MALE ORDER: De Beers introduced its newest collections this month, including a capsule line of men's diamond jewelry designed by British jeweler Stephen Webster.

For his first men's collection, Webster turned to a range of inspirations, from medieval weaponry to Steve McQueen's 1968 film "Bullitt." Notable pieces include the Mace and Diamond Bead pendant and the Pall Bearer ring, which resembles a miniature coffin covered in diamonds. The new women's collection, dubbed Ice and Fire, is focused on the combination of rough and cut stones.

"It's sexy and elegant at the same time," said Guy Leymarie, chief executive officer of De Beers. The collections hit De Beers stores in October.

CELEBRATING INDIE ACCESSORIES: Handbag Designer 101 and the Fashion Center Business Improvement District held the first annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards at the Museum of the City of New York last month.

The award for Best Student Made Handbag was won by Charmaine Ho of Me. The Best Handmade Handbag honor went to JP Dewberry of SoVi-Southern Vitality. The Handbag Designer 101 Audience Selected Handbag went to Julie Lazarus of Elezar, the Most Socially Responsible Handbag award was won by Maria Estrada of Ignes Handbags and the Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design went to Katherine Kwei. The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Carlos Falchi.

"I'm an independent handbags designer and the chance of being recognized is slim to none," said Emily Blumenthal, who spearheaded the effort. "We thought it would be a great way to celebrate independent designers."

A NEW TOY: Kidrobot and accessories firm Schifter + Partners signed a licensing agreement for lifestyle bags and related accessories, including handbags, tote bags, backpacks, travel bags and wallets. The collection will make its debut in the summer 2008 season.

Founded in 2002 by former filmmaker and media software developer Paul Budnitz, Kidrobot has pioneered the urban vinyl toy movement and combines the work of well-known international graffiti artists, musicians and graphic artists into collectible designer toys. Last year, Kidrobot introduced its collection of luxury apparel and streetwear, sold exclusively in Kidrobot stores in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and in Barneys New York, Colette in Paris and select specialty stores worldwide."Kidrobot is an amazingly creative brand that blends so many artistic disciplines into a kaleidoscopic, Technicolor mix of color, form and emotion," Tim Schifter, chairman and chief executive officer of Schifter + Partners, said in a statement. "It's hip-hop meets Japanese anime meets contemporary art."

FENNELL'S FLIGHTS OF FANCY: Theo Fennell is taking his jewelry into strange new territory with an exhibition that features fairy glades, graveyards — and even Quasimodo. The posh London jeweler, whose designs often lean toward the naturalistic or macabre, will stage Showoff, an exhibition of pieces in unexpected contexts. It will run from September 24-28 at 6 Burlington Gardens, in the former Museum of Mankind. "I wanted to look at a different way of displaying jewelry, which is traditionally shown on the catwalk, at a dinner, or during a polo match," said Fennell. "And I wanted the show to be entertaining and shocking."

Fennell's jewels will be displayed among dioramas — and he's even worked a life sized hunchback of Notre Dame into the display. "I know Quasimodo is an unlikely jewelry wearer, but he was a romantic creature — and he was lost in love," says Fennell. He also said the exhibition is meant to highlight the "lost" middle ground of jewelry design. "The sector has become so polarized, with great big rocks on one hand, and 'accessories decorated with diamonds' on the other. In the middle, there is crafted jewelry, pieces that people cherish, and which go on to become heirlooms."

CERAMIC SPLENDOR: For five decades, the Rado watch brand has been known as a pioneer in technology and design. This fall, the brand celebrates its anniversary with the updated Ceramica by Rado, restyled by Jasper Morrison, a visionary in his own field of art and design.

The watches will hit retail in October at $4,900. They come in five tones and variations, from white to pink gold. Only one of each of the five styles will be available in the U.S., and 10 of each style will be sold worldwide.

To continue reading this article...

To Read the Full Article
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus