Chandra I hand bracelet
2013 was the year that the jewellery world went crazy over ear cuffs. This year however is all about hand jewels. A huge trend, it has popped up everywhere from big brands like Cartier to more edgy labels like Repossi.
One of the pioneers however was Lebanese jewellers Yeprem. Founded in Beirut in 1964, it started as a diamond wholesale business, but quickly earned a reputation among the style set for its unique jewels. In 2002 the second generation came onboard including designer Virna Chakardemian, who wanted to create a line of jewellery that broke traditions while still being timeless.
Chakardemian began working on a series of hand jewels and ear cuffs several years ago after attending a wedding in India where the bride’s henna tattoos inspired her. Fast forward and she is now making waves with her gold, diamond and pearl ear cuffs, hand jewels and rings, that are more than just fancy adornments.
Apostrophe ear cuff
Better described as wearable art, Yeprem jewellery is complex yet edgy and delicate yet feminine. The diamond Cyborg ring for example is made up of three pairs of plain and diamond-set gold bands attached by chains, while the the Apostrophe earrings consists of two separate designs worn as a pair. For one ear, there’s a diamond cuff with a large diamond drop cluster dangling off the lobe, while the other passes through the earlobe with diamonds exploding from the back and front.
Then you have her signature hand jewels. The Cyborg palm bracelet covers the hand like modern armour with alternating ribs of gold and diamonds. On the other end of the spectrum is the Chandra I hand bracelet, which features clusters of marquis-cut diamonds that appear to float across the hand and fingers, with no visible bands or wires.
“What makes us different is that we emphasise the movement of the jewellery. You can’t understand the piece on its own – you need to see it on hands or ears. It’s about jewellery that moves you. It has always been part of our story from the beginning,” says Virna.
Sun Warrior ear cuffs and studs (left) and Cyborg ring (right)
All Yeprem’s designs are made by hand by a team of craftsmen in Beiruit and therefore are limited in quantity. Recently Virna launched an exclusive collection for fine jewellery e-tailer, Plukka, that’s flying off shelves . Best thing about them is that they are also super light and comfortable. Many of the styles are made to order to ensure the best fit and feature complicated movements and hinges so they sit well on the body. No wonder diamonds are a girl’s best friend.