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State Property’s Exquisite, All-Occasion Jewellery

By Hillary Kang

The Bimal ring, $8,200, the Eberhardt earrings, $8,200, and the Eberhardt ring, $3,200.
Photograph by Katherine Ang, styled by Eugene Lim.
The Bimal ring, $8,200, the Eberhardt earrings, $8,200, and the Eberhardt ring, $3,200.

The high price point of fine jewellery means that these exquisite pieces are usually only worn during special events, otherwise spending most of their time squirrelled away into vaults and safe boxes. For Singaporean designer Imram Afzal — who is one half of jewellery label State Property — it always felt like something of a waste, especially since jewellery is meant to represent life’s many important moments.

“Fine jewellery plays a very vital part in many intimate moments in our lives — marriage, births, the passing down of a legacy,” says Afzal. “We started State Property knowing that we wanted to create pieces with longevity, but also pieces that would not add to the growing throw-away culture.” As Afzal explains, he and co-founder Lin Ruiyin — also his wife — imagine their jewellery to be worn by “a woman wearing a T-shirt and jeans”.The Voyager line is State Property’s fifth and latest collection. True to the brand’s Art Deco-influenced roots, the Voyager collection is replete with bold signet rings and geometric, angular drop earrings. The collection features a spiral-like motif, one seen most clearly on pieces like the twining Bimal ring. “It plays up this idea of the adventurer,” says Afzal. “It symbolises a voyager impressing [themselves upon] their surroundings — leaving trails and causing ripples.”

Each item in the collection comes with its own name and story. The Eberhardt ring, pictured above for example, was named after famed author Isabelle Eberhart, who moved to North Africa in the early 20th century — a time when it was still controversial for a single woman to do so — where she published numerous critically acclaimed stories inspired by her travels through the region. She was also said to have dressed and behaved as a man to facilitate her travels, and, as biographer Lesley Blanch wrote, Eberhardt “drank more than a Legionnaire, smoked more kief than a hashish addict and made love for the love of making love.”

The charming star-shaped Adams ring was named after American photographer Harriet Chalmers Adams, who worked as
a war correspondent during World War I (she was the only female journalist permitted to visit the trenches) and the first president of the Society of Woman Geographers, while the Marsden series of earrings and cuffs borrow their name from British missionary and nurse Kate Marsden, who travelled to Siberia in the mid-19th century to find a cure for leprosy. It is this sense of celebrating women — enterprising, bold and noble — that runs throughout the collection.

As Afzal explains, the Voyager collection is a continuation of State Property’s design narrative. “We like to think of our collections as the next chapter [in] the story of State Property — or little stories that lead to the next story, and then the next,” says Afzal, adding that Voyager picks up where Unfold — the brand’s last collection that focused on the life cycle of stars — left off. “We express ourselves through fine jewellery,” says Afzal. “We want to create precious objects that will be vessels of memories, and of legacies.”

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