For admirers of master jewelers, such as Suzanne Belperron, JAR and Verdura, it would be no surprise to see a Haute Jeweler win a prestigious award entitled "Artistic Vision of the Year," for her incredible work.
Anna Hu, already famous in China for her mouthwatering gem renderings, is the first jeweler to receive the honor from the China Institute this month at their annual Chinese New Year Gala.
I call her work incredible because whenever I visit Anna Hu's store in Manhattan's Plaza Hotel, I hear gasps of amazement over the work on display.
Along with some beautifully traditional pieces, albeit with an Oriental inspired edge (Anna has designed for Van Cleef and Arpels and Harry Winston), it is the pieces which keep her up at night for months on end which defy belief.
A Moonstone bangle, which sold at Christie's auction in Dubai, lets the luscious stones to hover over the wrist, allowing light to travel right through the cloudy gems nestling the diamonds. A Chrysanthemum ring has an in built hinge which enables the flower and the leaf to open up and be worn on two fingers instead of one. A ruby and diamond ring suspends small dancing diamonds, like chandelier drops, shivering in the wind.
Inspiration for Anna can come from Classical music (Anna was once an award winning cellist), the paintings of Monet (whose water lilies are now being transformed into a collection of exquisite Haute pieces), or Chinese art and culture. It can even stem from a film she admires for its creativity, such as Avatar, which Anna has given the Haute treatment in some breathtaking titanium earrings.
The Avatar pieces were transformed into hair pins for Hilary Swank at this year's Oscars, whilst another of Anna's creations, a Dragonflower ring, was snapped up by Scarlett Johanssonn for their biggest night of the year.
On top of her Haute collection, which is sculpted for private clients, Anna has also collaborated with London store Kabiri, showcasing her work in Selfridges, London. Part of that collection is inspired by an ancient Eastern myth about a god of love who unites people by taking their souls and tying them together like a knot.
Anna's Love Knots are in white and black gold and contain rubies, sapphires, white and black diamonds.
The London crowd has responded well to the pieces as an alternative to a traditional engagement ring or anniversary gift. Not to mention the opportunity to get hold of some of the New York based designer's collectable pieces at a more affordable price point.
Despite the smaller line being somewhat more modest in outlook, the pieces are still made with the same painstaking detail. All of Anna's stones are natural in color and not heated, which means that they take months to select for each piece.
"I cannot have my name on anything unless it is Haute standard," says the designer sweetly. "It just isn't fair to clients to give them anything less than the best, especially if it is a love token."
I couldn't have put it better myself.
Anna Su in The Plaza Hotel
1 W. 58th St.
New York, NY 10019
JustLuxe is a luxury Web publication providing objective analysis and information to affluent consumers to assist with their decision making, such as chartering a yacht, purchasing a jet membership card, booking a luxury hotel, traveling to a specific destination, or buying real estate. Our writers conduct interviews with industry executives and leaders in their fields, analyze product offerings and review the Web sites of leading companies to ensure our readers have up-to-date data to make informed decisions. Consumers can find purveyors of fine luxury goods, services and travel solutions throughout the pages of JustLuxe via content or with our advertising partners. See our Best of Luxury high-end brands and partners.