Adrien Schnee’s Elements & Senses – two “must see” shops for jewellery lovers.
How many times did you walk or drive through Tha Pae Road and didn’t pay attention to those two shops simply because they have no signs in big and bright letters? I bet it happened a lot.
By some quirk of the owner ( I assume it’s Adrien Schnee) there are no signs on the shops, no boards, nothing – just pretty windows peaking out from an antique wooden house. This is how I found Senses shop.
I love unusual and eclectic jewellery, and here you will find plenty of it – from modern, tribal (typical to Northern Thailand hill tribes), ceramic (with beautiful ancient white and blue patterns) to New Zealand Paua shell, freshwater pearls, semiprecious stones, luxurious coral, murano glass, and my personal favourite - enamel. They use mostly silver in their jewellery making, although I noticed some copper as well.
The fashion designers say that the jewellery trends for 2010 are all about symbolism, dramatic statements and using silver and bronze to cater to the market subdued by the recession. Pearls, corals, Swarovski crystals and chunky natural stones are all in this year. I think shopping in Senses makes following these trends quite easy.
Adrien Schnee’s designs are just lovely, simple and delicate. I noticed intricate white silver web rings and fragile dangling copper earrings along with some sparkly crystal jewellery next to the tiny jade bracelets and chunky bracelets full of silver charms and semiprecious stones.
There are also unusual, brightly coloured decorative plates and trays with some art deco or modern art, which actually attracted me first when I looked through the window.
And of course there are lots of scarves made from famous Thai silk, and some pretty amazing bags from tiny embroidered purses to suede totes and hobo bags. There are more clothes and home interior items in Elements shop.
The clothes, jewellery, pottery and accessories are all made locally, some with the tribal influences, a lot of it in New Age style, modern or Asian style.
The prices are very moderate starting from 40-50 baht on sale, with average 200 baht for a pair of silver earrings or a ring. Some of the bigger items or jewellery sets are sold for 400-600 baht, and some larger suede bags are priced for 800 baht. I also found some beautiful heavy silver earrings being sold for over 1000 baht, so prices do vary depending on quality.
Comparing to the Night Bazaar shopping trip, a lot of the items are cheaper and definitely more original in style. Add some nice music, ambient lights, blasting air conditioning and pretty cool environment, and you’ll get a pleasant shopping experience.
Adrien Schnee Elements
400-402 ThaPae Road
Chiang Mai, Thailand
(About 50 metres up the street from Starbuck’s (at the Thapae gate), two shops down next to Ruby Tailor)