June nearly always heralds the time for the JIC Jewelry Information Center’s (JIC) Annual Editor’s Luncheon, and this time around, albeit on a drab, dark day that seemed more like a tropical monsoon than a usual New York City rainstorm, some 60 trade and consumer jewelry and fashion editors, reporters, stylists, photographers, and the like, flocked to Vermilion Restaurant (a sort of, kind of cool, very organic eatery, tucked away on the East Side somewhere) for a highly-anticipated afternoon of fun things to enjoy; i.e., cocktails, fine dining, designer jewelry collection previews, raffles and goody bags.
The draw here was obviously not only the de rigeuer luncheon (this time, though, not as delectable as in past events of this kind), but also the chance to get a first peek at some pretty fabulous jewels and related accessories for 2009 from selected “names”, such as Anna Ruth Henriques, Carla Amorin, Denise Solay Eyewear, Diana Vincent, Etienne Peret,Gumuchian, Michael B, Roberto Coin, Sevan, and so on and so forth.
Naturally, the jewels themselves (and the key trends which inspired the design repertoire here) were the stars of this show. Worked around looking good with the new clothing collections on tap, as well as maybe keeping a mindful eye on the economic situation and the fact that many, if not most jewelry shoppers, are all watching their pennies, there seemed to be a very strong point made for beautiful, big, bold, day and night-time jewels.
Let us start here with a huge necklace story, which totally harkens back to the good old days – l980’s anyone – when excess and a larger-than-life sensibility were so in. For these jewels, it is all about variety for the ladies and gentleman who go from classical and toned down to way-out, crazy and very, very wild. Think about lots of yellow-gold, chain-link, V-shapes, tough, rock-and-roller spikes and horns, multi-strands and tassels. While some of the necklaces are plain (and this look is OK for a more conservative statement), the best looks in necklaces appear to be embellished with never shy, multi-colored gemstones, charms, and blackened, sterling silver.
Next up are oversized, sexy, swinging hoops, which while all the rage in the l980’s are back now; only this time, more of the pieces are diamond dotted, which makes this trend fresher and timeless in the modern age. OK, now where would all the jewelry lovers out there be without one (or more) loud, brazen, “Epic” rings, in all-metal or layered with several kinds of gemstones, are totally fantastical and seem to be more than just a bit covetable, according to the reactions of several luncheon guests, one of whom noted that it seemed cool to wear one or several of these rings on just one or both hands.
Last but not least are cuff bracelets, which although maybe viewed as a staple across the wardrobe of many stylistas, are currently as big, better and as layer-ready as anyone would want, mind you, now served up in a range of different techniques and finishes, such as openwork, filigree, hand-hammered or silky and polished. For many of the event’s guests (and this editor included), the sensual, curvaceous wood bracelets, many mixed in with enamel and colored gemstones, totally took the prize.
Equally nice, in addition to everything else that this event showcased, was the fact that once again, World Gold Council was on hand as a co-sponsor; ditto for a new co-sponsor, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, which provided gratis jewelry cleaning for guests who toted along a piece of personal jewelry that needed some extra zing and bling. Making the pot sweeter was a nice gift bag for all guests (not just the luck raffle winners, among whom this editor was not one of those fortunate one’s) to take home. While not filled to the brim with the usual amount of goodies found at previous JIC events, there were, aside from the several press kits, two, cute designer bracelets nestled inside a colorful, l960’s-inspired, flower-power tote. Right on.
– Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg