If you’ve ever wondered where the world’s trends in jewelry come from, the answer is the annual BaselWorld fair. Retailers, manufacturers and the rest stalk the tiny Swiss city’s convention center in pursuit of the latest offerings from the world’s biggest brands, strokes of brilliance from undiscovered talents and, if they’re lucky, hit upon the Next Big Thing that will create a jewelry buying binge. These days, some brands are tweaking tried-and-true favorites hoping lightning strikes twice and others are setting out for new territory with experiments in color and technique.
The green movement keeps making inroads into the world of fine jewelry. Its newest acolyte is Italian jewelry brand Garavelli. The just-launched Globo collection is created entirely from gold extracted by small Argentinian mines that forgo many of the damaging chemicals and practices used by larger industrial producers. Composed of open spheres that look like mini geodesic domes the pendant necklaces, rings and cuff in the collection are available in rose, white, and yellow gold, accented by (of course) non-conflict diamonds. Beyond benefiting the environment, Garavelli will also make a donation to the not-for-profit organization Terres de Hommes as part of the program. Read more about the project at www.garavellialdo.it/ecoluxury.
Stephen Webster, whose rock and roll demeanor hints at the edgily beautiful jewelry he creates, dug, or rather, dove deep for his latest inspiration. The classic fantasy novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the fantastical creatures in it provided fodder for the collection named after its author Jules Verne. Tentacles, vertebrae, claws, and ferocious shark teeth come decked in gold, diamonds and other precious gems, for a new twist on Webster’s glammed up goth style. Vortex earrings that drip pear-cut diamond droplets from webbed wings are key masterpieces from the collection.
This year marks Fope’s 80th anniversary. To celebrate the milestone, a host of new and updated collections have joined the range of options. An extra-special addition is the limited edition Niue bracelet. Part of the Flex’it line of bracelets with a springy core that stretches over the hand so that no clasp is required, the limited edition pieces feature jeweled boules in white and brown diamonds or pink sapphires on bracelets in coordinating tones of 18K gold. Only 100 are available in each style.
Revisiting its heritage in a fresh, new form, Baccarat, in collaboration with designer Philippe Airaud updated its classic faceted globe motif in clear crystal, yellow gold and a white ceramic set in 18K yellow gold or sterling silver. Whether one of the faceted globes stands mounted on a cocktail ring or in a grouping that swings from a pendant necklace, the jewels promise to become new classics for their playful approach to the iconic design.
Georg Jensen’s Fusion rings are the brand’s best selling jewelry design ever. The interlocking bands of gold that compose a single ring glide together with seamless precision, and customizable looks can be made by opting to mix metals or adding diamonds to the mix. Capitalizing on Fusion’s popularity, Georg Jensen has expanded the range to include additional styles like pendant necklaces, hoop earrings and bangles—each segment is still made individually and requires the same precision craftsmanship as the original Fusion designs and are available in a combination of red, white and yellow gold or a single tone of the metal.
Colorful cocktail rings in extroverted color have always been Casato’s best-known offering. At this year’s BaselWorld fair Casato stretched its reach with several new collections that offer a full jewelry wardrobe and diverse color choices. With the Aphrodite collection, faceted, oval, semi-precious gemstones, including amethyst and lemon quartz feature insets of diamonds at their center in drop earrings, rings and pendants. In the India collection clusters of gemstones set side-by-side get an added flash of light from a streak of diamonds that shoots through their arrangement. Both new options maintain Casato’s bright outlook and add a new sophistication to the brand’s catalog.
John Galliano’s design prowess doesn’t begin and end with ready-to-wear. In its second year, his jewelry collaboration with Valente Milano has produced an edited selection of pieces combining the brand’s knack for producing top quality jewelry in dizzying color and Galliano’s madcap sense of glamour. Developing the same themes seen at last year’s fair, the collection was one part pirate, one part pretty. Dagger pendants and rings were doused in white and black diamonds and rubies, while an oversized floral pendant with an all-over sprinkling of pastel sapphires is runway-ready all on its own.