Just in time for Summer, Faaiza Omar revealed her jewellery collaboration with Charles Greig Jewellers, at the residence of Christopher Greig Beechwood Gardens in Johannesburg, where the gardens are in full bloom.
“Inspired by Beechwood Gardens and the spring blossom, bumble bees, dragonflies and butterflies, typical of an October day, we have created a collection of jewellery of varying price points. The collection highlights our favourite gemstone and colour – emerald – enhanced by unusual fancy cut diamonds,” says renowned jeweller Christopher Greig.
Known for her sophisticated confectionary creations, this is Faaiza’s first foray into jewellery design. “There was definitely a need for a stand-out local luxury collaboration. There hasn’t been one in South Africa for a while and I saw a gap in the market for exclusive, stand out pieces,” she says. “After months of planning we are ready to launch. Now is the perfect time as we head into the summer season under level one, with social calendars filling up with events and special occasions.”
The collaboration was realised with Faaiza Omar presenting a design concept to Christopher Greig for expert input on the creative execution of a piece, which the jewellers later manufacture. Collections by the House of Graff, Cartier and Charles Greig Jewellers have been a well of inspiration for Faaiza’s designs. Charles Greig Jewellers spans five generations of specialists dedicated to designing, manufacturing and sourcing jewellery as well as supplying fine watches in South Africa for more than a century, so they felt like the perfect partner.
“My partner Svetla Stevens has headed up the Charles Greig workshop operation of master goldsmiths and setters for well over 20 years,” says Christopher. “Faaiza Omar, with her flair for beauty and luxurious design, has enjoyed a creative synergy with Svetla for many years, experiencing the high standard of goldsmithing coupled with my design input. Ultimately, this is a collaborative effort and we’re very happy with the outcome.”
Faaiza worked with rose gold and yellow gold as the base metals to hold her carefully selected gems and emeralds are her most revered gemstone and feature in the collection. “The colour represents new beginnings and, in this case, new partnerships,” she says. Look out for the emerald-and-diamond ear cuff. The setting of the trillion-cut diamonds and cushion-cut emeralds takes on the look of a glittering, leafy vine climbing up the ear once fastened in place. “I’m obsessed with earrings. If I don’t have earrings on, I really do feel bare.”
What comes first when she dresses – the clothing or the jewellery? “Usually I decide on the jewellery and then the clothes. And I’ll often design a dress around a piece of jewellery that I want to wear, like earrings or a neck piece if it’s for an event. I love designing dresses too. If I want to wear emerald earrings, I might include beading or handwork in a similar shade on the dress.”
Commenting on jewellery style in general, Omar thinks stacked bracelets are “amazing” but otherwise prefers an understated look. “If you are wearing a big earring piece, you definitely don’t need to wear a huge necklace as well. I think minimalist is best, as it allows the jewels to tell their own story and really shine. We have designed our high-jewellery pieces for the collection in this way – alluring, for those who like to convey a sense of exclusivity and mystery.”
The 40-piece collection features earrings, a dedicated ear cuff range, necklaces, bracelets, pendants and rings, all available at Charles Greig Hyde Park from 11 October.