When the doors opened at 1PM on Friday I was one of the many jewelry aficionados inside the New York Watch and Jewelry Show at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. I made a beeline for M.Khordipour –a collection I haven’t been able to stop by and see in a while and fell immediately in lover with a Buccellati bracelet of flexible platinum spun by hand into the lightest of intricate “honeycomb” lace, one of the main patterns for which the house is known. Anyone who has read my blog posts or my book “My Charmed Life” knows of my affinity for this generational Italian jewelry house. M. Khordipour scores some incredible finds but I rarely see Buccelllati’s flexible bracelets in platinum (more of the cuffs in the brocade patterns and the diamond and yellow gold classic lace are around are around) I instantly asked the price and realized that it would take me the next 50 years to pay it off, so I slowly, very slowly and achingly put it back on display. I also found a French Art Deco bracelet, signed Cartier Tutti Frutti earrings and a Fouquet brooch. What I began to notice as I walked the show floor and tried on various pieces of jewelry was that these looks signaled the trends at the show: Signed jewels, amazing Art Deco and Art Nouveau pieces as well as a major showing of yellow gold from all eras in larger statement pieces.
I first noticed these directions last year and then again at the various winter shows and in Las Vegas but it was pervasive at this particular show. While Georgian and early sentimental Victorian jewelry is usually more my personal taste (along with Buccelatti pieces and select designs by masters of Art Nouveau and Art Deco) —I could not help but try on the bold flexible buckle bracelet (a retro revival of an earlier Victorian style) at Jacob Estate & FineJewelry, The cuff bracelet at D.K. Bressler with the diamond star pattern at D.K. Bressler was another favorite in the gold category as were the Victorian chains and fringe style Etruscan Revival Necklaces at Pat Novissimo/Lowther Antiques, although I could not help myself from trying a much earlier Witches Heart ring at Pat’s where I have found some of my favorite Georgian and early Victorian rings.
Names like Renee Bovin, Suzanne Belperron, David Webb, Tiffany &Co, Cartier, Fouquet, Boucheron Lalique, Van Cleef & Arpels and yes, Buccellati punctuated the show at dealers such as La Gallerie Parisienne, D.K. Bressler, Hays Worthington, Diana Singer, Steven Neckman. Robin Katz (Robin Katz Vintage Jewels) was a in rare form at this show. She has a beautifully curated collection of signed pieces, gold from the early nineteenth century through the 60s-80s (which are on very much on trend in fashion and are becoming more and more coveted by jewelry collectors) such as deisgns by Solange Azagury-Patridge. The one-time creative director for Boucheron, Patridge launched her own collection in 1987. Katz featured this amazing enamel moon and diamond star ring, which was up there with my top pieces at the show.
One of my all time favorite gemstones with gold is turquoise, whether antique or modern but those of which are my favorites are Victorian styles like those I saw at Lenore Dailey, Melody Rodgers and Pat Novissimo/Lowther Antiques. A great find for another smaller well-curated dealer’s collection is Prather Beeland.
I might not wear the outsized gold chokers or ultra wide cuffs as my statements tend to be a more delicate approach –layered and piled on—but I can appreciate the bolder looks and definitely the changing attitudes about women purchasing their own higher ticket items and the thrill of the hunt and love of collecting, all which was top of mind after I attended a Fashion Group seminar with some of the top jewelry curators/authors Sarah Coffin of the Smithsonian (Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels) and Jane Adlin, Associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Jewels by Jar) as well as Mark Emanuel, co-owner of David Webb.
To note: For those in the industry -check out Fashion Group International’s website for upcoming events. And if you are not already a member of WJA (Women’s Jewelry Association) or ASJH (American Society of Jewelry Historians), what are you waiting for?