Dozens of Italian fine jewelry brands animated the June 2023 COUTURE Las Vegas show, the annual designer fine jewelry and luxury timepiece trade fair held June 1 - 4 at the Wynn Las Vegas. The design influence of Italian jewelry was celebrated by voters who participated in the 2023 COUTURE design awards. Winners included Peruffo, which won first place in the Best in Debut and People’s Choice categories. While heritage brand Gismondi1754 took second place in the Editor’s Choice prize, sculpturally innovative Vendorafa won second prize for Best in People’s Choice, and Busatti 1947 won second place for Best in Diamonds Above $40,000. This report highlights some Italian brands whose design merits, material values and artisanal excellence shone bright at COUTURE.
Peruffo’s collections made their debut at COUTURE this year and as previously mentioned, their sculpturally unconventional, elegant and artistic, gender-neutral designs were received with great enthusiasm. Each Peruffo collection integrates a mix of techniques, including handcasting and 3D printing, plus the repetition of kinetic elements. Incorporating high performance materials, and graphic styling, Peruffo jewels embody majestic volumes, geometric forms, and artistically beautiful negative space.
Peruffo Creative Director Marta Martino and company founder and CEO Enrico Peruffo offered up rings and earrings made of lightweight, flexible 18-karat woven gold that due to their fabric-like substance, gracefully morph back and forth like leaves turning in the wind. The fluid material and fine design of these shape-shifting jewels makes them wearable art, as well as beautiful adornments. Also notable for its engineering is the 18- karat gold; blue agate pyramid-studded, one-of-a-kind necklace that Martino designed especially for COUTURE. This voluminous statement collar is held together with artfully concealed links. Continually refining its flexible jewelry that’s powered by invisible springs, FOPE had buyers standing in line to examine its latest collections at COUTURE, as did Valenza-based Picchiotti, which featured its XPANDABLE, two-sided and fully reversible 18-karat gold bracelets and rings. For example, Picchiotti’s newest ergonomically ingenious bracelet features ceramic, gold and diamonds to make a colorful statement, while the other side gleams in pure gold. Another brilliant engineer of fine jewelry presenting at COUTURE was Mattia Cielo, whose mastery of precious metals, diamonds and colored gemstones generates chic, flexible and ergonomically smart designs. IPPOLITA also featured appealingly asymmetrical; double-sided jewels that were set with irregular gemstones. More jewelry design and engineering appeared in the interchangeable, variously colored mother-of-pearl earring wardrobe in Mattioli’s “Puzzle” collection. Featuring eleven differently colored mother-of-pearl elements, the Puzzle pieces allow women to coordinate their earrings with the seasons, their moods and clothing.
Busatti 1947 presented materially and technically advanced jewels including a stack of angular, smooth and sleekly interlocking bracelets. Each lightweight bangle is formed of 18-karat white gold and Busatti’s proprietary ceramic and carbon fiber material, which is smoothly textured and matte-finished in colors ranging from burnt sienna to coral to pink clay to sand. (Separate bracelets glisten with varying diamond carat weights while some are completely solid- colored.) Each bracelet looks elegant on its own and fits securely with others due to magnetization. The modular concept embodies 21st century casual chic. “Wear one or two during the day, or stack them up at night,” said Lalla Busatti. Sprezzatura!
New Links, New Styles of Chain
Vendorafa, Vhernier and Bizotto all presented novel interpretations of chain link jewels, as did MISENO with its While Vendorafa’s Onda collection glowed with slender and elongated oval links that are alternately hand-hammered and textured, Vhernier offered necklaces with oversized flat links in various luxury materials that are finished with fine production values. Bizotto’s Imagine 18-karat gold chain necklace features boldly scaled links in various sizes, some of which glittered with diamonds. Because of this, Bizotto’s big chains make big impact.
by Kyle Roderick