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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Nature takes geometric wing

Stern and Diane Kruger give butterflies an edge

13 Августа 2014

Troy star Diane Kruger wearing rose-gold and diamond earrings from the H Stern Rock Season collection — ® Carter Smith
Troy star Diane Kruger wearing rose-gold and diamond earrings from the H Stern Rock Season collection — ® Carter Smith

For jewellery, I like the idea of nature hot and strong – especially during the burning summer months.

Brazil is always hot – in colour and in spirit. So H Stern, the international jewellery house with roots in Rio, has made its new collection glow.

Butterflies and birds, moulded from rose gold and set with cognac-coloured diamonds, create a fierce vision of natural creatures.

Actress Diane Kruger modelling rings from the H Stern Rock Season Collection — ® Carter Smith
Actress Diane Kruger modelling rings from the H Stern Rock Season Collection — ® Carter Smith

Link them to the pale princess beauty of film star Diane Kruger and you have an intriguing meld of raw and refined.

I saw the jewels first – not on the actress nor in the midsummer fields where she was photographed – but close up on display.

The effect of the pink-tinged pavé-set diamonds on a rose-gold framework has inspired the jeweller to define the collection as a “punk rock” look.

I am not convinced that these jewels “rock”. That makes the effect sound urban and tough, while I would see it more as nature showing its true colours. It is not quite “red in tooth and claw”. But the butterflies especially – for example on a deep cuff – are geometrically curved rather than suggesting a delicate flutter.

Bracelet in rose gold with diamonds
Bracelet in rose gold with diamonds

Making the wings graphic, for birds or butterflies, gives a harder, modern edge to a familar jewellery design. Add other stones such as morganite and smoky quartz, and there is a fiery quality to this vision of nature.

Necklace in rose-, yellow- and noble gold with smoky quartzes and diamonds
Necklace in rose-, yellow- and noble gold with smoky quartzes and diamonds

The most dramatic piece is a smoky quartz necklace decorated with birds, butterflies and a bee at the nape of the neck. This bold design gives a sense of nature’s abundance. But there is also a chillier feel to birds winging away at the onset of winter – interpreted by their wings being reduced to abstract geometric objects.

Earrings in rose gold with morganites and diamonds
Earrings in rose gold with morganites and diamonds

Where does Diane Kruger fit into this vision? In her role as filmstar spy in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, the actress – formerly a model and ballet dancer – showed her tougher side. And even her version of Marie Antoinette in the French film Les Adieux à la Reine was not the usual Versailles frippery.

So jewels with a tough, modern edge seem just the thing when designer and managing director Roberto Stern decided to give a hard edge to his rocks.

Diane Kruger wearing a ring and earrings from the H Stern Rock Season Collection — ® Carter Smith
Diane Kruger wearing a ring and earrings from the H Stern Rock Season Collection — ® Carter Smith


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