November 28, 2010
November 8, 2010
Asia Leong: Jewelry with a Touch of Genius
By Godfrey Deeny
Fashion Wire Daily October 14,2004 - PARIS - When people think of Paris fashion the first image that comes to mind is a supermodel in a mega show in the Tuileries gardens. But the key to the City of Light is also discovering creative talent in showrooms and hotel suites.
One of the most novel of these is Asia Leong, a very talented voice in jewelry who received visitors this past week in the Pavillon de la Reine, a charming hotel on the 17th century Place des Vosges.
Like her fresh jewelry - part exotic stones, part fashion accessory - the mysteriously accented Asia is not quite what you’d expect.
“My parents were Hollywood hippies,” smiles Asia, a strikingly pretty Asian American whose photographer father Chiu Leong shot album covers for the likes of Frank Zappa.
Leong launched her jewelry line in 1995 quickly winning clients like Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lauryn Hill, before taking a two-year stopgap to give birth to her first child Danae Rose.
She’s returned with a five-part collection, influenced by the places and people she met on her four season hiatus.
During the break, Asia visited Bali where she found some of the stones she uses in her smart Spider Web series of washed cotton wristbands or lariats into which are woven cultured pearls, rubies and aqua marines.
“I first saw these stones in Bali,” explains Leong, who works out of ateliers in Paris and New York and keeps homes here and in Hawaii.
Leong also showed Dream Catchers in sterling silver and black or chocolate leather with superb light-catching faceted aqua marine stones, and a series she calls Sea Gem of beautiful Chinese turquoise or the Peruvian stone Criscola.
“It’s designed to wrap around you,” blushes the designer, attaching a triple body piece around her neck before, before tying it around her waist. Like certain beautiful women, she is embarrassed being photographed, not quite appreciating her own splendor.
A fourth series that Leong has named River are spidery thin strands of silver and silk interrupted by “teeth” of green agate colored enhanced by heat.
But her most audacious mix of clothing and charms are a collection of tulle “scarves” interspersed with skinny silver spikes and chains. Called Tatiana, they make a sophisticatedly, punchy final touch to an evening’s outfit.
“To me they are clouds, and you wear them like this,” beamed shy Asia, as she tossed a Tatiana over her shoulder.
For those in the know, Leong’s new comeback collection will be available in Liwan in St Germain starting next month, in Feathers in London and in Cornelia, the exclusive new Fifth Avenue spa opening in December. Prices vary from approximately $1,200 for her Spider webs, $800 for Sea Gem earrings and $700 for her tulle Tatianas.
This past week, editors from both French Vogue and Elle swarmed through her suite, shrieking enthusiastically at the smart collection. So, pick up some yourself and be way ahead of the stylistic curve.
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