Fashion Facets

Culture Creates The majority of jewelry companies exhibiting at the annual Basel fair are Italian or German and, unlike the U.S., both countries have distinct, recognizable traits in their jewelry design. Typical Italian design is characterized by soft, sensuous, rounded surfaces with classic styling and curves as feminine as the women who wear it. Gems are plentiful, big and lush. Typical German design is geometric, futuristic, spare and orderly. Gems – though always top-quality – are typically small and used sparingly or boast an unusual carving that becomes the single focus of the piece. Today, however, a growing number of Italian and German exhibitors at Basel have started to blend both countries’ design characteristics. Still, tradition is a factor. The traditional and vastly different aesthetics developed in countries that are a scant three-hour drive apart – clos

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