles, the label's spring/summer 2014 line is equally distinctive. The earrings, cuffs and necklaces in the new collection feature embellished resin and horn set among gold-tone brass fasteners, glass and crystal beads, adjustable leather straps and even nylon ribbons with pipe embroidery. The motifs range from fruit and leaves set on metal cylinders and bicolour flower buds to more abstract emblems such as Marni fragrances, lipsticks, combs and glasses. Here's a range you can have some fun with.

While resin jewellery has been around for years, the use of horn (sourced from domesticated bovine) to make sustainable, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery is limited to a few proficient - and socially conscious - designers. However, snuff boxes, combs and buttons made of horn hail back to the 17th and 18th centuries, when the material enjoyed a special magical status, and until today, remains a source of income for women in Africa and Asia.

Published: May 1, 2014 04:00 AM


Editor's Picks
Sign up to:

* Please select one