Saturday, June 15, 2024

Australian fashion people show us their engagement rings

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“It was important to me that the decision to get married was one made together, so I love how this sentiment is also represented in the rings we wear.”

Choosing an engagement ring, whether it’s for yourself or your partner, is famously a difficult task (not that I’d know, but so I hear from friends who’ve been through the experience).

Do you want something glitzy and diamond-encrusted? A subtle, classic band? A brilliantly blinding gemstone? Or maybe you want to bypass the engagement ring altogether and just opt for a wedding ring instead?

For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.

The options are endless, and if you work in fashion, chances are you’ll be even more specific about what you want (fashion people are nothing if not particular about their likes and dislikes). Below, we asked five Australian fashion people – designers, jewellery makers and writers – to show us their engagement rings (or lack thereof) and tell us the stories behind the jewellery.

Ashiya Omundsen, Founder of Par Moi

We made a decision to get married together rather than via a proposal so we didn’t get engagement rings. Even the idea of wedding bands didn’t cross my mind until about two months prior, which might seem unconventional. With such limited time, the thought of committing to one ring forever felt overwhelming.

So I decided on two simple bands for now – one silver, one gold – from the Melbourne-based jeweller Kieroy, and might add to the stack in the future. For now, these suit me perfectly because I work with my hands and handle fabric daily so I can’t have anything that will catch, plus the mixed metals mean I can style them with anything.


Bella Clark, Jeweller

My partner and I got engaged after a very sweet conversation over New Year’s Eve while we were camping in the Flinders Ranges. Before telling our friends and family, we wanted to have a ring. Being a jeweller, this was one of my favourite projects but also the hardest! I didn’t think about what the wedding band would look like whilst designing the engagement ring as I wanted to make sure that both pieces would be fun on their own and then later on, also work stacked together.

I wanted something non-traditional and comfortable but at the same time, still adorned with the timeless allure of diamonds. My engagement ring is an open-style ring with four radiant cut diamonds and the wedding band consists of five brilliant round cut diamonds, set into yellow gold that stack perfectly into one another.


Tessa McGregor, Director of Highrack Studios

My engagement/wedding ring is a simple silver band (very me). My husband, Magnus, melted down his late father’s ring and made one for each of us. The other ring on that finger is by Seb Brown and was my first anniversary present from Magnus. My ‘M’ signet ring on my pinkie is by Bella Clark and was a wedding gift from my sister and her partner (Magnus has a ‘T’). The gold band was my mum’s, she gave it to me the day we got married.


Sally Tabart, Writer, Editor and Creative Strategist

I didn’t actually get engaged, so there was no engagement ring! For the rings we exchanged on our wedding day I toyed around with the idea of something sparkly or glitzy, but I never felt like myself when I tried them on. In the end we decided to get matching wedding bands, the Drop Ring from Kieroy. They’re so simple – a slight curve in the band, mine with a scattering of small white diamonds and Jez’s with cognac diamonds in the same formation.

It was important to me that the decision to get married was one made together, so I love how this sentiment is also represented in the rings we wear. It reminds me of how equal and balanced our partnership is. My grandmother’s wedding ring was also a very simple curved gold band, which I wear on my right hand. I love this small connection to her. It feels like me. And maybe I’ll buy myself the glitzy ring one day!


Ada Hodgson, Jewellery Designer

Ahh! It was such a challenging process. I adore jewellery and have so many favourite jewellers and would’ve loved a ring by almost anyone, ultimately crafting one myself. I proposed to my partner sans rings and he then secretly purchased my favourite gemstone, a teal tourmaline. The otherworldly gem sat in my studio for two years while I designed and redesigned the ring.

The first sketch I ever did was on a Post-it note on my wall, and it ended up being the ring I made. Ordinarily, I love a bezel-style setting, but the tourmaline is so large and deep that I couldn’t get a bezel style to balance, but I didn’t want plain old claws. So I carved twisted vines out of gold that wraps around the gem, and it has pink sapphire flowers set all around the band; a whimsical token of love.

I also made Dave’s ring with a tourmaline to match mine! The brown tourmaline is the colour of his eyes and was mined and cut in Perth where he was born. There are two uncut diamonds on either side that look like grains of sand because the beach is our favourite place, and at the back is a Greek love knot.


For tips on finding the right engagement ring, head here.

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