Designs on Luxury

The economic bright spots the industry has been searching for surfaced at June’s Couture 2010. Designer Nina Runsdorf ran out of her line’s new earrings—polished rough cuts of colored stones—by day two of the show! Meanwhile, we spied Marie Helene Morrow, owner of Reinhold Jewelers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, mesmerized by the 22k gold and colored-stone designs at Julieli. “It’s the most exciting show in several years,” she declared.

Stats from show organizers only re­inforce the sizzling energy on the floor of the Wynn: They measured an 11 percent spike in buyer attendance, with 1,583 unique stores on the scene.

Further fueling the upbeat mood: popular trends like carved gems and rough-cut colored stones from designers Lucifer Vir Honestus and Sylva & Cie; lacy, fabric-like effects from Brazilian Mary Esses and French firm Garaude; and modest bridal styles, ­featuring diamond centers of less than .25 ct. t.w., from Megan Thorne and Shaesby.

The 2010 Design Awards kept the momentum going, celebrating the works of 31 different artists across 11 categories. The first place winner in Diamonds (left), Italian Mattia Cielo, started out in the financial world before following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a designer.

“I loved the design at this show more than any other I can remember in many years,” said Morrow. “From Monique Péan to Elena Votsi to Federica Rettore to Mattia Cielo, its all about innovation and breaking molds! There are so many creative ones and such a variety of design.”