Okay, my darlings. I’ve been home from Europe for a couple of weeks, which means I’ve caught up on sleep, unpacked my suitcase (sort of) and, most importantly, finished preparing my photos from the VicenzaOro show!!
This was my third VicenzaOro show, which means I was twice as excited to go back as I would have been if I didn’t know what was in store. From the luxurious, colorful velvet couches of the Roberto Coin boutique to the custom chocolate truffle flight I was offered by Casato and the ever-present glasses of prosecco, the Italian trade show experience definitely involves some pampering.
And then, of course, there’s the jewelry.
This handful of pure joy is the work of Casato, a new-to-me Italian brand who really impressed with me, both with their warm welcome (which involved chocolate) and their creative, gorgeously constructed jewelry.
I loved this line for its unusual color combinations and its perfect scale: larger than most just-for-fun stacking rings, but smaller than cocktail styles. I loved looking at these rings and their coordinating earrings. Such happy, fun designs.
Last year at the VicenzaOro show, I fell in love with a carved lava dragon necklace by Italian brand Anna E Alex. This year, it was their statement earrings that knocked my socks off.
These bold beauties feature materials like silk and enamel and they’re specially made to be light as a feather, despite their size. They’re also a great price point, especially for how fabulous they are: a pair like this will set you back around $400.
Italian brand Carlo Barberis is one of the meetings I was the most excited about at this year’s VicenzaOro show, and they did not disappoint.
Can you believe this brooch??? The initial visual effect is stunning, but it gets more impressive the closer you look: the gently curving branches of this floral design are carved tourmaline, and the halo around the center of each bloom is carved hardstone. An exquisite, refreshingly creative design, gorgeously executed.
How about some swans? These two glamorous birdies are the work of Palmerio, a brand I’ve seen the VicenzaOro show but never had a chance to visit before.
I can’t look at these rings without thinking of Odette and Odile from Swan Lake. Neither of them struck me as particularly evil, but you never know.
These earrings from Carlo Barberis are understated at first glance, but they’re incredibly luxe.
Those are rare conch pearls dangling in the center, a pair of richly pigmented specimens of a glorious pink hue. The smokey, translucent material defining the lines of the piece is carefully cut rock crystal, accented with diamonds. So dreamy and unusual. I couldn’t possibly love them more.
I was so impressed by this ring from Casato. At first glance, it’s beautiful, an explosion of sapphire and tanzanite interspersed with sparkling diamonds.
I’ve tried on a lot of two-finger rings over the years, and the vast majority of them don’t exhibit any particularly creative design based on the fact that they fit on two fingers. They’re just big for the sake of being big.
This Casato ring is different. Whoever designed it really thought about what it would mean to have it draped across two fingers. Looks like the gems are bursting forth from the empty space between the fingers, rather than centering over either one – the juxtaposition is so beautiful and interesting.
And it gets even better:
The construction on this Castao ring was so very smart. Most double finger rings are one piece of metal with two openings for fingers; even the best designed can be uncomfortable. But this piece is built on two individual rings connected beneath the gems and in the back of the piece by carefully placed chains, to hold the piece together but allow movement.
The best part: the chain in back features a tiny, dangling bezel-set diamond.
I was too excited about trying on this Picchiotti necklace to take even one photo of myself where I’m both in focus and making a reasonable face, but its such a gorgeous piece that I had to show you anyway.
Isn’t it fantastic? Those rich blues would be stunning in anything, but that sweeping design is irresistibly glamorous.
I showed you another ring from this Mattioli collection last year, but I loved this one so much that I needed to include it anyway. It even matched my manicure!
Those reverse-set black diamonds, those pops of purple…everything about this piece is just so magnificently EXTRA. I feel like this is what Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty wears when she goes clubbing.
Here’s something brand new from Roberto Coin: the grand necklace and bracelet from the Princess Flower collection.
I love the articulation of these pieces; every individual flower moves gently in relation to the others. It’s as delicate as it is dramatic.
I love a piece of jewelry that combines sparkling, faceted gemstones with richly hued hardstone in an interesting way, and these rings from new-to-me Swiss brand Baenteli fit the bill perfectly. (Actually, the Carlo Barberis earrings up above fit into that category as well.)
I especially love the Baenteli ring with lapis, sapphires, and diamonds and the onyx with a band of rubies. Baenteli also had some really cool moonstone pieces, but my videos of those were much better than the photos. Expect to see them on my Instagram soon.
This brooch is also by Carlo Barberis, who made my other favorite brooch up top.
I love this piece because it’s such a perfect example of the difference that good design can make. Yes, it’s just a leaf brooch. But the design – the contrast of the maze-like diamond swirls of the left side with the glowing green geometry of the peridot on the other side, all in that clean silhouette – makes it utterly compelling.
Here’s a really cool piece from Palmerio.
I love this ring, both because of the interesting color combination and the intriguing way it occupies space. The interlocking whorls of the ring look like they’re really twining together…and that’s because they are. Apparently this beauty was constructed as several separate pieces and assembled over six months.
I am COMPLETELY in love with these Laurent Gandini earrings. I personally want to own every single pair.
They remind me of antique girandole earrings, but with a modern lightness that makes them oh-so-easy to wear. In both silver and gold.
I always enjoy Wendy Yue’s wonderfully dramatic designs, but I loved this ring even more than I usually love her work.
I adore the muted colors and the dangling drops, but most of all I love the unusual choice of centering this stunner with a faceted rutilated quartz. It’s not a stone you usually see in this kind of cocktail ring style (or in Yue’s work at all, usually) and the effect is so cool!
From dreamy and romantic to dark, dangerous, and utterly glam: can you even with these snake pieces from Mattioli?!?
Those are black diamond studding the entirety of that snake cuff, because of course they are. It’s substantial, but not as heavy as you might expect – it felt incredible to wear. It may have been a little over the top for me to wear it with a snake ring, but I can’t help myself, I love this combo!
Nothing can follow that bracelet, so we’re gonna call it a day.
A huge thank you to the VicenzaOro show, the Italian Trade Commission, and Luxury Brand Group PR (especially the indefatigable Jen Cullen Williams) for making it possible for me to have this incredible experience!
My airfare and hotel stay for the 2017 VicenzaOro show were provided by the Italian Trade Commission in collaboration with the Italian Exhibition Group.