I just got back from Trieste where I was invited by Swarovski to attend and report from the annual International Talent Support show (ITS) where young designers the world over compete for various awards in the fields of fashion, jewellery, art and accessories. Each category is sponsored by a different label and of course Swarovski oversees the jewellery section. The winner of the Swarovski Jewellery Award goes home with a cash rise of €10.000 and a six months internship.
This was my second trip to Trieste (I covered the previous one here) and the level of the contestants was once again really high across all sections. I was there with a jewellery focus though so I thought I would share that with you today.
Junko Kurihara - Pictorial Objects
The concept of the collection is based on the fact that the human brain is highly selective in the visual information it processes. Basically, it is trained to be down to Earth. It is about seeing the world in a simple way leading to very minimal designs you can look through and see the world differently. Fairly conceptual as a whole but I think in this case the concept was more interesting than the collection itself, which is a shame.
Annie Berner - Digital Deco
Inspired by New York art deco and celebrates our era of man and machines working together. The collection was created using a mix of advanced computer software design and artisanal techniques. The pieces offer interesting contrasts and quite an experimental take on jewellery. This is all wearable but will most definitely get people talking.
Beau Han Xu - Splash
It all started with a splash of water on the skin... Simple, yet so beautiful. Beau imagined what it would look like if you added diamonds to that water and then captured the moment where it splashes on the body. The collection was a real eye-catcher at the show, I was impressed by the technique used, but I must say seeing the photographs again, it isn't quite as strong as some of the others.
Noriko Nakazato - Japan As Number 1
As you can probably tell from the number of photos, this was my favourite collection. I made a beeline for it as soon as I saw the cormoran with a crystal ball belly. The concept is simple, it celebrates the golden age of Japan with the intention to give happiness to the wearer. Even without wearing the pieces, I felt happy. The attention to detail, the amount of stories told by each piece is absolutely remarkable. This is precisely what I expect from a great piece of jewellery: stories. Unsurprisingly, Noriko's collection was one of the two winners of the Swarovski Award.
Olga Kosica & Rok Marinsek - Winter Garden
Frozen flowers and animal skeletons are the inspiration behind Winter Garden. The collection is attractive, very photogenic and I can see how it would be totally commercially viable as well, but it left me cold.
Niloufar Esfandiary - Grey Area
It took me a while to get into this collection. At first I saw in it something extremely urban, the pieces look like they are made of concrete. Upon closer inspection you start seeing a little more into it. The original inspiration is androgyny and how to illustrate it. The idea being to create a unisex jewellery line.
Stéphanie Van Zwam - Airborne
This was all about seeing how air influences a wearable object. Interesting idea developed using just air, plastic and metal. Ironically, there is no wearability at all, which makes the concept a little moot perhaps? Beautiful pieces overall but to me these are works of art rather than jewellery. Not that you can't have both, but in this case it doesn't quite work both ways.
Lior Shulak - Signs of Fiction
Here we have the second winner of the Swarovski Award and understanding why is easy. Like Noriko's collection, this is miles ahead of the game. The idea is to create a balance between calligraphy, movement and asymmetry. These are beautiful and unusual pieces that should be worn proudly.
Francine Oyen - Fiesta
A collection that wants to challenge the idea of value and luxury... I thought it was an interesting idea and some of the pieces were definitely evocative of that (like the bracelet below), but the rest looked a little too "quick".
This is a collaboration with Swarovki Elements