Denovo diamonds collaborates with renowned Philippine Fashion artists and tastemakers Jinggoy Buensuceso, Olivia d’Aboville, Leeroy New, Maureen Disini, Neil Felipp, and Cheryl Tiu to promote original, genuine Pinoy jewelry collections.
Marilyn Monroe got it wrong when she said diamonds were a girl’s best friend. It’s the boys’, too. Enter Denovo diamonds, a Pinoy brand that believes in Filipino originality and caters to men and women bounded by the love of arts and sparkles.
“We want to promote the arts and showcase the best of the Philippine talents. Our art is rich but it’s underrated and unrecognized. We want to champion our culture by coming up with wearable works of art. We wanted something different, something original, something that’s not generic, so we collaborated with artists to come up with their own collection,” says Caryll Martinez, the brains behind Denovo, a Latin word meaning “afresh.” Just recently, Denovo officially launched its collections starring stellar personalities to complement its iconic appeal.
The collections range from austere to quirky and elaborate. Globetrotter Cheryl Tiu’s Global collection, for instance, features her fave landmarks. Her collection highlights the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the Dome of Rock in Jerusalem, the Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest, and the Metropolitan Cathedral in Rio de Janeiro. But the star of the collection? Her Philippine flag necklace that features the three stars embedded in a pendant shaped like the rays of the sun. “I was inspired by super typhoon Haiyan, with what happened to our country,” Cheryl says. I tried to make this one more local by putting the elements of the Philippine flag. I want it to symbolize hope.”
A stark contrast to Cheryl’s colorful design is renowned furniture designer and sculptor Genesis “Jinggoy” Buensuceso. His Equilibrium collection, as the name implies, suggests balance and harmony. His silver rings, brooches, and bracelets with black diamonds are designed for people in the fast lane. “I had the leaders and the mavens and achievers, the people who are busy with intense level of work, as my inspiration. I want them to seek balance between work and play,” Jinggoy says. His collection appears manly but he says women nowadays are into androgynous fashion. “My sensibility has always been black and clean and with edge. For me, black is the new canvas, it’s infinite.”
If Jinggoy finds comfort in black, Filipino-French artist Olivia d’Aboville seeks sanctuary in the blue sea. Her Crystal Dew collection is poetic. For her, diamonds can only represent nature’s most precious element, and that is water. Taking cues from morning dews on twigs, Olivia’s seven-piece collection combines organic hints of simple beauty evident in her stem-like cuffs, two-finger rings, and stem necklaces. “My work in general is nature, whatever I do—sculpture, lighting, jewelry—is always related to nature. I am connected to the ocean. When you wear a piece of the collection, you’re a bit closer to nature, like you’re wearing a piece of it,” says Olivia, who, ironically, hardly wears jewelry. “I wish I could if I had more jewelry, I’d wear one. [I’m into] simple and indigenous jewelry that’s more casual,” she says.
Cebuano young artist Neil Felipp’s Simian collection features quirky and playful miniature monkeys. “I believe in whimsical elegance. My inspiration is Abu from Alladin, before he met him. He’s mischievous and attracted to ‘shining, shimmering, splendid’ things. To be consistent, I infused Pinoy games like Follow the Leader, hide and seek, and eye spy.” In his collection are statement pieces of happy monkeys hanging on a tree or tagging one another.
Another young artist in the roster is visual artist, sculptor, and designer Leeroy New. His fascination with religious iconography, especially of the Sacred Heart and seraphs (hence his Seraph collection) leads him to alternate the divine’s visage in random configurations.
“I’ve always been working on religious iconography as a source of form for all my works but not in an emotional way. I’m into re-configuring and reconstructing them,” says Leeroy. A sacred heart and seraph tattoos peeked through his shirt.
From religious icons, here’s one for the altar: Fashion designer Maureen Disini’s La Collezione Promessa. Her bridal and engagement line showcases and celebrates her Italian getaway. Maureen, who recently tied the knot, says it’s fitting that she designed wedding bands and engagement rings.