The New Landscape of Luxury

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Your hand brushes against the beautifully hand-painted python skin as it reaches pass the double top handles and into the soft caress of the calfskin lining on the inside. There, a logo is visible. The brand: Zagliani.

After years of rapid economic growth, luxury items seem to have lost its initial allure. The exclusivity, premium quality, and the prestige seem to have languished with the rising income and wealth levels.

If you take a walk along the streets of Orchard, you'd realise that there are no lack of flashy logos and ostentatious monograms. It seems like there are more people wanting to express their wealth through the means of conspicuous consumption. One would ask, how is luxury still luxurious when it's so accessible to the masses?

The landscape of luxury consumerism has gradually shifted from wealth expression to self-satisfaction. Wealth expression has ceased to impact the people's desire for these products. You should now seek gratification from 'inner' luxury, luxury only for you to know. 

With the overly saturated luxury market, sometimes it may seem like the high price tags are only caused by staggering profit margins. However, we should remember that designers don't come into existence on a whim. They have often done many things to arrive at where they are.

Designers all have a passion to share, and a story to tell. They express their stories and personality through what they make. They want to evoke reactions of admiration and delight from their consumers. They view it as form of art, dedicated to creating not just goods, but a way of life. A brand's philosophy, craftsmanship and heritage are the key elements that you should look out for before making a purchase. 

You will find yourself reaching out for pieces that veer away from trends yet big on style. Items of immaculate quality, pared down and built to last, you will find these items working as the core of your contemporary wardrobes. 

This is the new luxury - Sustainable Luxury. A carefully considered life enriched by refined, functional and timeless products, invested pieces with a story that resonates with yours. 


The Gemstone Story
What Makes A Stone Precious To You?

Monday, March 17, 2014

We at LaPrendo have seen a shift of late. Traditional diamond-encrusted jewellery like those from Schaffrath have started to face competition while the demand for tourmalines, sapphires, and garnets courtesy of Jochen Pohl is on the rise at our Fullerton Jewellery Boutique.

Maria Doulton from The Jewellery Editor has also forecasted the trend for 2014: the demand for “lesser-known stones” will keep on growing. She highlighted opal has been top of the pops for the past few years. Moonstone, with its mysterious lunar sheen and luminescent colours, is another stone on the rise too.
When it comes to gemstones there is more to it than choice, preference, and personal style. There are objective quality criteria known as the 4C’s - Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat – and as a jewellery admirer or collector you might already know all this. 
But is it still relevant? Think again, does the 4C’s criteria still affect your choice of jewellery these days?

Have you ever questioned the difference between a “gem stone” and a "normal stone"? 

Stones are either minerals, which have a regular internal structure and fixed chemical composition, or organics, which are produced by plants or animals billions of years ago. For a stone to be even considered a gem, its substance has to be beautiful in terms of colour and the way it reflects light. But most of all, it also needs to be rare and durable.

Then how do we tell the difference between precious and semi-precious gemstones? The distinction between these two are always laden with myth and misconceptions. One of my favourite theories is that the traders founded the term “semi-precious” back in the 1800 century to save declaration fees of goods across the borders. If the goods did not include the King of Gems:  Diamonds, Rubies or Sapphires, the traders would inform the customs. “It’s just semi-precious stones!” and there was no need to declare their goods, and just like that, a less commercial value was given.
Since the 1st century, gemstones have also been associated with the different month of the year, the wearing of the birthstone was, and still is, deemed lucky. Is your birthstone considered of higher value and more beautiful and precious to you?

Such colour, shimmer, shine, and form, even made our ancestors believe that gemstones came from heaven. Superstition grew up around them and alleged the believed in power of gems such as healing and medicinal purpose. For centuries the fortuneteller’s ball made of rock crystal has been used to “see into the future”. 

We will never know when the earth will run out of gemstones to mine. What we DO know is that every single stone is valuable in its own existence and differs in mineral construction, texture, and colour tone. Their uniqueness ranges as wide as the ever-moving fashion trends or each of our personal preferences.

They say that only Diamonds are a girl’s best friend and that they are forever. I would say the beauty of coloured gemstones and quality craftsmanship lasts for a lifetime. They, too, are to be treasured and passed on to the next generation.
So, aside from diamonds, what kind of gemstones would you choose to be your best friend?

Image credit: Jochen Pohl,,

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Steal The Looks
Paris Fashion Week 2014 Street Style

Monday, March 3, 2014

From catwalk to sidewalk - the most inspiring styling often comes from the streets.
How to wear the modern short suit, fantasy prints, sweet pastels, or relaxed tailoring?
The Style Editors have assembled 5 outfits from the likes of Emma Cook, By Malene Birger, Carolina Bucci, and Gianvito Rossi among others, taking cues from our favourite street style looks.

Street style photo credits: Tommy Ton @

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