Year in review: Watch and jewelry editor Hannah Silver picks her top 10 jewelry articles of 2021
Hannah Silver from Wallpaper looks back and reveals her top 10 jewelry stories of 2021, from high jewelry design to alternative engagement rings and artificial diamonds
Check out the top 10 jewelry articles for 2021, chosen by Wallpaper * watch and jewelry publisher, Hannah Silver. From works by emerging designers to high-end jewelry stars, here are some of the year’s best jewelry stories (in no particular order).
Top 10 jewelry stories of the year
01. Artificial diamonds explained
As artificial diamonds become a popular choice for alternative engagement rings, the curiosity surrounding them grows, and many are unaware of what sets them apart from natural diamonds. There is no technical, physical, chemical or optical difference between a lab-grown diamond and a real diamond – the only difference is how they were created.
02. Cartier pays tribute to its most emblematic creations
“Our pieces are marked by purity of line, precision of form and precious details”, declares Arnaud Carrez, head of international marketing and communication, Cartier International, of the new campaign dedicated to the emblematic creations of the house. . “We wanted to celebrate them all together and show what they have in common.” Cartier shines a light on the classic collections of the last century, with the Santos, Tank, Trinity, Love, Juste Un Clou, Panthère and Ballon Bleu, all celebrated as a lesson in sustainable design.
03. Hidden Diamonds Make Intimate Engagement Rings
Alternative engagement rings are reduced to essential silhouettes by Jenny Sweetnam, who has gone back to basics with her new collection, Inverse. The 2018 winner of the Wallpaper * Design Award has established herself as a designer of contemporary jewelry that brings freshness to traditional pieces, through a simple and innovative approach. The new collection builds on these foundations with sculptural designs in 18k yellow gold that make understated and intimate engagement tokens or even men’s engagement rings.
04. Traditional gold jewelry reimagined by Laud
Awah, Creative Director of Laud, brings an offbeat sensibility to jewelry creation. Founded three years ago, the emerging jewelry brand interweaves a range of influences for pieces that play with geometry and rethink traditional patterns. The new collections, available at Dover Street Market and Browns, rethink the symbolic patterns of yellow and white gold pieces inspired by both African art and Awah’s Ghanaian heritage. The eternity ring and the signet ring, redesigned through Awah’s lens, are a nod to the subtleties of stained glass, its patterns interpreted as irregularly placed diamond speckles.
05. New jewelry from Melanie Georgacopoulos casts pearls and diamonds in a new light
After celebrating the tenth anniversary of her eponymous brand in 2020, Mélanie Georgacopoulos wanted to mark the occasion with a change of course. Her new jewelry collection, titled Carats, is the first time she has worked with both natural pearls and diamonds. In a play on texture, Georgacopoulos unites the two materials, the hard diamonds seeming to sink into their soft mother-of-pearl cushions. The effect is spontaneity; diamonds, seemingly just squeezed, follow the laws of gravity and force the jeweler to relinquish control. “Losing control was a feeling I had since the start of Covid-19, and it was important for me to find a way to showcase it in my jewelry,” Georgacopoulos said.
06. Launch of the 2021 high jewelry collection by Schiaparelli at Paris Couture Week
Artistic Director Daniel Roseberry brings pure joy to his third collection for Schiaparelli, for a mischievous take on the traditionally serious craft of tailoring. Her collection pays homage to Elsa Schiaparelli’s experimental spirit and her surrealist approach, which emerged through collaborations with Dali, Cocteau and Man Ray. Her influence is clear in the details: “One thing a sewing studio can do in a unique way is embellishments, and these pieces are dazzling examples of the art of embroidery and beadwork,” says Roseberry. “I’ve always admired the way Elsa embroidered pieces – in an era when embroidery had a whispering, almost recessive quality, hers was barbaric and shameless.”
07. Chaumet’s golden vision of the urban landscape
Chaumet celebrated its 240th anniversary in 2021 with a new collection that draws on a multitude of determining cultural references in the history of the house of fine jewelry. The ‘Perspectives de Chaumet Skyline’ necklace is inspired by modern cityscapes, rewriting their shock of geometry in warm yellow gold that has been polished, openwork, engraved and hammered. “The work of gold on this piece is a tribute to the 1960s and 1970s, the time of Pierre Sterlé and René Morin,” says Jean-Marc Mansvelt, CEO of Chaumet. A jagged silhouette gives an illusion of chaos, a nod to deconstructivism; Mansvelt cites Irving Penn’s Collapse and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater as direct inspirations.
08. Hugo Kreit’s sensual jewelry design
“My jewelry is fun and glamorous, but there is also something disturbing about contact with the pieces,” explains French jeweler Hugo Kreit. “The shapes are in motion, the textures and the finishes are dripping. I like to surprise, I look for attraction in the subversive and the strange. ‘ Trained in industrial design, Kreit worked in the fashion show production industry for Hermès, Dior, Jacquemus and others before turning to jewelry design: “Both experiences have shown me the incredible power of fashion shows, the art of telling fashion stories through collective performances, the creation of images. and have dreams, ”he says.
09. 10 jewelry designers rethink the classic engagement ring for De Beers
De Beers has partnered with ten jewelry designers to launch ‘Ten / Ten’, a limited edition collection of 100 alternative engagement rings. Each jeweler has created an affordable design, reinterpreting the traditional codes of an engagement ring and centering their designs around ethically sourced diamonds from Botswana. “The inspiration for Ten / Ten was really driven by a combination of things,” says Stephen Lussier, executive vice president of consumer markets at De Beers. “We wanted to support the people of Botswana whose economy depends on income from diamonds, allow more people to experience the incredible creativity of ten independent designers and provide something really special for couples who hope to get engaged this year.”
10. NFT jewelry: is blockchain a thing?
Jewelry designer Simone Faurschou unveiled her new jewelry as a digital collection of NFT coins ahead of the physical launch. The Blockchain Collection, made up of solid white and yellow gold blocks with artificial diamonds, explores the ways we connect to technology – and how technology connects with us. After a year in which technology has both connected and isolated us, this is a timely analysis.