It’s hard to imagine celebrated Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna without her large hoop earrings dangling down her ears. Accentuating her colourful headscarves, it has become such a strong aspect of her brand as an international artist fascinating foreign media ever since she broke out in the United States.
But apart from her signature look of hijab and skinny jeans, we knew nothing about Yuna’s sense of style when it comes to picking jewellery pieces. “When I was younger, I was more of a rocker chick. And the kind of accessories that I would wear are leather cuffs and statement rings,” Yuna told Lifestyle Asia.
But Yuna has come a long, long way since her early days of playing music in cafes in Kuala Lumpur. And accompanying the Los Angeles-based artist in one of her shopping trips to Cartier’s high jewellery salon in Pavilion KL, we saw how her sense of style has evolved into a refined taste for jewellery and accessories.
Yuna: I like something simple but edgy yet classic and timeless. I always relate to Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s because she embodies elegance and class. That’s the kind of woman that I want to be, but when I was younger, I was more of a rocker chick. Now, as I grow and become more mature, I really like fine jewellery even though I also go for statement rings, earrings, or necklaces. I just don’t wear wear everything at once.
Yuna: I look for a collection that’s simple. I prefer the Love collection from Cartier, especially the rose gold pieces. There’s something about rose gold and I don’t know why I’m attracted to it. My fiancé knows that I love it, we both love it, so even my engagement ring is made of rose gold. Especially after my engagement, rose gold turned into something more special and for now, everything else that I have must match it.
Yuna: I’m not from a wealthy family. My parents are both government workers, and we didn’t have a luxurious lifestyle. I knew that I had to work really hard and I need to earn my own living. I think the first time that I owned a piece of jewellery happened when I was in the US seven years ago. I remember getting paid for my first show — it was like my first pay check. So, I went to a store where there’s this one piece of jewellery that I really wanted for the longest time. I finally had the money to get it and I still have the statement ring today.
Yuna: I used to have a gold chain necklace with a little “Y” pendant on it but it got lost. We’ve been moving around a lot, so we keep on misplacing things. It was from my mum. I think this is one of the reasons why I feel like I need to learn how to take care of my jewellery. I need to be more responsible. But the first jewellery that I really know that’s the real deal is my engagement ring. I really, really need to take care of it, and bring it with me everywhere I go.
Yuna: It depends because I’m an artist and during my performances, I wanted to be bold and make a statement. In my last show, I had a glittery light pink trench coat on when I was performing at the stadium. I feel like I still needed a necklace thats’s over the top and dangly. So, I wore one that looks like a chandelier around my neck so that helps to just make a statement. If I’m doing a show, that would be a case. But if I’m just going out for a meeting, I love designs like the one I’m wearing now. It’s a Panthere de Cartier necklace in white gold with black lacquer, emeralds, onyx, and diamonds. Or go with one or two statement rings.
Yuna: I love my engagement ring. It means a lot to me that my fiancé and I are getting married. For the longest time, as an artist, I feel like my love life has always been out in the open. So, this is the first time that I felt like: “Yeah, this is the first real relationship.” Everything that we went through was real and the fact that he brought himself to ask my hand in marriage from my dad and actually buying a ring. If you know him, you wouldn’t think that he would be the kind of person who would buy for a girl. So, for him to do that is so sweet and special and that’s the engagement ring.
I know after this there will be a lot of jewellery like the wedding band, but the engagement ring to me is the one because it’s like a first step. It’s a life-changing thing for us. And I love it because it has my nickname engraved on the back. He is the only person who calls me that. It’s kinda cute, funny, and silly too.
(Images by Fadza Ishak)