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 A DIAMOND AFFAIR:  The 25th edition of the Biennale des Antiquaries at the Grand Palais in Paris was a sparkling affair.  Sales were handsomely up from two years ago, and Bernard Fornas, president of Cartier International SA, said the market for the event’s exclusive creations was quite strong. 

    Observers credited a changed consumer attitude for the uptick in purchases.  “People’s perceptions of fine jewelry have changed,” Fornas said.  “They don’t necessarily buy for investment but on top of the pleasure and emotion, there’s an investment connotation which is maybe stronger than it was 10 years ago. People are regarding jewelry as a rock-solid investment.”

   About 80,000 people attended the affair which numbered among exhibitors some of the world’s top names in the art and antiques world, including Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, and Chanel Joaillerie.  Among the broad collection of pieces displayed were precious decorative objects and panther pieces carved from petrified wood or white opal.

YU CAN SPEND TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, OR YOU CAN FIND YOUR OWN ELEGANT JEWELRY HERE FOR A FRACTION OF THE COST:

 

 

PURELY RETRO:  White was the major color on view during New York’s recent Fashion Week at Lincoln Center and many saw that as a positive sign, pointing out that white represents optimism.  Like so many exhibitions so far this season, however, major emphasis was on retro.  The 70s came through strongest in this venue, with a refined profile suggesting a somewhat different direction from the more casual one we’ve recently been on.  “Ladylike,” is how one major industry publication called it. Skirts are longer for spring, and wide legged pants have returned to the forefront of fashion.

RELIEF FOR FEET:  Shoes are suddenly calming down after several seasons of super-high heels that would distress anybody’s anatomy.   For spring, look for a wonderful array of flats, as well as some great looking platform shoes that still keep the foot in a naturally flat position.  Sandals are particularly hot, along with little heel oxfords and loafers. 

  Also making waves for the season are belts, from soft fabric wraps that tie around the waist several times to medium-wide leathers with big — no, make that huge – round buckles, often made of intricately worked silver. 

  Plenty of medium-sized handbags are also making getting dressed up more comfortable.  Graphics are big in this arena, with plenty of black and white. Brown and tan slouchy shoulder bags with fringe emphasize the presence of a western modality. 

   Don’t forget sun-shading hats for spring, either, Fisherman’s hats dressed up with little rows of lace or ruffles (as seen in the recent NY Michael Kors show) are fun, casual.  Great big brimmed hats a la the Caribbean are likewise major.  The design was especially dramatic at Marc Jacobs, where the designer combined a bright yellow straw hat with an equally intense hot pink jumpsuit.  Wow!

CREEPY CRAWLIES:  When you talk about someplace being bugged, you’re not expected to be taken literally, more like you mean “bugged” in the Law & Order sense.  Well, not anymore!  Bedbugs are apparently changing all that, as they rush from store to store and locale to locale, driving merchants and customers crazy! 

   A couple of months ago, Abercrombie & Fitch’s Hollister flagship store in New York’s SOHO had to close down for several days while the bedbug infestation was flushed out.  The firm’s South Street Seaport store was also hit with the crawlies and had to be fumigated.  Then, in August, Elle Magazine’s offices were closed for – you got it! – bedbugs! 

   Now, Niketown’s NY Flagship reports it is suffering from the same problem and is now “temporarily closed.”  Bedbugs are a merchant’s nightmare.  They are almost impossible to get rid of, and pose a real danger to everyone entering the infested store as they are easy to pick up and bring home without ever knowing it. 

HARDWARE LADY:  Stefanie Pia is a jewelry designer with a love for flea markets and metal.  The Bassano del Grappe-native, now living in New York, rummages through Flea Markets looking for great finds for her kooky jewelry, things like rusty door hinges and antique keys to even bigger pieces such as butcher’s locks. 

   Pia uses the hardware artifacts to create new jewelry, painting one side a fluorescent color and then stringing them on vintage fabric.  The look has gotten her so much attention that diamond merchants Yves Ringler and Paul Gregory have decided to invest in her business. Pia is also into collages and textile design.

LOOKING FOR CREATIVE JEWELRY CHOICES?  YOU ARE AT THE RIGHT SPOT!

 

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010


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