Perhaps the pine-look pendant on a Michael Kors runway mannequin appeared daring to others. But, frankly, not to me. Don’t get me wrong—I liked that these two fashion superstars accessorized their Fall Twenty-Twelve collections with jewelry big and bold. After all, that’s a good thing for our industry. But wooden jewelry that’s trailblazing? C’mon now, we know trailblazing.
That would be when talented goldsmiths combine nature’s fibrous materials — poplar, pine, palm, whatever — with precious metals and natural gemstones. (How many years ago did Michael Bondanza sculpt rosewood into bangles accented with palladium and semiprecious gems?) And surely Jane Bohan’s “Exotic Woods Collection,” launched at last summer’s JA-New York, is one of the most exciting fine lines we’ve seen in years. Jane’s unexpected pairing of unusual wood grains—ever hear of maw-sit-sit or lace wood?—with 18k gold, diamonds, and colored gems, is, well, “organically Bohan.” We should have expected such an evolution from this designer.
I also especially like one of the newest collections of Mattioli. Just introduced to the U.S. market in January at the JA-New York winter show, the streamlined modern designs combine black jet ebony with 18k rose gold and small diamonds here and there. With a low-key signature elegance, the pieces echo that same tribal feeling just seen in a good number of the New York fashion collections. They are impressive — without a doubt, worth seeing. (In fact, FYI, I got an e-mail yesterday, announcing that this consistently innovative Italian brand will be exhibiting at the Couture Show in Las Vegas.)
Are these newest wood-and-gold designs from the likes of Mattioli, Bohan, and others, a result of efforts to use less gold? Absolutely. And if precious metals maintain their record-high prices, for fall, expect to see more fine jewelry collections with woods — particularly those of the eco-friendly variety.
Lorraine DePasque’s “The Fine Point” Fine Jewelry Style and Trends with a Point of View
Donna Karen Wood Bangles. Michael Kors Wood Tribal Pendant. Bohan Wood Earrings. Bohan Maw Sit Sit. Bondanza Wood Palladium Cuff. Mattioli Jet Neck. Mattioli Jet Ears. Mattioli Jet Bracelet.
Donna Karen Wood Bangles.
Michael Kors Wood Tribal Pendant.
Bohan Wood Earrings.
Bohan Maw Sit Sit.
Bondanza Wood Palladium Cuff.
Mattioli Jet Neck.
Mattioli Jet Ears.
Mattioli Jet Bracelet.