Vicenzaoro I, running Jan. 14 - 21, presents jewelers from around the world with their first glimpse of style directions for 2001. Italians have caught color fever just like the rest of the world. They're also torn between their beloved yellow gold and still-popular white metals. Here's a look at the details:
Gemstones Shades of pink and rose were everywhere, particularly in pink sapphire pavé, a trend seen for the last few years in Vicenza, which has strengthened. Some American jewelers attending the fair loved it, but others didn't think it would catch in the U.S.The freshest combination of gemstone colors was pink and green, with yellow sometimes thrown in. This is a real departure from the amethyst, citrine and blue topaz trios so popular in the past. La Nouvelle Bague can be credited with introducing the color combo to U.S. buyers last year.
Favored gem shapes included ovals and navettes, as well as rectangles and bar-cut gems. Rows of princess-cuts or rounds were often used in parentheses-style pendants and rings, a look made popular by Alfieri & St. John last year.
Colored Chinese freshwater cultured pearls were popular here as everywhere, especially among formerly metal-intensive designers. Golden pearls were also significant as accents in jewelry.
Bigger, important chains were popular, as always, especially in fresh takes on rolo, cable and anchor styles. Continuing trends include mesh, knitted styles and open-work chain in metal-intensive jewelry.
Squiggles and swirls are still everywhere, as are nature-inspired pieces, from leaves and flowers to bugs and other winged creatures. Art Nouveau's turn-of-last-century influence is still apparent.
Waning trends included cabochon cuts, two-tone styles, yellow diamonds and shades of orange.
Heavy attendance at the metalworking symposia presented by the World Gold Council and the Platinum Guild-International signal that Italian jewelry manufacturers remain committed to learning and using cutting-edge techniques and technology. Their commitment was also evidenced in the expansion this year of Oromacchine, Vicenzaoros machine and technology showcase.
- by William H. Donahue Jr.