January 2020 marked for me the new edition of BIJORHCA Paris. Still organised by Reed Expositions France and located at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, the show has a new look! And this change of pavilion (the show is moving from pavilion 5 to 7.1) is a real revelation as the new organisation of this venerable event transforms it and makes it even more obvious and pleasant to visit. In my last reviews, you could read how much I appreciated the progressive change of the show with new colours, a new scenography, a reinforcement of the luxury and crafts pole and a new sound system. Although I work with the show’s communication team, my opinion here is quite honest. You know me, I generally only talk about what I like and I am not in the habit of compromising my opinions. So, yes, I completely validate the new choices of the show team and the first echoes of September are already very promising!
Visit of the Fashion Trends area. Photo: Marie Chabrol
I spent a full day in pavilion 7.1 where I had the pleasure of navigating between international brands, French brands, artisans who offered superb demonstrations and the schools – oh so important! – which today are largely responsible for the transition and perpetuation of our know-how. I was also very pleased to welcome my faithful Claire Fillet, whose podcast “Rubis sur Canapé” you are now accustomed to hearing. This year, she interviewed Marine Devos, the Director of the show, live. This interview is still available on many platforms and on the website by clicking here!
Some of Tabito Jewellery’s long necklaces featuring small tools and antique objects. Photo: Marie Chabrol
Many houses have aroused my interest and curiosity. Although my background makes me lean towards the precious side, I am not sectarian and I also like to discover different approaches. The fantasy industry is extremely daring and inventive. It doesn’t hesitate to mix materials, to break away from the codes of classic jewellery and yet use all the opportunities. And she’s right, most of the designers I’m getting more and more enthusiastic about come from fashion schools or jewellery schools where imagination and creativity are extremely important.
Discovering the creation software of the Nemmès house. Video : Marie Chabrol
My first crush was on the Tabito Jewellery brand. The Belgian-Japanese company was founded by Miho Takagi and Frederic Bryon who met while studying silversmithing at Camberwell College of Arts in London. I was seduced by the lovely story of the brand whose aim is to bring back to life old and unusual objects: Miniature chapels, salt flasks, small antique tools…etc. The result is long necklaces and jewellery full of stories. Something to feed my imagination and the Jo March who sleeps a little in me.
The new ring by designer Laurence Oppermann, in silver and tsavorite garnets. This piece was created especially for the show. Photo: Marie Chabrol
Do you love new technologies? Then you shouldn’t have missed the young brand Nemmès, which offers to create your own customised jewellery directly on their design software. Then, thanks to laser cutting, your jewel will come to life in brass. The idea is nice and although the software can be improved and enriched with many options, I always find it interesting how technologies can be used intelligently in this sector. By the way, if you doubt the benefits of CAD, I invite you to re-read the interview with our friend Max Mazlo, he will reconcile you with computers!
We love the pretty secret pieces from the Danish company Cahana Jewelry. Photo : Marie Chabrol
My visit continued with two houses that turned out to be real and beautiful discoveries: I had noted the presence of the Danish house Cahana Jewelry and I really liked its work around the secret-ring jewel. But this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine as I am a secret jewellery enthusiast. I could not but be convinced. The company offers silver and gold pieces. It’s up to you to choose the one that best suits the secrets you want to keep close to your heart.
Thomas Aurifex’s rings were unmissable. Follow this designer, he deserves your interest. Photo: Thomas Aurifex
It is also impossible not to talk about Thomas Aurifex, because his young company has provoked a wide range of reactions. You either loved it or you hated it. I stayed a long time on his stand to discuss with him and to admire his pieces. I was won over and I saw all the potential that this young designer has in him. He had the audacity to present erotic pieces that I found sublime. I understand that not everyone will like it and I accept it perfectly. But, to be honest with you, I’m bored with dull jewellery now. I want strong pieces, with real character and ideas behind them. Thank you, there are still creators and designers who dare to go beyond all limits and taboos. So I have only one word for you all: Keep going!
Necklace by Tabito Jewellery featuring a small miniature antique chapel. Video : Marie Chabrol
I was also happy to see two designers I particularly like with the presence of Philippe Ferandis and Laurence Oppermann. The former is a star of costume and show jewellery. His colourful and opulent pieces are a permanent ode to joy and celebration. Multicoloured rhinestones, enamel, lacquer and gemstones are joyfully combined here. I particularly liked her mobile earrings as a tribute to Calder. I almost left with a pair! Next, Laurence Oppermann was not to be missed. Seeing her is always a pleasure. She welcomes you with a big smile, in the middle of her incredible jewels: spring rings, nest rings or, for this edition, a liana ring that climbs on your hand, delicately wraps itself around your fingers and doesn’t let you go!
The superb glass beads of designer Michi Suzuki. Inside is a diamond. Photo: Marie Chabrol
January 2020 was also the edition of crafts and schools. The daring project led by the workshops Bellonor Joaillier, Bermudes, Institut des Arts de la bijouterie with the help of Estelle Lagarde, a talented designer and gouache artist was well worth the diversions. The realization of the two brooches was quite spectacular because if the challenge was already big in the workshop, it has nothing to do with the realization in live and in front of the public. A real moment to share with them during the four days of the show. Congratulations to them again! The space was also the right place to discover schools and the creator of glass beads: Michi Suzuki. I have already mentioned her on the site and even more recently with her poetic collaboration with the jewellery artist Amélie Viaenne. In fact, the latter recently opened her pretty boutique in the 7th arrondissement of Paris (at 62 rue Vaneau). I hope you’ve discovered it!
The beautiful project of creations initiated by the workshops present in the Métiers d’art space. At the end, the creation of two beautiful brooches. Photo : Marie Chabrol
To conclude this long article, there was only one piece of good news left to announce. And maybe the one that made me the most happy during this fair. The BIJORHCA Jewellery Awards competition this year rewarded the young and talented Pauline Verlhac with her brooch project: “The seventh continent”. Her piece will be produced by the Bermuda workshops and will be on display at the September 2020 edition. I am really happy with this choice because I have been following Pauline for over three years now. I met her when she was finishing her studies at the much regretted AFEDAP school where I was won over by her movement pieces. I’ve often talked about her on my Instagram account and on Facebook. So, seeing her with her first prize makes me say that I was not mistaken and that I was right to be interested in her. Pauline, I wish you all the best for the future and I can’t wait to discover your new creations!
On the Métiers d’Art area, meeting the designer Estelle Lagarde. Video : Marie Chabrol
Here we are, BIJORHCA Paris and I will meet again next September to celebrate the 150th edition of the show! The first echoes of this new edition are already very good and I am sure that I will return to the show with undiminished pleasure. I can’t wait to go back to school!
See you soon!
The 150th edition of BIJORHCA PARIS will be held from 4 to 7 September 2020
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