Believe it or not, I finally hit my jewelry wall last Wednesday, at the conclusion of New York City market week.
After attending two jewelry shows (LUXURY Privé at the Pierre Hotel and JA New York at the Javits Convention Center), two gala dinners (the Women’s Jewelry Association’s 30th birthday bash at Chelsea Piers and the American Gem Society’s Circle of Distinction dinner at the Plaza Hotel), numerous cocktail parties (including The Great Gatsby-themed opening celebration for Privé), one fabulous house party (at Myriam Gumuchian’s home), and one extra-saucy dinner with good friends at the ever-fabulous Acme in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood, I was utterly wrecked.
Add to the week’s schedule an office move for JCK that now finds us in beautiful but still in-progress digs on East 45th Street; a private tour of a new photo exhibition at the United Nations building; a birthday picnic for our photo editor’s gorgeous 1-year-old little boy, Will; and a chance run-in with dozens of Justin Bieber fans on Fifth Avenue, and you’ll understand why I dedicated this past weekend to sleep.
Last night, I pored over the photographic evidence of my time in the city, and here’s what stood out:
1. Meredith Marks, a Chicago-based designer who exhibited for the first time at LUXURY Privé, showed a fresh take on the ubiquitous slice with her stylish, oversized pendants, including this awesome necklace with kite-shaped ruby slices surrounded by diamond pavé in 14k gold ($3,175 retail) and, below that, a smoky quartz slice pendant framed by rubies and set in rhodium-plated silver ($2,375 retail).
Ruby slice pendant by Meredith Marks
Smoky quartz slice pendant by Meredith Marks
2. Mimi So’s dreamy new Zozo collection—inspired by a recent vacation to Portofino, Italy, with family friends whose little girl is nicknamed “Zozo”—features a palette of cool-hued gems such as aquamarine, blue topaz, and amethyst (to evoke the colors of the sea). But when I swung by her booth at LUXURY Privé, Mimi herself was wearing this multicolor strand of tourmalines, citrines, and other warm-hued stones—including the star of the collection, boulder opal—and I fell in love with the 18k yellow gold style.
Zozo necklace by Mimi So
3. Boris Goynatsky, of NYC-based BG Art, another Privé exhibitor, is a jewelry craftsman extraordinaire—his finely made Crown collection of wedding bands and stackable rings is evidence of that—but he’s not afraid to experiment with bold, brass statement pieces, like this awesome BKLYN cuff. This was my introduction to the collection, but certainly not my last.
BKLYN cuff by BG Art
4. The work of a few JCK Las Vegas exhibitors was on display at an editors’ event at the Privé show, and none caught my eye quite like this fierce-looking blackened bronze Shark necklace by the Polish designer Anna Horsecka. A placard beside the piece, which made its debut on the catwalk, provided a statement hinting at the artist’s unorthodox sensibility: “The intention that accompanies the process of creating [the jewelry] is an objection against commonness and anonymity in which individuality of an addressee becomes lost.” When I tried it on, the necklace was surprisingly light and wearable—which just goes to show that even when it comes to jewelry, looks can be deceiving.
Shark necklace by Anna Horsecka
5. While she wasn’t a Privé exhibitor, Natalie Dissel brought her collection to the show to discuss the possibility of participating in the next JCK Las Vegas as a Rising Star in the Design Center. Based on Dissel’s distinctive collection, which pays homage to rare stones and mineral specimens, and her intriguing background—she hails from Holland but is currently based in Bali—I’d suggest you file her name directly into your June 2014 schedule. By the looks of it, Dissel’s star has already risen.
Multicolor tourmaline slice earrings by Natalie Dissel
6. I’d been friendly with Malak Atut, the designer behind Zaiken Jewelry, on Instagram but had never met her nor seen her jewelry in person. That changed when I stumbled upon the Zaiken booth at the JA show, just as Cindy Edelstein happened to be passing by. We admired Atut’s new Throwing Stones collection, whose unique gem-on-gem treatment offers yet another opportunity to dress up the simple slice. “It’s like your jewelry is wearing jewelry,” Edelstein said. Precisely.
Throwing Stones ring by Zaiken
7. My final jewelry pit stop of the week was the Couture preview, a small, curated showcase of designers who exhibit at the Couture show in Las Vegas. I was familiar with most of the eight exhibitors, but I had only heard about Jacquie Aiche through a friend who wears her jewelry obsessively. It turns out that Aiche is based in Beverly Hills, not far from where I live. I’m paying her showroom a visit this week, so expect to see more of her chic body jewelry and intriguing use of colored stones in the weeks to come.
Abalone bone and horn earrings by Jacquie Aiche
Bone horn and turquoise necklace by Jacquie Aiche
By the time I boarded the plane back to L.A. last Thursday, I wanted nothing more to do with jewelry…until the next time.
NYC: Til we meet again!