Thursday, September 8, 2016


Kicking off New York Jewelry Week at The famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel, the boutique jewelry show, LUXURY Prive, ran from Sunday, July 24th, through Tuesday, July 26th; touted by show organizers as an “elevated show experience with expanded offerings, known for its white glove service and intimate environment, drawing in the best of the best in jewelry.” 

While all of that might be true, this editor noticed a considerably smaller number of attendees on the Salon floor this time around, when during a Monday visit to the show, there was more than just a bit of ample walking around room from booth to booth. But, with that being said, for the buyers who showed up, there was all of the expected (and some unexpected) requisite bling, encompassing lots of interesting renderings, embracing mixtures of sparkling white and colored diamonds; white, yellow, rose gold, Platinum, fanciful gemstones, leather mixed with precious stones and metals, neoprene, gold, vermeil, et al, served up by a host of big name, well-known brands.

In addition to all of the big name designer houses showcasing their haute couture jewels here, there was something else going on; something that cast a decidedly hip, fresh, buoyant, and very exciting vibe across this show, by way of a newly curated area, where a bunch of groovy and cool capsule collections from an equally neat group of young, BCBG type designers (interestingly, some Brooklyn based) set the tone and made the news. 


At Goldhenn, (pronounced golden), the credo is all about the luxury and celebration of imperfection; a beautiful thing is never perfect and life is about celebrating the luxury of imperfection. All kinds of rocks, minerals, gemstones (gravel, too) are the inspiration behind this line, hand-crafted by artisans in New York and Santa Fe. An eclectic assortment of precious stone and diamond rings, earrings, necklaces (often mismatched) are featured, right up there with brand new, huge and petite, multi-colorful Horn bracelets; some set in 18k gold and liberally sprinkled with diamonds. According to designer Meaghan Hennelly, “horn is ethically and sustainably sourced through farming practices. The animals are not hunted for their horns. Lacquer is applied over the horn to achieve color. Additionally, for fun, horn is good luck talisman!!

Ebony and Ivory AND Diamonds - GOLDHENN'S Bracelet Brings Peace, Love, and Sparkles to Your Wrist!

William Henry, based out of McMinnville, OR., showed a very different kind of luxury men's collection, embracing hand-crafted, wild and wooly knives, money clips, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, et al, with names such as ‘Yucatan’, ‘Grandis”, ‘Full Circle’, ‘Serenity’, Ovation”, ‘First Mate, Monterey’, ‘Woodstock” , ‘Lancet’, ‘Kells Cross 111’. Groovy, masculine pieces pick up on the aura of past, present and future, incorporating bold prehistoric and modern accents (many found in the American West), along with intricate details; unique mechanisms and techniques, mixes of color, patterns, mosaics, antique finishes and the like. Millions of years old, fossil dinosaur bone, snakeskin, rich yellow and rose gold, diamonds, sterling and nickel silver, rubber, copper, brass, skulls, frosted black onyx, red topaz, blue sapphire, make up a totally eclectic design repertoire here. According to Dave Boeckel, CEO, “this is our first LUXURY Privé and we are very pleased. There is a very nice flow of existing customers and new prospects and we are having high quality interactions that are not rushed or pressured. The size of the show, the quality of the attendees, and the overall environment make this an excellent show for both exhibitors and retailers."

William Henry's Jewelry Pirates Your Applause


"First Mate"

Aero Diamonds’ “Diamonds in Space” collection focuses on a new concept of a visible artistry of diamonds connected without any kind of traditional mountings. While the “Add-a-Diamond Heritage Program” is a hallmark of the grouping; centered around petite diamond earrings, necklaces, chokers, et al., the biggest stars here are most definitely the outrageous, custom-made, sparkly diamond ankle bracelets, created especially for two super fashiony, super glam celebs. Now, while we cannot mention any "names", you get the idea.

Areo Diamonds Keep Your Diamonds in Space and Ankles on Earth

Andreoli , the charming, old world jewelry house, which was established in Valenza, Italy in 1945, and has now become well known for prestige and glamorous collections - centering on a fresh, fertile, fun attitude - worn by a bevy of beautiful (and Royal) international women, is no newcomer to haute couture jewelry, and that was quite apparent at the show, where a broad array of luxurious gem-set jewels and a surprising collection of titanium jewelry were on display. Although a third-generation is now onboard, continuing the brand’s legacy, originally begun by Abraham Hadjibay, the story here is still the same as when the company first opened up its doors, nearly a century ago. A team of top Valenza-based artisans are continually seeking out new technical challenges, unusual materials and motifs, to create bold and innovative statements; on a quest to find the perfect stones and materials for each new piece. From classical precious gems to funky colorful precious and semi-precious stones and metals, the idea is to focus on audacious colors and technical innovation to present intricately configured, fashionably cutting edge collections.

Andreoli's Butterfly is Gorgeous and Staying Put!

For Nina Nguyen, who grew up in war-torn Vietnam, the beginnings of her love affair with beautiful jewelry, multi colorful stones and eclectic design and fashion, began when as a young girl, she helped her uncle, a goldsmith in his jewelry casting foundry, working with locally panned gold, “The jewelry I design now is a reflection of my spirit. I create each piece to be unique, feminine and stylish. I envision my pieces empowering the wearer.” Nguyen has always had a love affair with beautiful gems and design; arriving in America with her mother, the young girl designed jewelry as a hobby throughout her high school and college years. Today, her rich cultural background, steeped in jewelry created for kings and queens, flows through into collections combining understated elegance, lighthearted and bold styling, intricate and detailed design techniques. The new “Heritage” Collection, which celebrates the designer’s roots and a new legacy, features black oxidized sterling silver and 14k yellow gold, finished with an exclusive crosshatch engraving and delicate rose cut diamond accents. Hand-forged bangles, delicate rings, earrings, necklaces and wrap bracelets – all meant to wear alone or mixed together – present the look and feeling of precious, long ago, gems, found now in a beautiful antique treasure chest.

Nina Nguyen Brings Yesterday to Today for Tomorrow

Brooklyn based, Judi Powers gives her collection such a joyous, easy-going, high luxury aura, mingled with a sense of understated elegance by way of flora, fauna, beach, art inspirations. Delicate pieces with names like “Dharma”, “Amada”, “A Tree Grows”, “Botanica”, “Talisman”, “Gum Drops”, “Love Letters” and “Wedding” become modern and timeless, made with repurposed, recycled precious metals; ethically sourced colored and natural diamonds; blue sapphires, tourmalines, crystals, tsavorite, et al; signature cashmere style finishes. 

Judi Powers' Tourmaline Necklace
Beware Hipsters, Easy-Going Luxury is Coming from Brooklyn!

Known as the Caribbean gemstone and is, in fact, only found in that area, Larimar offers a mesmerizing array of colors ranging from a lighter sky blue with wispy clouds to a deeper oceanic blue with crashing waves. The enigmatic gem was discovered on a beach in the Dominican Republic when fishermen found white and green colored pebbles that had been dislodged by an earthquake and had fallen into a river, eventually washing up on the shore. Today, Henderson, Nevada-based Marahlago, presents a wide array of the blue gem, rendered in a neat range of fashion-forward settings, generally silver, and often enhanced with other sprakling gemstones.

Marahlago's Jelly Fish Has Tendrils You'll Want to Touch

A nearly fifty year destiny of beauty, intermixed with a something very different this way comes attitude, serves to make Italian based Giovanni Raspini, so very unique and off the beat. Emerging from the heart of Tuscany, highly detailed and hand-made pieces run the gamut from soft and pretty to completely outrageous and crazy. Sure, the intertwined necklaces, rings and bracelets are sexy and desirable in their own right, but the big, bold sterling silver ice bucket, adorned with skull head handles is just the coolest thing ever to hold ice, champagne, wine and everything in between.

Giovanni Raspini at the Intersection of Art, Function, 
and the Occasional Nightmare Fuel

END NOTE: Some big changes are in the works for the 2017 edition of LUXURY Prive (Sunday, July 23rd-Tuesday, July 25th), meaning that exhibitors, buyers, guests and press will no longer be showing up at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel; those days are gone now. As The Wall Street Journal reports, some three-quarters of the Hotel’s rooms are slated for conversion into luxury co-op apartments over the next three years, by China’s Anbang Insurance Group, who bought the hotel from Hilton Worldwide Holdings in 2014 for $1.95 billion. According to a Show spokesperson, LUXURY Prive will debut at its new home; the InterContinental Barclay Hotel, located on Lexington Avenue, across from the Waldorf Astoria. “The Intercontinental is a modern environment that allows the LUXURY Privé legacy to thrive – sophisticated buying experience, high-end service, and elegant surroundings pair hand in hand with this hotel's credo. This New York icon, informed by its heritage, is undeniably authentic and a product of the moment. The recent completion of a $180 million renovation displays quintessential New York charm and a new mode of luxury, focused on exceptional service standards and providing luxurious, meaningful guest culture.” – ADWB for C&C


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