September 26, 2011

Nordic design sparkles at Copenhagen jewelry fair

PENHAGEN, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Scandinavia's largest jewelry and watches fair closed here Sunday, having showcased minimalist and provocative Nordic luxury designs.
Some 200 jewelry manufacturers, designers, goldsmiths and watchmakers featured at the 10th Copenhagen Jewelry Fair. Top brands included Georg Jensen, Pandora, Dyrberg/Kern and Spinning, who provided a glimpse at the most important trends in jewelry for the autumn-winter season 2011-2012.
"The Copenhagen jewelry fair is strategically the most important event in Scandinavia," said Christoffer Ritzau, Executive Director of Copenhagen Jewelry Association, which organizes the fair.
"A number of new and interesting exhibitors, both national and international, have found their way to Copenhagen. Developments are looking positive on all fronts," he told Xinhua at the four-day long event, held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, capital of Denmark.
The spirit of Nordic jewelry design is its minimalism, and the minimalist engravings featured on its products. It is best recognized by its simple form, enhanced by use of basic shapes and the monochromatic palette of primary colors. It also has a tradition of using Art Deco elements and injecting old silverware with new vitality.
A classic example is Danish luxury goods brand George Jensen, makers of high-end silverware since 1904, and still renowned for its watches, bracelets, armbands and rings, as well as its luxury lifestyle products like flatware and silver hollow ware.
Denmark is also home to the Pandora jewelry brand, which since its founding in 1996, has mostly focused on creating affordable luxury, and widening access to designer accessories.
However, it was goldsmith Frans Middelhoek from the Netherlands who walked away with the Brand New Copenhagen Award, the fair's top prize for innovative design by a young designer.
Middelhoek's entry, a ring named Contra, was deemed by judges to express "good all-round design, with fine craftsmanship and strong concepts," according to a statement released by the organizers.
Meanwhile, Charlotte Christina Larsen of Denmark picked up the Bella Nordic Jewelry Award for best goldsmith in the Nordic region, beating a field of 10 competitors.
Ritzau told Xinhua that he hoped Chinese jewelry designers would also compete for these awards in future.
The fair, which attracted nearly 10,000 visitors this year, not only focuses on gemstones, precious metals, watches and semi-precious stones, but also on hollow ware and cutlery.
This year, it also featured a special exhibition called "Jewelry and sex - tradition and taboo," which focused on 21st century reinterpretations of the 'choker,' a kind of tight-fitting and erotic necklace.
"When the choker appears on the fashion scene, it comes loaded with significance from the world of art history, jewelry aesthetics and sexuality," said Nina Hald, a writer and editor who curated the choker exhibition.
"As a genre of jewelry the choker is very much about capturing the spirit of the times: that a designer or goldsmith is capable of taking a historically traditional category and giving it a post-modern twist, which adds a new aesthetic relevant to a work of fashion," she said in a statement introducing the exhibit.
Fifteen Danish goldsmiths, including names such as Zarah Voigt, Anna Moltke-Huitfeldt and Lars Glad, were invited to exhibit their interpretation of the choker using a material of their choice, from gold and silver to plastic and wood.
The Copenhagen Jewelry Fair is the biggest international trade event in the Nordic region, dedicated to the jewellery and luxury fashion accessories industry.
Established in 2002, it is a hub for traditional and upcoming jewelry manufacturers and brands, and a place to identify and honor talented goldsmiths and jewelry designers.
Visitors and buyers at the fair include wholesalers, those in the fashion goods import-export business and department stores.