Bling and Baubles Bring New Level Of Dazzle

By Isabelle Kellogg, Epoch Times Contributor
June 12, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015
Sevan Bicakci was recognized with first place in the Pearls Category for his eerie octopus ring/cuff made in 24-karat gold and sterling silver with more than 3,000 hand-set multicolored diamonds, 164 hand-set seed pearls, and one South Sea baroque pearl. (Photo courtesy of Isabelle Kellogg)
Sevan Bicakci was recognized with first place in the Pearls Category for his eerie octopus ring/cuff made in 24-karat gold and sterling silver with more than 3,000 hand-set multicolored diamonds, 164 hand-set seed pearls, and one South Sea baroque pearl. (Photo courtesy of Isabelle Kellogg)

Glitz, not glamour, best describes this desert metropolis of Las Vegas, with one exception. The annual Couture Show for jewelry, which took place June 2–6 at the Wynn hotel, raises the bar for the high-end jewelry industry.

Exhibitors include mostly U.S. jewelry companies, plus some jewelry companies from Italy, France, Germany, and this year, from Brazil. A trade-only event, it’s open to qualified upscale jewelry retailers, designers, and manufacturers.

The Couture Show (www.TheCoutureShow.com) ushers in a week’s worth of more than 200 high-end diamantaires (Hearts on Fire and Kwiat, for example) and jewelry brands like Buccellati, Marina B (as in Bulgari), and Mikimoto. Smaller jewelers are also there, looking to capture the interest and expand the commercial reach of their own jewelry brands into the United States.

Moving into its 16th year, the show continues to be the benchmark for luxury and excellence for high-end jewelry design.

Trade shows can be daunting and exhausting, even to the very professionals they cater to, but the nature of this show—luxury jewelry—is the equivalent of shopping Madison Avenue in Manhattan or New Bond Street in London for jewelry, a curated experience that’s five stars all the way through.

From iconic brand names to lesser-known names and rising stars in the industry, private salons and booths are brimming with baubles twinkling to attract a retailer. The countries of Germany and Brazil curated small group exhibits within the main show. In addition, there was a watch pavilion with a handful of high-end watch brands.

The Couture Design Awards’ 140 entries this year marked the largest group of design submissions ever, and a “People’s Choice Award” was added.

Standout award winners included Shaun Leane’s “Queen of Night” collar with 15 carats of pear-shaped purple sapphires, 35 carats of pave diamonds, and other gemstones set in 18-karat blackened gold. Federica Rettore’s 18-karat gold earrings feature rose cut and brilliant cut diamonds, colored sapphires, fossil coral, and gun-barrel stainless steel. In the Gold Category, Elena Votsi won for her gold ring with brilliant cut diamonds and garnets.

Judging by the record attendance at the show and the high number of exhibitors, the category is alive and well at the prestige level, which is encouraging news to this segment of the industry.

Isabelle Kellogg is a writer and public relations consultant in the luxury sector, with a passion for diamonds, jewelry, watches, and other luxury products, including travel. Contact her at isabelle@ikellogg.com.

 

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