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Heading into the jewelry trade shows in Las Vegas in late May and early June, U.S. jewelry sales had softened and are expected to remain sluggish through the end of the year. It was difficult to notice this at the Couture Show, North America’s largest and best showcase for designer and high jewelry. Approximately 350 exhibitors presented their latest designs in the ballrooms and villas of the Wynn Las Vegas resort, June 1 – 4.
Attendance numbers were significantly stronger than the prior year, a spokesperson for Couture said. When compared to 2019, during the pre-Covid era when it was a five-day show, attendance was on-par if not slightly better.
The first two days of the four-day show were the busiest by far, with crowds trailing off during the final two days. Below is a sampling of 35 of the best designers and brands at the fair.
The Los Angeles based jeweler has been producing refined, elegant jewels for at least 13 years with subtle design details and clever combinations of colored gems and diamonds. Her creations are consistent in its appeal toward everyday elegance, a category that a lot of designers talk about, but few can actually pull off. These rubellite and 18k yellow gold earrings captures both her tasteful use of color and the subtle elegance of her jewels.
The French jeweler transforms design into art with sculptural pieces using a combination of precious materials and artisan techniques in unusual ways. The result is jewels of true personal expression. Her imagination, storytelling abilities and the complexity and beauty of her jewels has gained her a following throughout the world. This year, she introduced, “Love Story,” inspired by storied historical loves, forbidden romances and lovers separated by distance or death. She uses the pink hues of morganite and pink sapphires as the main gems for this collection.
Jewelers from Beirut made an important showing at Couture. Among them were sisters Dima and Tania Nawbar, the creative duo of L’Atelier Nawbar. They use their home in Beirut as a constant source of inspiration. Their latest collection, Psychedeliah, came into existence from a dream Dima had of an abstract flower that she described as the flower of her dreams. The colorful creative collection uses mother of pearl, red agate, malachite, pink coral and other colorful materials to create a variety of abstract pieces.
Another Beirut native, Ghazal, specializes in sculptural 18k yellow gold pieces often completed with a sprinkling of diamonds and colored gems. Her pieces often are about stories and her latest collection, “Doors of Opportunity,” is based on the belief of new beginnings. The collection draws inspiration from the doors, archways and locks, in London, where she now lives. These objects are often seen as a gateway between one life moment and another.
Japanese design and Japanese pearls play an important role in the creations by award-winning jewelry designer, Mizuki Goltz. She specializes in creating elegant, understated pearl jewelry that can be worn throughout the day. These 18k white gold earrings with Akoya pearls and diamond drop earrings show some movement while maintaining the focus on the pearls.
The Los Angeles designer has gained an international reputation for focusing on a single diamond shape, the baguette, and turning it into a varied and creative collection of jewels over several years. In recent years, she has expanded into colored gems and other gem shapes. At Couture, she introduced the “La Fantaisie” collection made of multicolored sapphires that she branded as “rainbow.” It combines these colorful gems with princess cut and sets them in 18k gold. Kalan says the collection brings her back to her childhood in Canada.
One of the most consistently busy booths at Couture was Sydney Evan. The brand was founded by Rosanne Karmes, where she pioneered some of the jewelry styles and designs that are commonplace today, such as beaded bracelets with personal and spiritual charms and the focus on creating jewels for women who wanted to purchase their own pieces. Karmes produced a number of new collections, including the “Feminine Fatale” line of 14k gold jewels.
The French designer, a 2023 Couture Design Award Winner, creates jewels that are as colorful as her personality. The collection she introduced this year is a nod to the jeweler’s Italian workshops, primarily the Venetian bollards that are emblematic of Venice. It comes in three versions of gold and enamel paved with diamonds arranged in circular patterns.
Italian jewels are omnipresent at jewelry trade fairs and in the display cases of retailers throughout the world. At Couture, these jewelers made their mark again combining traditional craftsmanship, high-tech engineering and contemporary style. These nine Made-in-Italy brands were among the best of the show.
The one-of-a-kind Marea bracelet was one of the many inspired pieces from the Genoa high jewelry house. The name is Italian for tide and the design reflects the ocean using white gold topped with more than 50 carats of diamonds in wave-like patterns with 31.14 carats of pear-shaped, faceted Tanzanite positioned throughout. The bracelet also has a lot of spacing between the gold and diamond strands and the tanzanite gems.
The 70-year-old Italian brand recently purchased by Gismondi 1754, uses master goldsmiths for hand hammering, etching, embossing and other techniques to create wearable art from Valenza, one of the historical jewelry making centers in Italy. This sculptural, curvaceous gold and diamond necklace was a finalist in the Couture Design Awards.
The designer’s organic, nature-inspired shapes and textures are evident in this Alta Marrakesh bracelet with hand-hammered and twisted 18k coils that are intertwined and set with diamonds.
Peruffo, a more recent addition to Couture made quite a mark this year with four nominations and two wins for one of its pieces at the Couture Design Awards. The Guitar collections is one of several lines the brand introduced at Couture. It uses 18k gold in thread-like bands that takes its inspiration from slide guitars. The threads slide with a simple touch while forming featherweight arcs, rectangles and squares for necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings.
The family-owned firm from Naples specializes in the bold use of geometric shapes and innovative use of materials to create its signature pieces. The jewelry brand’s one-of-a kind Malachite gold and diamond necklace received the Best in Colored Gems Above $40,000 award at the Couture Design Awards.
The Italian jewelry brand specializes in contemporary, versatile and elegant handcrafted 18k gold jewelry. The Ivy collection reflects this with its 18k pearl-shaped gold pieces throughout each hand-engraved using ancient technique of burin. The gold and diamond necklace, adapts to every occasion and look, such from choker and lariat and more.
The rings from the Extraordinaire collection reflect the elegance and refinement of this Italian jewelry brand. Three rings, two in 18k natural white gold and one in 18k rose matt gold are paved with emeralds, pink sapphires and blue sapphires.
The Italian jewelry brand combines collectible gemstones, crafted 18k gold and technology to create stylish and sophisticated fine jewels. The newest pieces from its Dots collection comes with a gentle diamond silhouette, defined by rose gold ornaments and spotted with oval rubies. The bracelet is embedded with the brand’s trademarked “Xpandable” technology that allows bracelets to expand and contract for an easy and comfortable fit.
Fope is known for its technologically advanced flexible and stylish gold pieces like this bracelet from the Flex’It Vendome bracelet showcasing an 18k rose gold flexible chain with a pave diamond rondel centerpiece.
Choosing among the many brands who presented exceptional jewels at Couture was a difficult task, but certainly these designers held their own among the best this year.
This young firm draws its inspiration from George Inaki Root’s rich culture and heritage, growing up in Japan to create luxury fine jewelry that is handmade in 18k recycled gold. The pieces are crafted by artisans in Tokyo and Yamanashi. The brand is co-founded by Azusa Yamato, whose family has a long legacy of jewelry-making.
The company known for its creative and luxurious pearl and coral jewels also works with other materials in highly imaginative ways. Its Naturescape collection is perfect personification of this. The company used petrified wood and other minerals in their natural state and pair them with pearls and other precious materials. Surf-board shaped Maligano jasper retains its natural colors and abstract design. They are topped Tahitian cultured pearls and set in 18k rose gold.
The New York-based jeweler specializes in diamonds of high quality (DEF color, IF-VS clarity) set in 18k gold or platinum jewelry. Diamond shapes are often mixed to create cascading designs. The Peacock necklace is an example of this. More than 33 carats of high-quality round, pear and custom cut tapered baguettes diamonds are set on 18k white gold diamonds resulting in a full, rounded pendant shape.
Vram Minassian has earned a stellar reputation for his handcrafted and artfully designed sculptural jewels with seamless pavé settings. One of his better-known designs is the uniquely shaped 18k yellow gold Chrona ring. The one pictured is set with a 7.75-carat bi-colored tourmaline.
Taylor decided she wanted to design something completely different from her existing body of work and realized that Numerology would make for an interesting and fun collection. Numerology is the study of numbers and their influence on our lives. The Numerology collection provide the core number and its relation to its life path and personality.
Emily P. Wheeler
Wheeler’s Rebels collection has the designer looking back to her teen in the 1990s and 2000s, bringing her signature ombre colorways into new styles and categories.
The Eyecon collection sets out to capture the revolutionary style of fashion icons of the 1970s. It uses bold colors and textures while carrying off huge statement jewelry. The Eyecon collection bridges the gap between the powerful ancient goddesses of Greek mythology and modern times.
At Couture, Melissa Kaye focused on expanding on and introducing new diamond collections. Diamonds is what the brand has always been about. This included additions to her bestselling Lola collection. Lola is a core part of her offering and is now synonymous with the brand. In this collection, she takes the silhouette of her signature Lola Needle Earrings and applied it to new chains, bracelets and rings, widening the opportunity for layering.
Colette Steckel introduced new styles to Santos y Cielos, her most personal and bestselling collection to-date. The additions include new necklace and bracelet silhouettes along with spiritual and lucky charms.
Antique diamonds set by hand into signature vintage-inspired designs is the speciality of this brand. An example of this is the Calypso pendant with 22.24 carats of old cut and round brilliant cut diamonds set in a handcrafted sphere-shaped yellow gold pendant.
Winner of the 2023 COUTURE Award for “Best In Bridal” for her Loop ring set with a 5-carat Asscher-cut diamond, Kirsty Stone expanded her Modern Love collection with pearl accents as well as created new pieces in the Buckle collection including emerald and diamond collar necklaces.
This brand specializes in designs featuring sculptural curves for an elegant, elevated take on contemporary adornment. Tabayer uses Kimberly Process compliant diamonds sourced though a RJC certified dealer, an ethos that Founder Nigora Tokhtabayeva considers a core value.
Sorellina’s vintage inspired modern jewels impressed as the brand founded by sisters, Nicole and Kim Carosella, won the Couture Design Award in the Best in Platinum category. The company introduced the Dieci collection for their heir 10-year anniversary collection. It’s inspired by their Italian heritage and summers at the Amalfi Coast with family and friends.
The Los Angeles-based designer introduced three collections at Couture, including “Gemstone Slice,” which is represented by these drop earrings of assorted tourmaline, turquoise and other colored gems.
The Los Angeles based jeweler’s new capsule collection, Mare, is inspired by the 1970s Italian seaside. An oversized cuff mimics the lines of a clamshell. Pearl and rock crystal necklaces are accented with gold spacers. Mandler also opened her first retail location in Los Angeles in the Sycamore district in Hollywood, which also serves as the brand’s headquarters.
Among the new pieces from this New York based brand are 14k gold earrings featuring baroque pearls and gemstones.
The jewelry brand launched a follow-up to their Celestial Love Collection. It includes one-of-a-kind pieces such as a Cross Cuff, an expansion of enamel and disco ball chains and a new evil eye crystal dome locket.
Founder of the Los Angeles based jewelry brand, Jessica Olds, introduced Kaleidoscope at Couture, inspired by the psychedelic era of the 1960s, featuring gold jewels with various colored gemstones in intricate patterns.