Tuesday 08 April 2014

Jewelry Stands Out at Baselworld Despite Dominance of Watches

Jewelry Stands Out at Baselworld Despite Dominance of Watches

(April 2, '14, 2:04 Danielle Max, Basel) (IDEX Online) – The halls started emptying on Wednesday at the Baselworld show which ends on Thursday after a week-long gathering of the world’s biggest names in watches and jewelry.

While Basel is very much the watch show, many jewelry brands continue to choose this spring show to launch their new lines and collections, making it a great place to see the shapes, colors and designs of the coming seasons.

While the sheer variety of goods on offer makes pinning down specific trends difficult, there were some clear styles in evidence. When it came to rings, forget small and simple. Designers were going for big, bold and statement making. Cocktail rings were there in big numbers, both cabochon and with bold faceted gemstones.

Moving away from rings with large center stones, designers are continuing to go geometric with coils that go up the finger and lattice work pieces that are more finger shield than everyday rings.

Despite stabilizing metal prices, there was still a lot of open filigree work in evidence – a hangover from the years of skyrocketing gold and platinum – although there were also a lot of big, bold chains using a great deal of metal. Speaking of metal, there was a lot of rose gold about, and also a good amount of mixing metals and mixing metals with other materials, such as enamel or even leather.

Despite Radiant Orchid being the Pantonte color of the year, there wasn’t a great deal of purple in evidence. While there was certainly a great deal of color about, blue may just have edged out the other hues and it may take another few seasons for the jewelry industry to catch up with the color predictors – or this could be one trend that skips it by altogether.

If two years ago Basel was all about the dragon, a motif for this year was the snake (so does that mean that next year it will be all about the horse?). Snakes appeared at a number of booths in the form of earrings, necklaces and rings while other designers opted to take inspiration from the skin of the snake, rendering it in white and brown diamond pavé and enamel, to name just a couple of versions seen on the show floor.

Among the many serpentine offerings, the most impressive was the enamel and diamond cuff from Spanish jewelry house Masriera, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary. The limited edition piece (no more than 15 will be made) is set to retail at €100,000 ($135,000) and features 15 graduated color tones of enamel that help bring the scaly creature to life.

Sticking with nature, many designers – naturally – continue to turn to the natural world for inspiration. Butterflies, flowers and leaves could be seen in a great many vitrines and thankfully the pull of the macabre, which has been dying down in the past couple of years, seems to have vanished almost completely with barely a skull – pavéd or otherwise – to be seen.

Motivated by the recent focus on Russia, Brazilian designer Carla Amorim looked to that country for inspiration for her latest line. The collection takes its motivation from Russian architecture, icons and geography, including earrings shaped after the St Basil Cathedral, a ring inspired by the Hermitage and an Orthodox rosary necklace. The collection embraces a range of gemstones – such as emeralds and rubies set in a variety of colored golds – that pay homage to Amorim’s colorful Brazilian heritage.

Another company somewhat inevitably looking eastwards to Russia for inspiration is Fabergé, which has just launched its new Rococo collection. This modern take on rococo style draws its inspiration from the gold scrolls featured on the legendary 1902 Rocaille Egg, which was created for Russian heiress Varvara Kelkh and was itself based on 18th century Louis XVI style and the rococo artistic movement.

This collection is all about color with the arabesques of the cocktail rings, bracelets, necklaces and drop earrings set with dusky pink and purple spinels, emeralds, amethysts, aquamarine and white diamonds.

Finally, one company that was setting its own trend was Dani by Daniel K. Surprisingly, among all the high-end luxury brands, this new brand from ultra-lux jeweler Daniel Koren does not feature top-quality diamonds and gemstones, but rather cubic zirconia and lab created gems, such as corundum and spinel. The idea behind the brand is to make the Daniel K style available to women at an affordable price, without giving up on aesthetics and apparently a certain sector of the Basel crowd has been going wild for it. The brand launches later this year.