A brand which every luxury fan is familiar with is Gucci, and the fashion house made history when its debut high jewellery collection was launched during Paris haute couture week. The aesthetics of the collection - ‘Hortus Deliciarum’ (‘Garden of Delights’) - are based on the brand’s codes and iconography, such as lions, kitsch hearts, and snakes. Vibrant gemstones were brought together in surprising combinations with highly polished white or yellow gold; making Gucci’s first foray into fine jewellery fun, youthful and irreverent.
A very different kind of jeweller is Anna Maccieri Rossi. Hailing from Italy, she spent more than 12 years designing timepieces for such world-leading luxury brands as Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Bulgari and Tiffany & Co., before releasing jewellery under her own name in 2019. The unique combination of her watchmaking Metiers D’Art skills with a passion for creating high jewellery resulted in intelligent designs, such as mechanical cuffs displaying different scenes, and hand painted mother of pearl set with diamond accents.
One jewellery company which came to my attention in 2019 was Harakh - an Indian jeweller from a traditional diamantaire background, whose singular vision won over legions of new jewellery fans. Harakh exclusively create jewellery featuring only D,E and F colour and IF, VVS and VS clarity diamonds showcasing excellent cut, and the brand’s founder Harakh Mehta personally hand-picks each diamond himself. Their creative mission is not just about beautiful diamonds though, Harakh is a jeweller with a spiritual focus: its logo is a ‘tear of joy’ symbol, and each jewel is offered with Reflection Card - where Harakh Mehta shares his inspiration behind creating that particular piece, observing its deeper significance.
Rubeus is another fine jewellery brand who recently emerged after making headlines with a truly spectacular debut collection. Viktor and Natalya Bondarenko are the husband and wife who founded the luxury accessories brand Rubeus in 2013. The big news was revealed in a hall of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris during Paris Haute Couture week: Rubeus had created the first and only high jewellery collection dedicated to the astounding properties of the Alexandrite. Not only that, but the 69.37 carat gem in the ‘Imperial’ collection is undisputed as the largest faceted Ural alexandrite known in the world. The collection of two transformable necklaces, two pairs of pendant earrings and four rings of the ‘Imperial’ collection were not only significant because of the size of their featured rare gems, but it also served to highlight alexandrite’s ability to change colour - ranging from deep green to neon pink.
Two new jewellery discoveries for 2019 participated in the jewellery historian Vivienne Becker’s Designer’s Vivarium at GemGeneve; a curated selection of new talent to watch. Many of the fair's attendees fell for the designs of Mr. Lieou, who worked as a designer at Tiffany&Co. before creating his eponymous brand. His 'Orchid' earrings conveyed a supreme understanding of form, modern fine jewellery techniques and delicious coloured gemstones - as did the rest of his debut collection.
Another 2019 fine jewellery debutant is the Belgium native Tatiana Verstraeten, who was also highlighted in GemGeneve’s Designer’s Vivarium. The most popular piece which she introduced to the jewellery world was the shoulder grazing, celestial inspired fringe earring, which perfectly summed up her visual language as a designer: feminine, daring and elegant. Having designed jewellery for Chanel since 2011, she released her brand in 2018, and has already become one to watch for jewellery editors and aficionados alike.
All of this innovation in new creative pathways sets the stage for 2020 to deliver even more fine jewellery first-timers, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store!