by Monica Oproiu
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Couture show in Las Vegas brought together the familiar big names in the industry, remarkable new additions and a frenzy of buyers and journalists sharing a sense of excitement in the elegant ambiance at the Wynn Resort.
As usual, the Couture Design Awards captured everybody’s interest and boasted a record-breaking number of entries this year. Selecting the winners was thus harder than ever. This daunting task was nevertheless completed by a distinguished panel of judges comprising of jewellery designer Irene Neuwirth, Louis A Guarino Jr., owner of Louis Anthony Jewelers, Maria Doulton, founder of The Jewellery Editor, Marion Fasel, leading jewelry expert and author, and Paul Schneider, contemporary jewellery store owner and entrepreneur.
The Design Awards
- Hearts on Fire
This year’s big winner of the Haute Couture Design Award was Hearts on Fire. Designer Ileana Lanzoni received the award on behalf of Hearts on Fire and thanked the team for the freedom and trust she enjoyed from the very beginning of their collaboration. It was both the edgy design and remarkable craftmanship that made the jury decide in their favour, considered Ms. Lanzoni. The winning piece features a trendy combination of rose gold and diamonds, illustrating at the same time the sophisticated appeal of the Hearts on Fire jewellery design. Diamond-intensive and unique, this piece definitely stole the show.
And speaking of diamonds, the Best in Diamond Award (above 20 000 USD) was won by Plevé. In their creation, natural Fancy Pink diamonds fade into white diamonds in an elaborate mixture of traditionally set cluster styles and the unique Plevé technique featuring diamonds placed by hand in a mosaic, then cured in a high tech ceramic.
- Etho Maria
On the more colourful end of the spectrum, Etho Maria Haute Joaillerie won the Best in Coloured Gemstones Award (above 20 000 USD) with a stunning bracelet in pink gold (73,28 g) adorned with diamonds (0,19cts), blue sapphires (36,30cts) and blue topaz (140,31cts).
Autore’s Orange Blossom cuff won the Best Pearl Design Award. Part of the luxurious Orchid collection, the cuff is made of 18k yellow gold with white, yellow and green diamonds, South Sea Keshi and 12 mm South Sea Gold Pearl.
The Spanish brand Majoral won Best Silver Design Award after winning the Best Gold Design Award in 2012. The Marina necklace combines white matt and oxidised silver, and elements of gold to illustrate Roc Majoral’s bold creative vision.
- Spinelli Kilcollin
Los Angeles-based Spinelli Kilcollin won both Best Gold Design and Best Debut Award with his stackable Nexus ring, which could also be spread across three fingers.
This year the People’s Choice Design Award went to Lebanon-based (but of Armenian descent) Yeprem’s Mount Ararad hand piece. Inspired by the majestic Mount Ararad as a symbol of the motherland for all Armenians around the world, the piece was created on time to pay tribute to the 100 year-commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. At Yeprem, this award was perceived as an acknowledgement and ultimate success of their daring concept of unique hand pieces which bring together rings and bracelets. As the people’s choice, the award proved that people in the industry have come to understand and truly appreciate Yeprem’s innovative style.
If at Baselworld in Switzerland the show it’s all about the gemstones, at Couture Las Vegas the focus is on design and setting the stage for the summer’s favourites.
- Omi Privé - The first piece from the new Rosé collection is an impressive kunzite and fancy sapphire ring designed in collaboration with Rémy Rotenier. The ring is handcrafted with a 12.39 carat cushion kunzite center stone accented with 9.18 carats of purple/pink fancy sapphire rose cuts and 0.91 carats of fancy sapphire rounds set in 18K rose gold.
At Omi Privé the stones take center stage, while the design accentuates their beauty. The first piece from new Rosé collection is an impressive kunzite and fancy sapphire ring handcrafted with a 12.39 carat cushion kunzite center stone accented with 9.18 carats of purple/pink fancy sapphire rose cuts and 0.91 carats of fancy sapphire rounds set in 18K rose gold.
- Victor Veylan
Victor Veylan’s butterfly pendant in 24K & 18K gold, featuring 37 ct. Brazilian natural Paraiba, pearls, black and white diamonds, round Paraibas, and cabochon moonstones was another proof that Paraiba tourmalines still run the show.
- Paula Crevoshay
The Ethiopian opal’s beautiful play-of-colour too was present in many collections, as in these earrings by Paula Crevoshay.
- Pamela Huizenga
A Mexican fire opal (19.96cts) and diamond ring stole the limelight at Pamela Huizenga as well, together with an ethically-sourced 100.88ctw natural red coral bracelet.
- Yoko London
Yoko London’s diverse pearl jewellery range catered to all tastes again, with a focus on purple and gray/blue Tahitian pearls this season. This 18kt rose gold, 10-13mm Tahitian pearls and 8.52cts diamonds strand commanded immediate attention at the Yoko London salon.
- Lauren Harper
Lauren Harper’s dragon wing gold jewellery with white topaz caught the eye of both the animal motifs’ lovers in general and the popular Game of Thrones aficionados in particular.
Last but not least, the New York-based Marli made their debut at Couture with a mix and match collection of rings and bracelets inspired by the city’s architecture. This very young brand (only one year old!) mixes three colour-18k gold, adds diamonds in the equation and provides flexible, stylish jewellery for comfortable all-day wear.
Couture will come back next year on 2 to 6 June at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. Enjoy the summer!