DAY ONE: AZZA DESIGNER BOUTIQUE, JEWELLERY ARABIA BAHRAIN 2016

So excited to escape the grey skies of London for sunny Bahrain and the Jewellery Arabia jewellery fair! Jewellery Arabia is the largest and most prestigious jewellery exhibition in the Middle East, showcasing world famous names and unique designers from all across the globe. The first day I spent with the wonderful people at the Azza Designer Boutique, who showed three brands this year:

Azza Fine Jewellery

Vanleles Diamonds

Randa Khalil Raad Jewelry

Read about my first visit to Bahrain last year.

The BA flight from London was unfortunately delayed by four hours, so my fabulous professional jewellery photographer, Julia Flit, and I didn’t land in Bahrain until four in the morning. After another short delay processing our visa at the airport, we managed to catch a few hours of sleep before my amazing makeup artist, Najla Al Bastaki, eight months pregnant and full of positive energy, arrived at our newly adopted home at eight sharp to perform her magic. I will be forever grateful to her for making me look fresh and fabulous after only a few hours of sleep.

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My choice of cosmetics is crucial as I’m taking Roaccutane and need to be careful not to dry out my already over-sensitive skin, or overexpose it to the Middle Eastern sun. Hourglass is my personal favourite especially the intensely hydrating Primer Serum, which helps to create a refined and re-textured surface for my brave makeup looks in Bahrain!

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I arrived at Jewellery Arabia Bahrain wearing my pyjamas (just kidding!) But I wanted something as comfortable and something to match the vibe of the culture. I settled for gold and a few kilograms of golden glitter in my hair! With every step, I leave a trail of glitter behind me. You should’ve seen my hotel room! This stuff gets everywhere. I’ve earned the reputation of being a bit of a diva and something of a performance artist! Jewellery, fabric, and fashion are all about self-expression and I’m not shy to challenge my environment, even in Bahrain, while enjoying every minute of the experience!

SHOP THE LOOK:

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So dressed in pink and gold and all a-glitter, I arrived at Jewellery Arabia Bahrain for the VIP opening with His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Then we were welcome to schmooze and shop before the doors opened to the public the following day for a week-long jewellery show like never before, a guaranteed success for the Azza Designer Boutique.

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So what have we in store for you this year? I’m happy to tell you that Randa Khalil Raad Jewelry brought her exquisite pieces to the Azza Designer Boutique at Jewellery Arabia in Bahrain this year. I had an opportunity to interview Randa at the Blakes Hotel in London earlier this year, and I fell in love with her and her wonderful handcrafted jewellery from her Beirut workshop.

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The second designer I want you to meet is Vania Leles of VanLeles Diamonds , who I discovered years ago through my friends in London before she launched her eponymous brand. Vania reminds me of Laurence Graff, creative, powerful, capable and with a passion for jewellery that is palpable. This year at Jewellery Arabia in Bahrain, Vania showed some breathtaking, brave and fresh designs with exceptional emeralds by GEMFIELDS. I love that she is not afraid of using colour in her feminine jewels.

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VanLeles Diamonds Necklace from Discover Legends Of Africa Collection with diamonds GVS 1.74 carats and Gemfields sourced emeralds 29.82 carats.

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VanLeles Diamonds Earrings from Enchanted Garden collection with diamonds GVS 2.86 carats, cushion sapphires 5.12 carats and sapphires graduation 12.70 carats.

 

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After the VIP opening, together with designers from the Azza Boutique, the lovely Azza herself organised a fabulous lunch at my favourite place in Bahrain, La Fontaine. It’s a wonderful setting and a part of the Azza family history. Located in the heart of Manama, close to the old “Suq,” La Fontaine. is also a centre for contemporary art and an historical monument dating back 150 years. The food, the vibe and of course, the jewellery all add to the magic of this place. Among the five of us, two of the girls are pregnant. So we ordered for seven!

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As you might already know, I never share photographs of jewellery that I have not seen or tried on. I love my photos perfect (remember I am a diva after all!) So after lunch, I quickly went through the thousands of photos we’d taken, and selected the one I wanted to share during my social media takeover of the Azza Desinger Boutique

So, just for you, I have picked my favourite pieces from all three designers at the Azza Designer boutique, Jewellery Arabia, and styled them in my own special way.

GET THE LOOK with my own jewellery and jewelled silk No.21 pumps!

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Under her other line, Azza Fine Jewellery, Azza has launched a beautiful line of delicate, pearl chokers this year. This one is made with natural Bahraini pearls. These beauties are so trendy right now, they sold out on the spot. For some of history’s most famous chokers, check out Edgar Degas’ beautiful ballerinas.

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During lunch at La Fontaine, I had fun trying on these gorgeous diamond earrings from Vanleles Diamonds. They can be worn as a pair or as a single if you want to make a statement while enjoying lunch in the great company of jewellery designers with a fiery passion for jewellery!

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This earring curves to my ear lobe so deliciously, it reminds me how much has changed in the way we wear our jewels. Women like me are looking for pieces that can take us from dawn to dusk. Precious but modern, fine but comfortable and versatile. We like pieces that reflect our style and identity. After all, we are in the Middle East where jewellery is embedded in the culture, where diamonds are worn with pride and deeply admired.

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Jewellery Arabia is like a jewellery paradise open to public. The weather is hot and the show does not get going till after 4 pm. Jewellery shopping continues well into the night, right up until 10 pm! It was getting on for four o’clock now, so we headed over to Jewellery Arabia after the deliciously jewelled lunch at La Fontaine , to continue the curation of my favourite pieces to share with you.

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I love getting to know the designers at Jewellery Arabia in Bahrain, and spending time with clients looking for something special to add to their jewellery collections. It’s always a good time. Every stand has a special hidden jewellery changing room to try on jewellery in private, an experience valued by many Saudi Arabia clients.

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I sense an earring trend in the air: mix and match! Because a woman can never have too many earrings. Randa Khalil Raad Jewelry has designed a full menu of earrings to satisfy any appetite, so you always have the perfect earring for every mood and every outfit.

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From Azza Fine Jewellery, this colourful string of Bahrain natural pearls is an everyday bracelet possessing simple luxury. A great addition to your bracelet stack. Would also look amazing with Cartier’s love bracelets or the Juste Un Clou bracelet.

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I love this photo of Vania Leles of VanLeles Diamonds  (and I’m not just talking about her stunning outfit!) I’m talking about her commitment to show her jewellery and explain to each guest about the craftsmanship behind each exquisite design. Jewellery Arabia gives you that opportunity – to meet designers face to face. It makes the whole shopping experience much more personal.

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VanLeles Diamonds earrings with rubies.

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VanLeles Diamonds ring with rubies.

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It is Azza’s  tradition to host a Jewellery Arabia VIP dinner for her honoured guests at La Fontaine. Last year was so much fun.

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GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. Makeup artist Najla Al Bastaki.

All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE. Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

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