With their meticulous eye for detail, the Natural Diamond Council along with celebrity stylists, Leepakshi Ellawadi, Tiffany Briseno and Jay Hines, are here to help you mastermind your jewellery box with timeless natural diamond jewels in unexpected silhouettes with clever details. So, what jewellery lessons can be learnt from them? Let’s dive in.
We first turned to Leepakshi Ellawadi, fashion stylist and Bollywood costume designer, to help glam up with natural diamonds. What’s new on the bling scene? “It is refreshing to note that in the last decade, men have come forward to express their sense of style, fashion and choice rather than falling into the groove of predefined norms and colours. As a stylist, it provides me with a lot more freedom, while leaning into their persona and taking cues. I am glad that we, now, get to experiment while dressing men up stylishly in ways that celebrate their individuality,” says Leepakshi. “The style guide for men has changed considerably.”
So, where to start? Get your core right, when it comes to building the jewellery collection, says Leepakshi. “It should draw on who you are as a person — be it a gold chain, brooch, tuxedo buttons or diamond accented timepiece, it should reflect your personality. Key pieces right from your pen to watch need to speak about who you are, then you go about adding fashion elements to it. If you wear a Rolex every day, add a little quirk to it — take it a bit further ahead in terms of style or shape with your weekend or party watch.”
Based between London, Dubai and Mumbai, she works with Bollywood A-listers Kareena Kapoor Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Esha Gupta and Amitabh Bachchan. Are her clients open to experimenting at all with her style code? “It depends on your convincing power and how much they trust you. And that makes it so much easier to push them out of their comfort zone. I aim to find the middle road between how a celebrity, or a client perceives themselves and my vision,” says Leepakshi.
Jewellery for Men:Get the Core Right
A watch elevates the outfit, it speaks a lot about your personality, observes the stylist. “If you are looking to elevate your outfit, you must invest in a good wristwatch that pairs well with your personality,” she adds. A simple plain fitted white shirt and pair of black trousers can be teamed up with an elegant wristwatch; it anchors the entire look.
“Cufflinks and tuxedo buttons are next on my list. You can play around with a lot of cool designs, and these can be customised with initials or motifs that hold special meaning for you. Gold, platinum cufflinks embellished with natural diamonds or in combination with gems can lend an element of subtlety or quirkiness,” says Leepakshi, currently working on a project with Alexander McQueen in the Middle East. “The third jewellery for men is brooches.” Brooches or pins used to be utilitarian back in the day but have evolved into a great accessory — they work beautifully with Indian wear and can also be teamed up with Western outfits. “If it is a design with just a gem or minimal sparkle, it helps add a little glitz and glamour to the outfit.”
Silver or platinum bands are a must have for this stylist. “I usually play it understated, when I am styling men. I like to pick the right tone of metal; platinum and silver, I believe, work very well for most brown skin tones. I prefer the less glossy and more matte finish band rings. I am not a huge fan of gold, especially yellow gold,” points out Leepakshi.
Next on her list of must-haves is sherwani buttons; they are a great addition to any jewellery box especially for Indian wear, besides being an iconic combination. “I prefer gold buttons set with panchratan or navratna gems encrusted with an assortment of five or nine coloured gems and stones,” she adds. The buttons can be set with birthstones, pearls, natural diamonds or any coloured gem of your choice.
Leepakshi’s Top 5: 1.Wristwatch 2.Cufflinks and tuxedo buttons 3.Brooches 4.Band rings 5.Sherwani buttons
How do you put together a core jewellery collection? Look for compelling designs, a few minimalist pieces and some conversation starters. “You should have an everyday necklace and at least one or two everyday rings. For the necklace, focus on a thinner chain with maybe a variety of pendants that speak to you. Remember, jewellery is always an extension of your personality. The more personal, the more authentic it will feel,” says Tiffany Briseno, Los Angeles-based celebrity stylist whose client list includes Shawn Mendes, Angus Cloud, Emily Hampshire, Jack Dylan Grazer and Kane Brown.
“I usually split up my collection into two categories; modern and traditional. Mixing these in one wear always adds a level of interest to your look. You should have both versions of each essential piece in your collection,” she says.
Tiffany’s inspiration is rooted in architecture and fashion history and her approach to image making has won her loyal clients spanning Los Angeles, New York and Toronto.
She recommends investing in signet rings and pinky rings featuring personalised crests or motifs. Thin and thick versions of link chains that sit at the collar bone or pass across tends to be a fine staple piece. And with designers serving up any number of options from minimal to maximal, there’s no dearth of options. “It’s an exciting time in men’s jewellery,” she says.
Build a collection
Small hoops that hug the ear lobe and a classic two-tone watch never go out of style. “A classic watch with a full diamond face is a great asset to your collection,” she adds.
Tiffany’s Top 5 Picks:
1.Pinky and signet rings 2.Cuban link chains 3.Link chains 4.Huggie diamond hoops 5.Wristwatch
Tiffany & Co
Originally from London, UK, fashion stylist Jay Hines is a contributing editor at Flaunt Magazine. He has also worked on multiple high-branded campaigns and collaborates with many high-profile athlete clients.
“For me, personally, with the men that I have styled, they become more interested in the design of their jewellery and the narrative behind the pieces they wear. I think it’s fun for your jewellery to have some type of story or character to it,” says Jay, who counts Paul Bettany, Jaden Smith, Gunna, Eddie Redmayne, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh O’Connor, Trippie Redd and Hit-Boy among his A-list clients.
Key Jewellery Pieces That All Men Can Pull Off
“I always think starting small is a good idea depending on your price point. You could start with 18k gold diamond studs; I prefer white gold. Slowly, work your way up to the bracelet section and if it’s your cup of tea, you can move onto Cuban and diamond necklaces in rivière and tennis style. Then, if you want to really take it there, go super crazy and start layering your jewellery,” adds Jay, whose personal go-to jewels are Cartier bracelets and a pair of white gold natural diamond studs.
“Rings are always a nice everyday wear. They don’t have to have diamonds; they can be plain and still look nice. A necklace or two for sure. I’m pretty over the top; so, I wear two tennis chains and then another diamond chain if heading somewhere where I know it will have me shining like a disco ball,” he adds.
When it comes for time to sparkle, Jay loves watches with diamond set dial like the Rolex Date just 41mm Steel and Everose Gold. “It adds a lovely touch to an outfit. Don’t overdo it with too many diamond pieces but a nice combination of rings and necklaces and chains. Perhaps, a plain jane watch with a few diamond pieces will work or, again if you want to go crazy, wear a full diamond baguette Cuban with a diamond flooded watch — then, the outfit should not be too loud,” he says.
Jay’s Top Five: 1.Bracelets 2.Rings 3.Studs 4.Necklaces 5.Wristwatch
Now that you’ve learnt how to create a diamond jewellery look that’s more than the sum of its parts, commit to it. Be Shiny. Be You.