At Couture 2022, designers were feeling bold color. Pictured from left to right are a cuff by Brent Neale, a necklace by Rosa Van Parys, and a ring by Retrouvaí.
Las Vegas—Like everyone, the jewelry designers who descended on the Couture show this year have been feeling cooped up.
Many skipped the 2021 Las Vegas jewelry trade show due to COVID-19 fears or international travel restrictions. Most have enjoyed a bustling couple years of business. These factors led to a joyful Sin City reunion featuring collections bursting with color.
Among the current jewelry trends in the market, color was the reigning theme at Couture 2022, and expressed in different and compelling ways per designers’ unique visual identities and inclinations.
Below are the dominant ways designers showed off fine jewelry’s recent bout of prosperity, in every shade of the rainbow.
The New Enamel
Enamel has enjoyed renewed industry prominence for the better half of the last decade. It allows for color experimentation that simply isn’t possible when sourcing colored gemstones.
So, while enamel is nothing new, brands are pushing the medium in new and exciting ways.
Take Selim Mouzannar, for instance. Enamel jewelry is a mainstay of the Lebanese designer’s collection, but his continued experimentation with guilloche enamel and the metal patterns beneath it represent continued innovation, as seen in the above slideshow’s spectacular monochromatic cuff.
Susana Martins, the designer behind the eponymous line, made her Couture debut this year.
The Dubai-based creator’s adventurous eye for color felt completely modern, thanks to shades of curry red, lime green, or turquoise blue enamel, the latter particularly compelling when paired with emerald.
Emily P. Wheeler embodies joyful, you-only-live-once color. Her most unexpected enamel showed up at the recent jewelry trade show in the form of white stripes, which lent an ever-more-playful energy to bold gemstone pieces.
In Couture’s Design Atelier, Tariq Riaz showcased his flexible “Circle of Life” rings that prove no color combination is off limits. The brand offers more than 100 shades of enamel and encourages mixing metals as well.
Year-Round Gemstone Beads
Jewelry’s current mood for color translates to chains, with lots of designers rolling out gemstone bead necklaces and bracelets that aren't just for summertime.
Ananya’s signature piece is a luxurious gemstone bead bracelet, available in a huge variety of gemstones and fixed with an 18-karat gold and diamond closure.
Jacquie Aiche is synonymous with sinuous, second-skin bezel-set diamond chains. After myriad iterations, gemstone bead chains were a logical next chapter for the designer’s neck mess, providing a substantial counterpart to more delicate diamond layers.
Now, the designer has a plethora of gemstone varieties that combine a faceted gemstone for an elegant-yet-bohemian silhouette.
Azlee boasts a muted gold and diamond color palette, occasionally dipping its toe into emerald pieces, and, as of Couture 2022, sapphire. Sapphire beads are a new take on the “big three” gemstones, providing a more organic and unisex energy to the gem.
Renna, the brand that provides a sophisticated and sentimental take on sea-inspired jewelry, proves large, tumbled gemstone beads are a perfect match with her ocean motifs.
In this editor’s opinion, the most compelling trend under the overall color mania umbrella is the cocktail jewel: a necklace, bracelet, ring, or pair of earrings defined by the presence of at least one bold and juicy colored gemstone.
See: Brent Neale’s peridot ring, replete with delicate gold bead and gem halo, or Nadine Aysoy’s fancy-shape gemstone bracelet.
AnaKatarina adapts the style to its aesthetic via textured, sea urchin-like gold and inverted accent gemstones. Beck Jewels is more straightforward with its solitaire gemstone encompassed in a multi-level gold setting.
Melissa Kaye’s new foray into bespoke pieces, thanks to carefully sourced stones set in an enamel halo, show the intersection between the cocktail jewel and new enamel trends.
More Is More
Some color is simply an energetic milieu of shades, thanks to nature’s candy.
M. Spalten’s “Gemfetti” jewels, featuring a mix of colored gem varieties, sizes, and cuts, follow designer Melissa Spalten’s personal color preferences, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing and gem-diverse array of stones.
Robinson Pelham is a champion of the rainbow jewelry trend, proving time and time again the complementary effect of every major hue combined together.
Rosa Van Parys started her collection shying away from bright color but has now branched into its many possibilities in her signature “dagger” necklace silhouettes.