If the eyes are the windows to your soul, then the décolletage is the gateway to your sensuality. To ease your experimentation with necklaces that best flatter your attributes and ensembles, here is the first segment of a two-parter spread that showcases a wide and exciting array of styles.
GRAFF THE CHOKER
Worn high on the neck, the choker complements bare shoulders or necklines, and could also be combined with multiple rows of necklaces for high drama. Graff’s Tribal Collection Graff Gateway necklace, featuring five rows of diamonds weighing a total of 104 carats, exemplifies this style. A sublimely sculptural piece, it features repeated abstract oval motifs that possess a hypnotic, elemental power. Its flexible, minimal gold setting also wears like second skin and amplifies the diamonds’ fire.
BVLGARI THE BIB
Channelling the exoticism of ancient cultures, the bib is one for making a statement. Bearing either a circular or triangular shape, bibs tend to sit over the collarbone and cover the upper chest. Great for strapless dresses, they are usually elaborately patterned and set with colourful or oversized cabochon gems. From the house whose Roman heritage ensures that the bib is a regular feature in its repertoire, is this magnificent Bvlgari Lady Arabesque necklace showcasing over 43ct of coloured sapphires, 16.35ct of Paraiba tourmalines and nearly 30ct of diamonds.
CARTIER THE LAVALIER
Sometimes known as a Y necklace, the lavalier is a larger and more elaborate form of a pendant necklace – featuring delicate filigree or complicated metalworking, and suitable for low, V-shaped necklines. Over here, Cartier has imbued the Sharkara necklace with colour and character. The combination of straight lines and curves imparts volume and an organic form — much like a profusion of berries. The tourmalines and coloured sapphires in gradations of pink are illuminated by orange garnets and diamonds in various cuts.
BOUCHERON THE PLASTRON
Flamboyant and armour-like, the semi-circular plastron could cover the entire front of the wearer, although modern versions are usually more compact. It will upstage any outfit, so it pairs best with something chic and minimalist. Set with 220 Zambian emerald beads totalling 1071.97ct and paved with diamonds, emeralds and onyx, this Plastron Émeraudes necklace from Boucheron’s Histoire de Style, Art Déco collection is inspired by the jewels the maison made for the Maharajah of Patiala in the 1920s. Transformable into a bracelet, it is an expression of strength, voluptuousness and refinement.
CHAUMET THE LARIAT
This style is typified by a long clasp-less rope necklace that is secured by threading one end through a loop made on the other side, or by tying a knot on the chain itself. While the Torsade de Chaumet diamond necklace has a clasp, it takes on the breezy lariat form with an artfully wrapped knot that ends below the throat. Its lightness, uncluttered design and chic expression make it so versatile to be worn with various outfit necklines and for day-to-night occasions.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS THE CRAVAT
Taking the form of a necktie – as a plump Ascot knot worn on the base of the neck or a relaxed twilly bow that drops low, the cravat is uncommon yet always playful and eye-catching. Surely a necklace that impersonates fabric would be the work of a grande maison. In this case, Van Cleef & Arpels does not hold back in creating a glorious and technically stupendous showpiece like this Sous Les Étoiles, Heavenly Dreams reversible and transformable necklace. It flaunts a gradation of no less than 154 pink and mauve Madagascan sapphires weighing 417.33ct, with blue sapphires, rubies and diamonds.
DIOR THE NEGLIGEE
Elegant and sensual, the négligée is mainly constructed with fine links and two parallel pendants right at both ends that are suspended at uneven lengths down the chest. For Dior Joaillerie’s 20th anniversary this year, it has reimagined its symbolic rose motif as an abstract expression. The result is this contemporary, sleek and unconventional Dior Rose high jewellery necklace. Boasting a supple and lightweight mesh structure punctuated with diamonds, the clasp-less necklace bedazzles with a kite-shape diamond on one end, and takes you from soirées to black-tie balls.
TIFFANY & CO. THE STATION
Usually long and refined, the station is embellished with small gemstones, beads or other accents at evenly spaced points, or “stations”, throughout the chain.
Renowned for its heritage station necklaces is Tiffany & Co., which introduces an exquisite high jewellery version: the Schlumberger Flower Leaves necklace with a tanzanite pendant of over 70 carats. The centre stone is wrapped by diamonds petals, while small diamond-set leave curl around the rope chain at regular intervals. While it alone makes an impact, you could also consider a multi-chain look.
CHOPARD THE FESTOON
Defined as a necklace that resembles a garland of flowers or leaves strung in a curve, the festoon features drapes of chain or decorative elements that dangle off the main chain. Such extravagant creations are a speciality at Chopard, which flexes its savoir faire with this Red Carpet Collection necklace showcasing a rare emerald cabochon weighing 112.27ct as a diamond-encircled pendant. It hangs off a scintillating collar of diamond-set petals and leaves. Do justice to this formal masterpiece by wearing it against bare skin.
Art direction by Aaron Lee