The annual Couture show, held from June 8-12 at the Wynn in Las Vegas, is the designer fine jewelry industry’s most important buying event, and a bellwether for trends. At this year’s show, the wide variety of luxe jewels on display shared a through-line: Designed and produced during the third year of the pandemic, they seemed to be infused with an unmistakable sense of optimism (current market turmoil notwithstanding).
Below, we spotlight 10 new deeply personal and wildly ambitious collections (including one meta-collection) that caught our eye at Couture. Some are the work of established designers, while others belong to talented newbies in the jewelry scene. Collectively, they represent a fresh, even daring, perspective on where the fine jewelry industry is headed.
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Anna Maccieri Rossi
Anna Maccieri Rossi
A longtime designer for Swiss watch brands, including Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre, Anna Maccieri Rossi’s 4-year-old collection of jewelry is steeped in allusions to time. Using mother-of-pearl as her canvas, the designer, based in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, showcased pendants handpainted in lacquer with swirling watercolors and dreamy cloudscapes that called to mind the work of the Belgian Surrealist René Magritte. “The idea is to talk about time,” says Maccieri Rossi, “but in a different way.” musexmuse.com/designer/anna-maccieri-rossi
ARK Fine Jewelry
ARK Fine Jewelry
Los Angeles-based designer Ann Korman’s years-long training in yoga, meditation and Vedic astrology, among other spiritual disciplines, helped lay the groundwork for her new Awakenings collection, which celebrates the promise implicit in a sunrise: “Birth, growth, and new beginnings of all kinds,” says Korman.
Combining sapphires in shades of pink, yellow and orange with plique-à-jour, an ancient enameling technique that uses cells of enamel to create a beguiling stained-glass effect, the collection brims with standout pieces, such as the 18k gold bombé-style Sunrise ring, featuring 7 carats of hand-cut sapphires in graduated hues.
Equally distinctive are the collection’s two 18k gold and plique-à-jour statement necklaces: One pays homage to the Om symbol, which is engraved on the back side to acknowledge “how everything in the universe is connected,” says Korman, while the Horizon necklace conceals a Gayatri mantra written in Sanskrit on the back. Intended to be spoken as the sun rises, the words are “said to have the energy to fulfill all desires,” according to Korman. Yes, please! arkfinejewelry.com
After touring the American Museum of Natural History’s “Beautiful Creatures” exhibition in 2021, San Francisco Bay Area-based designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey came away inspired “to apply my design language to animals,” she tells Robb Report.
The Menagerie, the capsule collection of one-of-a-kind animal jewels she presented at Couture, features her signature geometric patterns and gemstone inlay in a range of divine creatures she chose for the qualities they possess.
The 18k gold Snail pendant, for example, embodies patience and perseverance — serving as “a sparkly reminder to slow your roll,” as Harwell Godfrey recently quipped on Instagram. The spectacular Crab necklace, centered on a gem-set crustacean clutching a white pearl with its articulated coral claws, is a totem of protection and prosperity. And the double-headed 18k gold Snake bracelet, featuring heart-shaped emerald heads, diamond eyes and green turquoise scales, represents rebirth and transformation. harwellgodfrey.com
It’s no exaggeration to suggest that Yasmin Tjoeng has the most interesting background of anyone you know. Part-Australian and part-Chinese, the jewelry designer grew up splitting time between Australia’s Gold Coast and Papua New Guinea (PNG), where her father’s family has been in business since the 1960s.
Now based in Singapore, Tjoeng founded her high-end jewelry label, Maison Tjoeng, in 2017. At Couture, she debuted the Arcadia collection, an homage to her idyllic childhood in Wewak, the capital of PNG’s East Sepik province, located along the shores of the Bismarck Sea.
“Up until now, I haven’t wanted to design pieces inspired by my beautiful country — it is almost too sacred to touch,” Tjoeng tells Robb Report. “This is just the beginning of my homage to PNG and the easiest place to start is the endless days I spent on the outlying islands — some tiny and some with dominating mountains — all with dense jungle, pristine sands, clear azure waters and reef teeming with life.”
The 18k gold shells and coral motifs that figure so prominently in Maison Tjoeng’s Arcadia and Arcadia Atoll lines are symbols of the treasures Tjoeng discovered when she was a kid combing PNG’s beaches, as well as a nod to the traditional adornments of a culture that continues to enchant her. maisontjoeng.com
Alyona Kiperman founded her Ukrainian fine jewelry brand, Nomis, in Kyiv just before the start of the pandemic. “And when we opened our first store in Kyiv, after just one month, the war starts,” she told Robb Report during Couture’s preview event in Las Vegas. “We live in the heart of the storm.”
Despite the early setbacks, Nomis — the name is a play on Kiperman’s Hebrew name, Nomi, and her daughter Simon’s name spelled backwards — showed its 18k gold collection of convertible designs at Couture.
Now based in Geneva, where she and her family sought refuge from the war, Kiperman is committed to her vision of creating contemporary diamond and gem-set jewelry that easily transforms to suit your mood. A ring becomes an ear cuff, a voluptuous gold bracelet converts into a choker, a stick pendant turns into a daring ear pin — however you style it, Nomis’ jewelry is dramatic, modern and undeniably fierce. nomis.jewelry
Few jewelers are capable of channeling the vibe of New York City in the 1970s better than Renato Cipullo. The Italian designer moved to the Big Apple in 1971, following in the footsteps of his older brother, the late great Aldo Cipullo, whose timeless designs (Cartier’s Love bracelet, for one) are still bestsellers.
Exhibiting at Couture for the first time, Cipullo, with the help of his daughter, Serena, showed his Revival Collection of archival designs in celebration of the company’s 50th year in business. Laced with influences that recall a youth spent on the Italian seaside, the collection introduces a new generation of jewelry lovers to 1970s hits such as Cipullo’s Mattone pendants of hard stones hand-carved with the word Love in a choice of languages, 18k gold jaguar head pendants with dramatic hard stone claws and 18k yellow gold Duomo ring set with a frosted rock crystal cabochon. Bonus: Almost everything in the collection is customizable. renatocipullodesigns.com
The Singapore-based fine jewelry brand State Property marries (quite literally) the talents of award-winning jeweler Lin Ruiyin and industrial designer Afzal Imram. Known for its sophisticated 18k gold and pearl jewels, the label recently reimagined its jewelry on men in a playful campaign featuring guys wearing its pearl pendants, signet rings and statement necklaces, including a beguiling gold necklace of half-moon-shaped diamonds offering a fresh take on the traditional line necklace. At Couture, the brand also showed a selection of chic new engagement ring styles featuring diamonds framed by enamel, the luxe material du jour. thisisstateproperty.com
For its second appearance at Couture, Studio Renn, the Mumbai-based design studio founded by husband-and-wife Rahul and Roshni Jhaveri, built upon themes and techniques it introduced in 2021. The Cacti collection of princess- and French-cut diamonds set between serrated edges and held inside folds of blackened gold, for example, now includes a necklace, earrings and ring with Cacti’s signature serrated edges, but set in rose gold accented with diamonds.
Meanwhile, the brand’s new Fish diamond line bracelet, earrings and pendant necklace feature alternating “scales” of gold and diamonds. Part of a larger body of work that Studio Renn is preparing to unveil at the end of July, the designs highlight the contrast between the severity of the scales and the fluidity of their movement.
Everything that Studio Renn creates involves a highly singular take on materials and techniques (for example, in the new Puffball Voids series of jewels, the Jhaveris have left the casting “skin” on the metal as a meditation on the notion of incompleteness). In other words, come for the brand’s beautiful, distinctive jewels and stay for the soulful, philosophical conversations they inspire. studiorenn.com
Originally from Uzbekistan and now based in Florida, Nigora Tokhtabayeva drew on ancient symbols to create her new 18k Fairmined gold line of sculptural jewelry. Combining the hook-shaped knot that represents Inanna, the ancient Sumerian goddess of love and fertility, with the knots fashioned by the Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, Tokhtabayeva’s favorite sculptor, her Tabayer collection is the modern-day woman’s answer to armor.
“The idea is to combine different symbols of protection,” says the mother of five, who used the occasion of Couture to debut a range of bubbly rose gold styles set with champagne diamonds. tabayer.com
The Radiance by Couture
Ashley Thorne; Sara Bautista; Zulaikha Aziz
The Radiance by Couture is more than a single collection; it’s a meta-collection consisting of 13 capsule collections by 13 of the most exciting BIPOC designers working in jewelry today.
Two years in the making, the initiative represents the culmination of the inaugural mentorship program of Couture’s Diversity Action Council (DAC), formed in the summer of 2020. Thanks to a partnership with De Beers, each designer received $10,000 and diamonds from the miner’s Code of Origin program. (The gems bear a unique code that assures buyers they are natural, conflict-free and originated at a De Beers mine in Botswana, Canada, Namibia or South Africa.)
The BIPOC designers whose work is featured in the Radiance by Couture are from the U.S. and U.K. They include: Angely Martinez, Ashley Thorne (A.M. Thorne), Jules Kim (Bijules), Kassandra Gordon (KLG Jewellery), Khadijah Fulton (White/Space Jewelry), Lola Fenhirst, Lorraine West, Maggi Simpkins, Melanie Eddy, Olivia Shih, Sara Bautista (Common Rite Supply), Viviana Langhoff and Zulaikha Aziz (Mazahri).
Jules Kim Jewelry
While all the collections incorporate diamonds in stylish, contemporary settings, their inspirations — from earthworms to DJ music, from Afghan culture to Josephine Baker — are as unique as the designers who made them. Rise and shine, indeed. thecoutureshow.com
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