Vicenza fair is barometer for jewellery design trends
By David Brough
VICENZA, January 2019 – The January edition of the Vicenza gold jewellery fair VICENZAORO is widely seen as the barometer for global design trends in the year ahead.
This year, creative sustainability and craftsmanship were big themes at the show, which ran from January 18-23, 2019.
The Vicenza gold jewellery fair is a carefully curated gateway for the branding and export of so-called “Made in Italy” jewellery, distinguished by a finely crafted expertise in goldsmithing and jewellery making, and features the latest gem-encrusted creations of some of the highest profile Italian brands, such as Damiani and Roberto Coin.
Up-and-coming eponymous designer brands are also represented in “The Design Room” and this year featured stars such as Italy’s Alessio Boschi, celebrated for his intricately engineered pieces inspired by architecture, and Paris-based Lydia Courteille, who uses bold and unusual coloured gemstones.
Turnout was high as retailers flocked to the “VICENZAORO January” show to order the latest designs for the new year, and to network at cocktails and soirées held around the Palladian city.
Vicenza has a long history as a cradle of Italian goldsmithing. Italy was for many years the world’s leading exporter of gold and silver jewellery, but has slipped down the rankings due to competition from lower cost centres using state-of-the-art technology, such as India.
The celebration of “Made in Italy” quality and craftsmanship, passed down through the generations, still permeates the luxury jewellery world, and is now reflected in the superior branding of Italian products compared to many rivals.
The fiercest competition to “Made in Italy” luxury jewellery comes from the Paris-based “Place Vendome” brands, such as Cartier, Boucheron, and Van Cleef & Arpels as it is a widely held view that the French maisons are the supreme masters of luxury branding.
The mood at the January Vicenza fair was upbeat despite fears over slowing economies and trade clashes between the United States and China.
Sustainable creativity was the topic of discussion in a well-attended panel on the first day of the show.
Speakers including Lydia Courteille, and Lynn Yeager, contributor to American Vogue, talked about the insistence of the new wave of consumers upon high ethics and respect for the environment in the jewellery supply chain.
Pearls with a contemporary twist, playful coral, and innovative new materials and approaches to metals, were among the big trends spotted at VICENZAORO.
Australia-based Autore presented the latest intricately crafted pieces from its Stars & Galaxies collection.
Several Yoko London pieces incorporated large tassels in a reinterpretation of Art Deco glamour.
PANTONE’s colour of the year in 2019 is living coral, a nurturing colour that appears in our natural surroundings.
This recognition influenced the profusion of coral jewellery creations seen at VICENZAORO.
Capri-based Chantecler featured rings meshing small sinuous sculptures with red Mediterranean and white coral as part of the “Chérie” collection.