For years, many in the industry have thought mainly about color with regard to Brazilian jewelry: purple amethyst, pink quartz, Paraiba blue tourmaline, and more—thanks to the abundance of gemstones mined in the South American country. However, a recent campaign by APEX, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, aims to bring more attention to another fundamental aspect of Brazilian culture: movement.
Through invitations to its annual Carnaval, held this year Feb. 19–20 in Rio de Janeiro, the agency aimed to further cement relationships with international trade partners across various industries. For fine jewelers, the affair drove home the importance of movement in Brazilian design through costumes and dance, and offered an intimate firsthand lesson in Brazilian community and culture.
Complementing the following montages of Carnaval pictures and video are insights from key Brazilian designers (exhibiting this week in Las Vegas) about style interpretations of the party that is the Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí (Carnival Parade Avenue). Can you see the connection?
For firsthand inspection, check out fresh new Brazilian designs for yourself this week at the various shows, booth numbers provided here for your convenience.
How does Brazil’s annual Carnaval speak to or illustrate the aesthetic of Brazilian fine jewelry?
“My pieces are like works of art involved on a dance of colors and textures, like our Brazilian festival. The colored stones and diamonds blend together, forming wonderfully unusual movements and unique designs.”
Ring in 18k yellow gold with 6.83 cts. t.w. emeralds and 0.90 ct. t.w. blue sapphires; $13,536; Goldesign at LUX1203A
Yael Sonia of Yael Sonia, Couture #416
“The colors and vivacity of Carnaval in Brazil is often reflected in Brazilian fine jewelry. This color, life, and energy is present not just at Carnaval, but in the array of gemstones, vegetation, dance, music, and beauty in the language.”
Spinning Top pendant necklace in 18k yellow gold with diamonds; $13,000; Yael Sonia at Couture #416
Mary Esses of Mary Esses Jewelry, Couture DA01
“The costumes you see during the Carnival parade are handmade by Brazilians, and can sometimes take up to eight different sewers to make one costume! One just to hand-glue crystals one by one, one to pin feathers, one to add gold trimmings, one to manually work metal wire to shape parts of the costume, one to dye fabric, and much more. The result of this intense labor is a high-end, luxurious, opulent, and always colorful costume.
Brazilian fine jewelry is probably one amongst few that succeeds in mixing colored stones with expensive or common materials like wood. Brazilian high-end jewelry is a celebration of colors and details, and is truly representative of the beauty and elegance of the Carnival parade itself.”
Necklace in 18k rose gold with handmade knots, 76 cts. t.w. cabochon-cut rose quartz, and 0.30 ct. t.w. diamonds; $9,180; Mary Esses Jewelry at Couture DA01
Vianna Brasil, LUX1000
“Carnaval is an important celebration in Brazil because it reflects all social movements, and is the base of our culture. It’s about colors, movement, and happiness—and this is what our jewelry is all about! Carnaval is a connection between all social levels, and speaks to our history. Each ‘school’ tells a different story, and has a different personality and reflects movement and issues in our society, and what the people are thinking, living, and being inspired by. The ginga—Brazilian way of moving and speaking—evident in carnival is in our jewelry as well, and offers a flavor different from any other.”
Amorphous earrings in 18k gold with 72 cts. t.w. praisiolite, citrine, rose de france amethyst, and 0.40 ct. t.w. diamonds; $5,800; Vianna Brasil, LUX1000
Photo Credit: Rogerio Franco
“Carnaval influences our jewelry because it’s colorful; we like color, and we have the source of the colored stones! The movement of Carnaval is evident in hanging and dangling earrings.”
Bracelet in 18k rose gold with pink tourmaline and white topaz; $12,000; Vancox LUX900A