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Gold coast: ELLE Canada meets Italian jewellery aficionados
An hour away from the romantic canals of
Venice, jewellery aficionados hold court at the annual VicenzaOro Fair, the world capital of Italian bling. Some 1,500 design houses gather to unveil their creations to jewellery devotees. ELLE sifted through the sparkle and selected four names to know (and love!).
Home base Valenza
Gianluca Buttini, the CEO of Luca Carati, knew that his destiny had been mapped out for him. “I used to wait for my father to get off work at the jewellery factory, and, later, all my friends were at the factory,” says the third-generation jewellery designer. “In Valenza, everybody is in the jewellery business.” Carati’s collections are often inspired by nature: Leaves, flowers and even blades of grass are interpreted in white and rose gold.
Celeb clients Janet Jackson has worn Luca Carati earrings to the Oscars.
What’s new Celestial bling from the Clouds collection. “This is my favourite collection,” says Buttini. “In these pieces, the bigger diamonds act as the clouds.”
Buy it Go to lucacarati.it, or visit Bijouterie Italienne in Montreal, Berani Jewellers or Bandiera Jewellers in Toronto, Calgary Jewellery in Calgary, Gemoro Goldsmith in Edmonton, Rodeo in Vancouver or Michael’s in Prince George, B.C. Prices range from $1,500 to $30,000.
Home base Arezzo
Forget million-dollar bling; Chini creates boutique baubles at prices that won’t have you reaching for your AmEx Black. Heritage is the primary focus. “For Chini, to say ‘made in Italy’ means to live in Italy,” says Dr. Giuliano Chini, chairman of this third-generation family business. “Our inspiration comes from the beautiful and evocative nature surrounding us, from art and architecture and also from fashion and design.”
Bestseller The traditional Florentine ring, which features a satin finish from the Renaissance period. “We also use a Renaissanceera knife for the engraving,” says Chini.
What’s new The Firework Collection, a line of elegant rings, pendants and earrings decorated with a handmade diamond-cut finish.
Buy it Go to chini.it, or visit Berlina Jewelry Inc. in Montreal. Prices range from $500 to $1,500.
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Home base Vicenza
Adriano Chimento’s global empire has humble roots: It started as a makeshift studio in his home. “At Chimento, we try to create jewellery that is as wearable as possible— we’re not interested in gimmicky statement pieces that look dated by the following season,” says Sergio Visona, export area director for Chimento. “The more you wear something you love, the more it becomes yours.” Chimento works mainly in white, yellow and rose gold embellished with diamond, citrine and quartz.
Celeb clients “We’re not very keen on celebrities,” says Visona. “We celebrate loyalty. That way, maybe we don’t suffer the highs and lows of the fashion world.”
What’s new This spring, colour rules. Watch for citrine shades and white diamonds paired with onyx. The Griffe collection includes, among other combinations, yellow-gold earrings with diamonds and natural smoky quartz.
Buy it For stores, visit chimento.it. Prices range from $1,500 to $2,500.
Home base Milan
Widely considered Valenza’s most important jewellery house, Damiani has been creating handmade baubles since the Jazz Age. “We’re known for the quality of our diamonds,” says press officer Nicole Briata. For 18 consecutive years, Damiani has won awards at the Diamonds International Awards, the Oscars of the jewellery world.
Celeb clients Sharon Stone is a celebrity spokesperson. In 2002, Brad Pitt co-designed a collection for the brand; then-wife Jennifer Aniston starred in the ads.
What’s new The Vittoriana collection—necklaces and earrings in white gold and diamonds—was created in honour of Queen Victoria. “We were inspired to design a sophisticated collection that was capable of conveying timeless emotions like magic and passion,” explains Briata. “The jewels we chose have a mysterious aura.”
Buy it Go to damiani.com for info (not sales), or visit Bandiera Jewellers in Toronto, Palladio Gioielli in Vancouver or Birks across Canada. Prices range from $3,000 to $1,000,000.
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