By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
Part of this probably was due to the fact that, as a fellow journalist told me, there were a lot of new and exciting creations this year, which hasn’t been the case the past couple of years.

My time at the show also furthered my belief that it’s absolutely vital to have people who are genuinely excited about their jobs working for you, whether they are journalists, designers or salespeople.

Employees with a true enthusiasm for the product entice buyers and press, as you’ll see below in my list recounting five highlights from the show.

1. The four seasons
There was much to enjoy at Mattioli, which was one of my favorite visits of the show, made even more enjoyable by account manager Yulia Yushkevich and Lica Mattioli herself. In addition to knowing all the technical details of the pieces off the top of her head, Yulia understood the story behind each collection. Her enthusiasm for fine jewelry and the Mattioli brand, which she joined after working in high-end watches, was obvious.

While it’s difficult to pick just one piece from this appointment, I feel I cannot write about the show without mentioning the amazing Arcimboldo rings.

These exquisitely executed rings were inspired by the paintings of 16th century Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who was considered outrageous in his time when he painted portraits of people with their heads entirely made out of fruits and vegetables.

Lica Mattioli sought to re-create one painting in particular, Vertumno, and made four rings mirroring the portrait, one for each of the seasons.
Arcimboldo-rings

They’re waiting for spring (just like many of us in the Northeast) but summer (here at left) and autumn (here at right) were done and we got to see and try them on at the show.  (Winter has yet to be photographed.)


They are amazing but, unfortunately, extremely limited; the brand is only making one of each season.

The good news is Mattioli has decided to create a line of more accessible pieces with the same motif, called Arcimboldini. The line includes earrings, rings and pendants starting around $2,800 retail.

2. Collared
Another top visit for me was with Pasquale Bruni, where I met with Alberto Petochi and also got the chance to meet Pasquale Bruni himself along with his very sweet and lovely daughter, Eugenia. The two design as a team, and their jewelry is as well-made as any I’ve seen in a long time.

Pasquale-collar

Among the pieces I tried on was this one-off morganite and diamond collar from the Prato Fiorito (field of flowers) collection. It was stunning and felt amazing to wear.

I also liked its versatility; the gemstone can be worn in the front or in the back. While it may not seem like it by looking at the piece here, this really does create two different looks.

3. A fairy tale
Milan-based designer Paola Coti, who created the brand Aonie with her sister Consuelo, doesn’t sell in the United States currently but I wish she would.

Aonie

She has a very clever collection of fairy-tale based jewelry called “Once upon a time.” The one above is from the story “The Ugly Duckling,” and the text translates to “the white swan still believes in love,” a nod, I would imagine, to the fact that the homely bird did not carry his negative experiences from childhood into his adulthood as a beautiful swan.

Tous-bear4. That bear
This is, again, another example of how an appointment or visit really can be made by an enthusiastic employee. At the booth for Tous, my first stop of the show, we met the lovely Lucía Escobedo, who works for Jewel’s Com Communication and does the press for Barcelona-based brand Tous.

I think Tous’ pieces are adorable, like this sweet spinel-set bear ring in gold vermeil.

And while the details still are being worked out, the brand is apparently aiming to expand its presence in the U.S. market.

Right now, all they have is a flagship store in New York. The brand also is sold at boutiques in Puerto Rico operated by Reinhold Jewelers.

5. Some bat time
While I didn’t get a chance to talk with Milan-born, London-based designer Vanessa Pederzani, her bat-shaped pieces caught my eye.

Though I’m sure bats have been done before, I can’t recall having seen them. (On a new-animals note, I also saw a pair of turkey earrings at another booth at the show but they are not, I would say, a fit for this blog.)

bat-climber-black-in-ear

I particularly liked her blackened gold bat ear climber (above) set with diamonds and ruby eye, which is sold with matching bat stud for the other ear.

As far as I can tell from her website, which is still under construction, Pederzani’s designs are sold in Milan, Hong Kong and Athens, Greece. You can see more of her work on her Facebook page.


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