Monday Eye Candy

March 7, 2008

As promised, I wanted to bring you some additional designs from the About J show I just attended in Milan. I was happy to actually see some companies that I wasn’t familiar with (New jewelry! Fun!), and there were some old favorites in attendance that brought pieces that were literally just completed in the days and hours leading up to the show. There are definitely some trends that seem to be building up momentum in 2008, as referenced by the jewels shown here. Let’s start with the bracelet at the top of the page, made by Rome-based designer Fabio Salini. After stints at both Cartier and Bulgari, he went solo in 1999 and has been creating handmade pieces that are mostly one-of-a-kind. The bracelet above is made of rock crystal, pearls and sapphires, and hinged together with white gold and diamonds. Although this bracelet is sapphires, the stones actually cast a nice purplish glow in person, and purple is THE color of the year thus far. 

Pearls were another hot commodity, especially golden and cognac shades. I love this bracelet from Yvel (on the left) that successfully combines baroque pearls of all shapes and sizes into a mosiac-like wide cuff. On the right, an industrial rose gold bracelet by by Fope from their “Flex It” collection juxtaposes the hard edges of the repeating squares with the sensual curves of two brown pearls. 
After visiting Vicenza in January for a jewelry show, I mentioned that twisted shapes were very popular, much like this new set from Favero. (Sorry if the picture is a bit light.) I saw this quite a bit in hoop earrings with twisted profiles, and here’s an example of a bracelet and ring combination. 

Lastly, I’m seeing a little bit of a return to enamel. Florence-based La Nouvelle Bague is a pioneer in this technique, and for me the company’s pieces really embody the look of Italian jewelry. Year after year, they manage to create jewels that are imbued with tons of personality and whimsy. 
Luckily, you’ll see lots of ways to replicate these trends in Portero’s selection of jewels under $1,000. Just as an example, here’s a piece from each category that corresponds to the above looks. At under a grand, the deals can’t be beat.
Pretty in Purple:
Talisman Unlimited 14-karat gold garnet cluster earrings
Pearl party:
JewelMak sterling silver and baroque pearl bracelet. 
Twisted metal:
H Stern diamond pave hoop earrings. 
Everyday enamel:
Soho 18-karat gold and enamel Urban Safari tiger bracelet. 

Images courtesy About J
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