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Archive for June 3rd, 2007

Diamonds are Forever in Cannes

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Diamonds are Forever in CannesDiamonds are forever in Cannes it seems. While Cannes is glittering for real for its 60th filmfest anniversary, there are differences on what to dazzle with.

German actress Diane Kruger, Malay actress Michelle Yeoh, Cannes jury member Maggie Cheung, superstars Eva Herzigova and Angelina Jolie and Australia’s Toni Colette are just some of the stars sporting this year’s favourite diamond drop earrings and cuff bracelets at the festival.

But Swiss jeweller Chopard favours colour for stars walking the red carpet.

“There is lots of colour,” Chopard co-president Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele told AFP.

The luxury company, which designed the coveted Palme d’Or prize to be awarded Sunday, has brought more than 500 sets of gems to Cannes, including a special 60th birthday “red carpet” collection marking its 10 years as official partner of the fest.

Gruosi-Scheufele declined to reveal how much the jewels in Cannes were worth but said the value of the gems, guarded around the clock in one of the famous sea-front hotels, “has lots of zeros.”

The pieces are “all totally completely different because all the women in the world are different,” said Gruosi-Scheufele, who helped design the Palme d’Or.

These include a 44-carat emerald cabochon pendant necklace with a 37-carat cabochon centre surrounded by black diamonds worn by Colette, who is on the Palme d’Or jury.

A-list celebs choose which precious piece to wear at the screenings and star-studded parties that are Cannes’ trademark. But occasionally this can end in tension when two stars want the same jewel, Gruosi-Scheufele revealed.

French jewellery house Van Cleef and Arpels said stars this year were opting for long pendant earrings and bracelets.

“They look great with glamorous plunging necklines and loose hair,” said the firm’s Charlotte Gounant.

On the nightly evening-wear clambering up the red carpet, most of the top jewels flaunted are pure-white diamonds.

“This year’s overwhelming favourite is white diamonds - mostly set in white gold,” said Caroline Deby of the world’s leading diamond house, De Beers.

Kruger and Jolie are two of many stars who went for fine waterfall diamond earrings, and industry watchers said most favoured a simple look.

One reason was that haute couture gowns worn for black tie film screenings are more colourful than in 2006 and often feature sequins or embroidery.

If stars add on too much jewellery “they end up looking like a Christmas tree,” said one Cannes veteran from a renowned Paris-based house.

“The trend in Cannes reflects the overall preference worldwide for white stones, and for solitaires in particular,” said Deby of De Beers.

The company has organised a treasure hunt for the anniversary filmfest, with the prize — a one-carat diamond.

The old saying, “Diamonds are forever’”, is just as true now as it ever was.

BASELWORLD 2007 DAY ONE

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

BASELWORLD 2007 kicked off its first day with an official press conference, dazzling fashion shows, and incredible opportunities to see some exquisite watch and jewelry pieces.

PART ONE: The BASELWORLD 2007 Press Conference

The press conference featured many of the executives responsible for the event itself.

Rene Kamm, CEO of MCH Swiss Exhibition, was the first speaker to address the gathering. He discussed a new exhibition building for BASELWORLD that should be built by 2011. The building will cost more then 350 million Swiss Francs and will make a great addition to the convention.

Jacques Duchene, President of All Exhibitors Committee, talked in detail about brand piracy and their plan on combating it. He mentioned that for every 20 million authentic watches sold, there are over 80 million “pirated” watches sold.

Francois Theibaud, President of Swiss Exhibitors Committee, mentioned that the majority of Swiss watches (42%) are now sold to the Asian markets. He also mentioned that watch exports rose over 20% in 2006. He also talked about recent Swiss watch making trends such as trendy colors and high tech materials, apertures, and how movements are now dictating case designs.

Gaetano Cavalieri, President of the World Jewelry Confederation, discussed Italian jewelry companies and how he believes that the jewelry industry as a whole must start viewing the fashion industry as an opportunity to sell more jewelry as opposed to viewing it as competitive market. He also talked about the importance of the industry embracing the internet as a tool to display accurate product data. He mentioned that consumers today are more interested in knowing about the metals and gemstones used in jewelry and that the internet is a great medium for distributing that information accurately.

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