Any jewelry insider will tell you that Las Vegas is the place to be in June. But we don’t come to gamble or sit poolside (it’s over 100 degrees). We come for the annual Couture jewelry show where a curated selection of the most creative jewelers from around the world unveils the year’s newest and most innovative diamond jewelry designs.
It’s a glimpse of the future of jewelry in which imaginative designers push the boundaries of what’s possible with diamonds, gemstones and metal. Here, a mix of breakthrough concepts and traditional ideas are reimagined for the 21st century. It’s an inspiring jewelry showcase that always leaves you wanting to add to your collection.
Here are seven must-sees from this year’s show:
1. Studio Renn’s Airy Diamond Designs
What are Puffball Voids? It sounds like a cereal, but it is actually the name of Studio Renn’s creative new series of abstract gold and diamond jewelry, which explores the use of negative space, or what the designers behind Studio Renn call “incompleteness.”
Motivated by everything from architecture and modern art to philosophy, the Bombay-based jewelers Rahul and Roshni Jhaveri use 3-D printing to develop the initial voluminous Puffball Voids pieces. The jewelry is made with contrasting rough and polished gold and diamonds, but it’s open space that makes the statement pieces surprisingly lightweight.
2. VAK’s Modern Portrait Cut Diamonds
VAK Designer Vishal Kothari reimagined ancient portrait cut diamonds in contemporary, sculptural works of art. A personal favorite of the designer, the portrait cut diamond has a great backstory: It was originally designed for India’s famous Shah Jahan who had diamonds cut like thin shards of glass to cover miniature portraits of himself and loved ones, hence the name.
“I make my own style of art with portrait cut diamonds,” says Kothari. Cut by master Indian jewelers, the portrait cuts are arranged in floral and abstract patterns and set with hardly a trace of the metal setting, so the diamonds appear floating on the skin.
3. Nikos Koulis’s Statement Necklace
Greek designer Nikos Koulis new Together collar is a statement piece that is remarkably light and effortless. Created with a web of finely detailed gold chains and appointed with sleek baguette and princess-cut diamonds, it was most definitely a standout design at Couture.
Koulis is known for his experimental use of gold, namely his technique of making it as soft and flexible as fabric. In this case, Koulis presents an open web style by way of structured delicate chains. The graphic diamond patterns on the necklace made it a glamorous and innovative jewelry design.
4. Uniform Object’s Fresh Shapes
Designer David Farrugia of Uniform Object is a relative newcomer on the jewelry scene, but he’s already making an impact. He plays with shapes, construction and various elements to make edgy and effortlessly cool jewelry.
The designer used these elongated pear-shaped white and yellow diamonds in stackable gold bangles to give the classic cut a modern and graphic image.
5. Harwell Godfrey’s Wise Jeweled Owl
Designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey’s new owl cuff is bold style statement plucked from the designer’s new Menagerie series, which features large-scale one-of-a-kind animals emblazoned with diamonds and gemstones in graphic patterns.
Known for her more-is-more style, Godfrey chose the owl for its wisdom and vision. But this owl is also about fun and fantasy.
6. Vhernier’s Wearable Sculpture
Having built a reputation for innovative diamond jewelry, Italian jewelry house Vhernier keeps evolving its signature sculptural styles. The latest addition is a black diamond ring, which appears like a sculpture on the hand.
Of course, what appears simple is often the most complicated to execute; it took Vhernier’s master goldsmiths’ months to shape the gold ring in the right dimensions to create volume yet remain supremely comfortable. In all black diamonds, it’s an arresting yet subtle jewel.
7. Robinson Pelham’s Striking Color Play
Rainbows have been a hot jewelry trend for a few years, but Robinson Pelham, a favorite of Kate Middleton, gave the colorful theme a new twist. For its new ring, the London-based jeweler surrounded a playful rainbow pattern in a stream of graphic baguette diamonds.
It’s a high-contrast and innovative diamond jewelry design that is whimsical while remaining a serious diamond piece.