Fashion Facets

Bag Lady

Carie Avery of Michigan has joined the ranks of Judith Leiber, Kathrine Baumann, and Vivian Alexander as a designer “bag lady.”

Avery’s one-of-a-kind bags are handcrafted from infertile ostrich eggs and trimmed with solid gold and genuine gemstones. This bag, titled “Vineyard Serpent,” has grape vines, stems, and leaves of 22k yellow gold, six marquise diamonds, 168 faceted amethysts set in 14k yellow gold, and serpents of 14k yellow gold. The hinged ring, hearts, stand, and chain are 14k yellow gold. The interior is black velvet with a 14k gold chain, and a 3-in. mirror. Bag dimensions are 6 in. by 5 in. Suggested retail, $62,500. Carie Avery, 6312 Demerly Rd., P.O. Box 486, Benzonia, MI 49616; (231) 882-5500.

Trends to Watch

Here are the trends to watch during the next few months, according to Women’s Wear Daily. Eveningwear will be the best-selling category of apparel for fall 1999, for obvious reasons. WWD predicts that shapes will be simple but notes that red- and violet-based jewel tones such as garnet, amethyst, and ruby may eclipse black as the “in” colors for the new year. You can match these “jewel” colors with the real item.

For spring 2000, look for a resurgence of floral prints. Popular interpretations will likely be either ethereal vines with flowers in soft watercolor palettes or itty-bitty flower prints. To accent your customers’ spring florals, suggest delicate colored gemstone jewelry.

Made in Utopia

Perles Utopia, those magnificent, individually numbered, and certified masterpieces turned out by coddled Pinctada maxima oysters, are poised to take the jewelry world by storm. In the vanguard are two dozen pieces of contemporary jewelry that were exhibited at The JCK Show in Las Vegas.

Designers from all over the world were invited to turn their creativity loose to interpret the concept “Creation of Utopia, Everyday Distinction.” They could use baroque, semi-baroque, button, oval, semi-round, or round pearls in a bracelet, necklace, or ring. A select group of Italian jewelry firms manufactured the winning designs. Pictured are the results of that collaboration.

Kudos!

The 11th annual Robb Report “Best of the Best” issue names Harry Winston the world’s best jewelry house, Patek Philippe the best wristwatch, and Henry Dunay the best jewelry designer. The magazine’s editors and reporters list what in their opinion are the best five brands in virtually every luxury product category, including automobiles, boats, jewelry, and clothing.

The other watch brands named were Girard-Perregaux, Jaeger-Le Coultre, Vacheron Constantin, and Breguet. The four other top jewelry designers were Stefan Hafner, Orlando Orlandini, Guiseppe Picchiotti, and Barry Kieselstein-Cord. Rounding out the list of top jewelry houses were Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., and Mikimoto. The five best jewelers were Damiani, La Nouvelle Bague, Charles Krypell, Roberto Coin, and Carrera y Carrera. The best cufflinks came from Asprey & Garrard, Cartier, Oscar Heyman Brothers, Aaron Basha, and Sebastian Saint.

Thanks for the Memories

Known for its extensive collection of stylish gold necklaces and bracelets, Fope Gioielli of Vicenza, Italy, has expanded its output to include fashion rings, watches, and, now, elegant gold picture frames. Entitled the “Memories Collection,” these 18k yellow gold frames are available in four models: round, oval, square, and rectangular shapes in gold with a combination polished and pebbled finish. The frames were designed by Umberto Cazzola to commemorate the company’s 70th anniversary. Also in celebration of this milestone, Fope has opened a New York office to better serve its growing American market. Fope Jewelry, 576 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10017; (888) 728-FOPE.

The Bride Wore White (Metal, That Is!)

The gown is white, the flowers are white, and the runner down the aisle is white. Why shouldn’t jewelry for the Big Day be white as well?

According to Bride’s magazine, the great majority of today’s brides—an estimated 2.4 million of them this year alone—say they want a traditional wedding with all the trimmings. De Beers tells us 81% of these women will have received a diamond engagement ring, and the Platinum Guild International says about a quarter of them will opt for platinum bridal rings.

That’s good news for retailers. At the top of the market, a “white wedding” often includes platinum engagement rings and wedding bands or perhaps bright white gold rings with shimmering diamonds as accents.

But rings aren’t the only opportunity for white wedding sales. Many brides accent their gowns with white pearl necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Some may choose a small pearl necklace or stud earrings as gifts for their attendants, and many a bride’s or groom’s mother has been known to choose pearls for the grand occasion.

And don’t forget the many roles for sterling silver—whether it’s a gift for the happy couple or silver jewelry for an artistic bride who prefers an offbeat wedding, white is right for bridal sales.

Dew Drop In!

Designer Judith Conway captures the simple beauty of a dewdrop in two of the rarest commodities on earth—platinum and diamonds. Her “Dewdrop Collection” of pendants, earrings, and wedding bands is produced using pure platinum—PT1000—which Conway buys directly from the refiner, then melts and shapes into jewelry. Her designs, geared for professional women, are available with pavé diamonds or with a solitaire. Judith Conway Designs, P.O. Box 956, Windsor, CA 95492; (707) 838-8760.

Correction

In the article “Sleek Silver, Super Stones” (JCK, July 1999, p. 90), two photo captions were inadvertently transposed. Here are the photos with the correct captions.

Sterling silver rings with palladium and 14k gold and a choice of peridot, citrine, iolite, and blue topaz. Retail prices from $130 to $300. Zebra Design Inc., available through KWM Exclusives, 42 W. 38th St., Suite 1102, New York, NY 10018; (877) US-ZEBRA or (212) 382-4216.