TRENDS: Inhorgenta 2011

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Professional Jeweller picks its key trends as seen at the Munich show.

Inhorgenta glittered this weekend as more than 1,150 exhibitors showed off their wares to visitors from across the globe.

Professional Jeweller was there to pick up on the key trends seen at this year’s show and guaranteed to influence both consumers and designers alike.

Pavé with a twist

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Designers including Thomas Sabo, Ruppenthal and Lovelinks by Aagaard showed of glittering pavé-set colourful jewellery – and, at all, a clear trend towards black. Disco ball necklaces on long chains or fine wire collars were a theme across several stands, while detailed micro-pavé on the shanks and settings of high-end diamond rings demonstrated skilled and careful craftsmanship.

Russian rings and stacking rings

Rolling Russina-style bands in gold and platinum were recognisable at Inhorgenta, with many designers adding coloured gemstones or diamonds to maximise the impact. German jewellery brand Quinn dedicated its stand to brightly enamelled, internlocking silver rings which created a rolling, Russian-style of ring when joined together. Elsewhere brands including Youkay, Funky rings by Di Giorgio and Georg Spreng introduced bi-coloured metal stacking rings, with quirky details such as red enamelled chilis – as seen at Youkay – or off-set chunky cabachon gemstones as exhibited at Georg Spreng.

Rainbow jewels

A recognised trend for a couple of months already but evidently evolving across all types of jewellery, the popularity of both über brights and, conversely, pared-down pastels was strong at Inhorgenta. Whether it was the new Pop Now watch and jewellery collections from Thomas Sabo or colourful leather charm bracelets by Heide Heinzendorff the trend for brights was unmissable, with many stands using shocking pinks to draw the crowds. Subtle pastel hues were seen at luxury jewellery brand Meissen who combined on-trend florals with hand-enamelled detailing.

Regalia

Royal wedding fever hasn’t just hit the UK – at Inhorgenta it seemed jewellery had embraced the regal look across the board, with crown-shaped rings at Drachenfells and the previously reported Royal Wedding charm from Chamilia. Princesses were also a mirco trend, with several fashion jewellery brands introducing licensed Disney Princess charms and beads. A dedicated stand for wedding jewellery was held at the Platinum Forum, where glass bell jars encased key bridal pieces from various platinum jewellery designers, surrounded by photographs of famous couples and a special Kate and William area.

Mixed Metals

The continued play on bi-coloured and even tri-coloured metals in jewellery was seen across the precious and fashion-led collections at Inhorgenta. There were unusual engagements rings from Rivoir, which mixed white and yellow gold shanks. Wedding bands and diamond rings by Steven Kretchmer combined layers of different coloured metals and unusual detailing on the rings’ surfaces, showing off the mirco-trend for all things planetary and space age through star and moon shapes. Fashion jewellery brand Charlotte mixed silver and gold plating on cup-shaped rings set with pastel coloured gems and pearls.

Animals

Jewellery designers love to add quirky animal details to their work, and this was evident at the show, with a key theme for birds, aquatic life and reptiles. Drachenfells, Thomas Sabo and Alraune displayed bright green frog charms in their collections, while peacock-hued gems, feather shapes and tropical birds also worked the trend for bright colours. Wedding ring specialists EGF played on the theme in a different way with a creative safari-themed stand complete with giant giraffe and safari Jeep. Nymphenburg had a gothic twist to the aquatic theme of its porcelain jewellery collections with coral shapes and seahorses in white, black and reddish pink pocelain strung on dark leather cords.

Platinum on a large scale

A noticeable trend at Inhorgenta was how adventurous the designers were with platinum. The jewellery was not shy with scale and unlike many designers in the UK, German jewellery houses were showing off large-scale oversized rings and pendants in this most precious of metals. Keeping a minimal theme, much of the jewellery was clean in line, matt finished and set with smaller, scattered diamonds or coloured gems instead of ostentatious carat-plus sized stones. Large scale platinum designs could be seen at Jörg Heinz, Niessing, Gerstner and Kubik.

Pearls – making a comeback

Luxury jewellery goes hand-in-hand with pearls and the stands from Schoeffel, Gellner, My Pearl and Gerhard Hahn were hard to ignore at Inhorgenta, with a buzz around their most exquisite pearl jewellery. At Schoeffel, strings combining golden yellow south sea and soft grey tahitian pearls with pink and violet hues were on show, retailing at more than £20,000. At the more affordable end of the scale, My Pearl offered both classic and fashion-led pearl jewellery for up to £2000, combining fresh water and keshi pearls with all manner of colourful cultured pearls. Gellner had also launched a chic collection of diamond-set pearl jewellery, with pearl pendants set with micro-pavé diamond initials for those looking for that personal touch.

Fine detailing

Standout jewellery which combined ultra-fine making with unusual design was seen again at Messien – whose hand-painted porcelain jewellery was set in the most beautiful 18ct rose, yellow and white gold. Rings featured miniature floral designs topped with faceted stones such as amethyst, while diamond pendants encased detailed porcelain boules in a myriad of colours and textures. Italian designer Dori Csengeri showed off her hand-made silk jewellery, which is so finely detailed and strung with such elegant beads, crystals and gems that each piece is more or less unique. Diamond-set jewellery at Hans D. Kreiger combined brown and white diamonds to the most glittering of effects, a look also seen at Diamond Group where diamonds sparkled feverously, covering the entire surface of the jewellery.

… And finally, beads and charms are still going strong

Of course, the bead and charm trend is still huge, with more and more brands or diffusion collections coming onto the market. Taking designs to the next level, several brands have introduced charm watch collections or otherwise watches to which charms can be fixed. Several brands have also introduced new leather or friendship-style bracelets with links to which charms can be added or beads strung. Key fashion brands of note were again Thomas Sabo, where neon friendship charm bracelets are set to be huge, Alraune, Haribo Bijoux (complete with giant gummy bear charm necklace), Aagaard, Trollbeads, Charming by Ti Sento and Nomination.

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