View from Vicenza: Italy's got talent


January 20th, 2012

By Juliet Rowe

Taking a peak at the rainbow coloured merchandise at Vicenza Oro 2012, one is refreshingly transported away from the not so dazzling realities - namely the current tightrope-walking Euro and the phenomenal price of gold - and into a stained-glass odyssey where pink gold is prevalent.

The vibrancy of the gemstones are glorious and creativity is back in design, with a fresh healthy mix of different cuts. Crisis? Not on your Crivelli.

Pink gold appears to be high on the list, from the big players through to the smaller houses and independents.

On my walkabouts, I was delighted to spot that many of the big brands and designers have given themselves a creative challenge in these increasingly difficult times, in light too of the steadfast competition from China and India. The result? A sturdy backdrop that boasts some first-class settings. An abundance in fact of creativity with rose-cuts with diamonds and semi-precious gems, rather than an offering of the more regular cuts.

There may be less weight of gold per piece, a sensible choice and one of caution; however there seems to be a refreshing new wave of creativity in the industry. The palette of colours on view is a cheerful one, flying in the face of any gloom that might be lurking in the world outside the walls of the fair. Playing with coloured stones – and three coloured gold - still seems to be de rigueur, not just diamonds, but precious and semi-precious stones, super bright and vibrant.

There was a healthy mix of precious and not-so-precious metals, for example gold with lacquer or gold with mother-of-pearl and a healthy dose – not too much – of gold with wood and diamond mix as seen at Oromali.

There were lots of animal designs, such as those on show at Marroni Design, and huge links in chains such as the ones seen at Tirisi.

Art Deco seems to be a strong trend, particularly with the play of black and white.  And it was good to see some intricate, old-school workmanship and an execution of ultra-feminine designs coming back at Marco Bicego. Mattioli Gioielli, Verdi Gioielli, Roberto Bravo and Roberto Coin.

Crivelli marked its territory as ever in Hall C, magnificent as a peacock, with an offering of coloured stones and diamonds in sizes that defy any inkling of cut-backs and drama.

Magnetic and snake bracelets are still going strong and larger than life. They are not as prevalent as last year, but the trio of colours used are still blending beautifully.

Mediterraneo has dramatically grown in stature and has signed itself a stunning model ambassador and the presenter of the countr's popular talen TV show Italy’s Got Talent.

With less imitation and more creations, the brands from China appear to be enjoying more and more success every year and the representation of Chinese jewellers was stronger this year, with impressive technical know-how rather than the effect of same same cheap copies.

Pink seems to be the key colour in the gem game for the moment. If anyone can dress up a drama, Italy can. Less packed than previous years and with plenty of restraint and reality checks in the air, the show still goes on. The beginning of 2012 appears to be saying that the industry can and will make it through this current dilemma. Let’s sweeten the shock and coat our jewels with a little bit of pink icing for the time being, and a just little precious metal, until we get back on track.

 

Juliet Rowe is an independent fashion PR and writer based in London and has a website at julietrowe.com. If you would like the chance to write for Professional Jeweller please email the editor Rachael Taylor at rachael.taylor@itp.com and pitch an idea.