Tuesday, June 14, 2016

JCK Las Vegas 2016 Highlights

Gretchen Friedrich in a Garrard tiara

By Gretchen Friedrich, Jewelry News Network’s social media manager

This past week was my inaugural JCK experience and it was phenomenal interacting with some of the best and brightest in the jewelry industry. 

The information I gleaned from chatting with designers and company representatives is too vast to compress into one post. The following paragraphs are the highlights and will be a source of future posts that will provide photos and more details on the designers. 

Traditional Favorites
The Garrard tiara encounter was by far my most noteworthy (top photo). I have a ridiculous affection for tiaras, and when Sarah Radcliffe, the account manager, asked if I wanted to try on this wondrous accessory, my jaw dropped. JCK Las Vegas was the royal jeweler's first show in the U.S. A last-minute cancellation opened space for the tiaras, traditional collections as well as new additions to the lineage. 

Nanis Ipanema Bracelet

Nanis, an Italian jeweler that specializes in gold led by Laura Bicego, appeals to more than just the eye with their luxury jewelry lines. Bicego's love of cashmere translates into jewelry that replicates the sensation of cashmere on your skin. Her colleziones are adaptable, and the epitome of craftsmanship. Bicego goes as far to make her own tool that stretches the links of chains.

Sutra Feather Bangle in 18k blackened gold with 4 carats of diamonds

Sutra integrates invisible links to create movement in most of their collections, but their feather-inspired productions are my favorite. They combine black gold with hand-set diamonds to achieve a style that is delicate, feminine, yet substantial. The links in the framework allow the earrings to shimmer and necklace to lie flush with your neck. 

JCK Rising Stars
The rising star tour includes Priyanka Murthy (Arya Esha), and Priyanka Kedia (Ayva Jewelry). They are included together in this section because of the coincidence of first names and consecutive accolades. These artists share the moniker as well as JCK Rising Star award winning titles for years 2015 and 2016, but have very distinct styles. 

Arya Esha Mini Galaxy Rings

Murthy is a lawyer-turned-designer who interprets logic into her Galaxy medley. The astro-inspired group represents Murthy's mantra of reaching for the stars. "Anything is possible," she says when discussing her transition from legalese to star-studded clients like Julia Roberts. 

Ayva Heritage Collection Crescent Necklace in 18K Yellow Gold with amethyst and white and green sapphires

Kedia is a San Francisco-based artisan who fashioned her signature look of marquis-shaped integrations from a necklace her grandfather made for her grandmother. It took him a year to collect the emeralds and additional time to configure the piece. A labor of love that Kedia carries into Heritage, her modern version of the story.  

Dirty Champagne Cocktain Ring by Marcia Budet in 18k yellow gold ring with an emerald cut, dark shade citrine (36 carats) and one white diamond

Marcia Budet is also a Rising Star award recipient and was my surprise find of the show. We bonded over technology gripes then she led me along her jewelry journey. Budet holds a master's degree in architecture from University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Design. She made the leap into jewelry when she couldn't find a ring to buy herself as a graduation present. ASYMMETRICS + DIAMONDS  is the result of Budet’s quest for the perfect gift. 

Stay tuned for more, as I share my adventures in greater detail.

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