The jewellery designer shares tips on accessorising and starting a jewellery collection

Cherrie Chin has a knack for commanding any room she steps into - in this case, the office of Tatler Malaysia where she turns up in a chic Balmain pantsuit and a pair of gold Christian Louboutin.

"My style is versatile. I can be cool and edgy or sporty casual," she says. "Dressing up allows me to 'play' different personalities depending on the occasion."

Known in the high society circle for always looking stylish, Chin also parlays her sharp fashion sense into jewellery design. The graduate of Gübelin Academy specialised in coloured gems, which led her to set up her own jewellery brand, Les Jardin. The main inspiration for her jewellery line are the French gardens, which explains the abundance of colourful floral motifs. 

In this interview, Chin gets candid about her love of jewellery, the art of accessorising and her own favourite jewellery. 

See also: Collector Series: Cherrie Chin's Fine Jewellery

Why jewellery?

Because jewellery is fun - they can spice up and add character to a simple outfit. When you are bored with certain pieces, you can redesign them. Plus, the good quality pieces can be passed on to the next generation as an heirloom.

Do you plan your outfit around jewellery?

Sometimes I would pick an outfit based on my jewellery but most of the time it would be the other way around depending on the occasion. On casual days, my accessories are simple; I only bring out my best pieces or more colourful jewellery for special occasions like formal events.

At the last Tatler Ball, I showed the designer Celeste Thoi the chunky Diva earrings I planned to wear. She proceeded to create this beautiful one-shoulder gown to accentuate the jewellery.

In terms of a classic style that goes with any jewellery, it's without a doubt the white-shirt-and-jeans combo. I can even wear my chunky Les Jardin choker with it.

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What is your favourite gemstone?

Emerald is my one of favourites because it reminds me of nature. The colour has a calming effect on me and amongst all the coloured gemstones, I've collected emerald the most.

What is your favourite jewellery brand?

I have a special spot for Bulgari. One of their iconic collections is the Serpentine, which also happens to be my Chinese zodiac, the snake. Plus, Bulgari is often associated with Elizabeth Taylor who's my idol because she owned some of the most amazing jewellery pieces.  

What advice would you give to someone who wants to begin a jewellery collection?

It’s important to purchase from reliable jewellers because there are many synthetic or fake gems out there that are being passed off as real gems. Go for reputable international brands like Gübelin, Bulgari, Cartier and Tiffany & Co. Local jewellers like DeGem and Fa'iq Jeweles offer quality coloured gems. 

What is your favourite watch?

I was pleasantly surprised when I received this Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak on my 40th birthday from my husband. I've been telling him for many years that I like the Royal Oak for its rugged looks. Plus, he got the watch in my favourite shade of rose gold.

What is your favourite jewellery?

The Emperor Watch & Jewellery baguette diamond bangle is a special piece because my husband bid for it at last year's Malaysia Tatler x Melium 30th Anniversary Charity Auction and gave it to me for my birthday. We then bought a set of matching ear studs and ring to complement the bangle.

See also: Inside The Jubilant 30th Anniversary Charity Auction By The Melium Group & Malaysia Tatler.

Do you have a favourite piece from your own jewellery line?

It is this artsy piece from the first collection. Les Jardin, as the name suggests, is inspired by famous French gardens such as Jardin des Champs Elysees, the Tuileries Garden and Jardin Du Luxembourg. I fell in love with them during a romantic trip in Paris before the wedding. It was summer and the gardens were in full bloom.

As you can see, our designs revolve around flowers and creatures you'd find in a garden such as bees and butterflies. Our pieces are made from quartz, semi-precious stones, enamel, freshwater pearls, corals and diamondlites. Having my own jewellery brand is truly a dream come true.

ICYMI: Marion Caunter & Bulgari's Cinemagia High Jewellery Collection.


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