Monday Eye Candy: From Italy!

January 12, 2009


I’m coming to you live from Vicenza, Italy, the site of the year’s first international jewelry trade fair. With over 1,700 exhibitors, the sheer amount of beautiful baubles on site is literally staggering. It’s always exciting to just get down to the business of design, and this particular trade show is particularly known for Italian innovation and the art of goldsmithing.

After gazing into countless cases along the bustling aisles, I’ve noted a few trends that are certain to trickle down within the next year or two. Below, a few standouts and how to get ahead of the curve:

1. Black and White. There’s an absolute abundance of bold black and white gem-set jewelry. Special notice goes to dramatic faceted onyx and white agate, which I’ve seen in oversized cocktail rings and large medallions. Black diamonds are also everywhere, especially small points set into all-over pavé.

2. Alternative materials. With the price of metal skyrocketing, jewelers are trying to find innovative ways to cut costs. One of the answers is a wide range of semi-precious materials like bone, wood, resin and glass. The mix of high and low together in one piece makes for a modern juxtaposition.

3. Bib necklaces. Just as we saw in the most recent New York Fashion Week, statement necklaces are back and bigger than ever. I am gravitating towards versions with conjoined circles (like the Marco Bicego standout above) that dip deep into the decolletage.

Stay tuned for more trends tomorrow!

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