Wearing Frogs And A Nautilus: Wynn Wynn Ong’s Most Eccentric And Exciting Pieces
From a gem-encrusted frog to a pearl-studded nautilus, unconventional is really an understatement for jewelry designer Wynn Wynn Ong.
When it comes to interesting and out-of-the-box jewelry pieces, there’s nothing that fits the bill more accurately than Wynn Wynn, who started designing jewelry in 2001 just because she couldn’t find pieces that fit her style and fashion story. With no formal training in gemology, Wynn Wynn started to build her brand on pure creativity, bold vision, and meaningful stories.
“I think I’m always so appreciative that the clients have their own sense of appreciation for the craft. And the fact that they understand that work that went into it, the thought that went into it, that’s what makes me happy because I know [for them] it’s not just buying a piece of jewelry. I’m always filled with joy when I know that they buy into the stories that I tell,” Wynn Wynn shares.
And after 16 years of creating jewelry, Wynn Wynn really has owned her brand and sense of style. Here are some of the most eccentric but exciting pieces that captured our eyes from her collections throughout the years.
There must be no bird more beautiful and bolder than the peacock, known for their extravagant plumages. This is why in 2011, as part of her Bird Minaudiere collection, released a simulated bark minaudiere in hand-forged metal featuring a jeweled peacock clasp. The bark clutch is made from recycled metal alloys, while the peacock body is gold set with peridot and sapphire beads. And true to the boldness of the peacock, the minaudiere features a long train of feathers that would surely be a showstopper in any event.
Following the simulated bark theme are these extraordinary cuffs: jade and aventurine-studded gold-set frogs perched on tree bark-like bracelets. Mimicking nature itself, Wynn Wynn brings out the beauty in what seem like normal, almost mundane natural occurrences, and produces something beautiful and unique.
These bejeweled frog bracelets were some of Wynn Wynn’s pieces at the London Philippine Fashion Show in 2012.
When you think of an octopus, the first words that come to mind are slimy, jelly-like legs, and all over the place. But when Wynn Wynn reinterprets something as seemingly bizarre as an octopus, you actually get something that’s crazy, yes, but in a very good way.
This mother-of-pearl pendant is nothing short of bizarre, but the creativity that went into it is astounding. From one tentacle dangles a repoussé galleon, and on the other an antique carved crystal quartz. Throw in a gold set galleon and voila, a statement piece that can outshine any diamond-crusted necklace.
With the vision to showcase Filipino culture, Wynn Wynn also created these Balai and Balai Liit singular rings, featuring amazing close-up details. Both rings now both belong to a private collection but were loaned to the Yuchengco Museum last year for the Re-defining Boundaries: A Retrospective exhibit, organized for the benefit of the Child Protection Network.
Nautilus shell clutch bag
Called the “Nauty boy,” this chambered nautilus shell clutch bag is an anatomically accurate rendition of the animal that inhabits the nautilus shell. Outside, you have hand-cut smoky quartz eyes, and Brazilian tourmalines embedded into the head; inside the bag, you have hundreds of freshwater pearls lining what’s supposed to be the nautilus’ belly.
This particular piece was so successful and famous even in the international circles that in 2010, it landed on the front page of international fashion bible, Women's Wear Daily (WWD).
Check out Wynn Wynn’s extensive collection at Wynn Wynn Ong Artisanal Works. And catch more of her amazing pieces and the story of her jewelry journey on Joey Mead King’s Women of Style, airing September 23, 7 p.m. on Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD.
Photos from wynnwynnong.com