Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Parco Sempione (Sempione Park) of Milan, Italy is a great place for people watching while also taking in the sights of famous local structures such as the Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle). Italy is also home to featured jewelry designer Marco Bicego.

For roughly half a century, Italy has maintained its place as one of the world's centers for groundbreaking strides in fashion.

However, the country's jewelry making history is longer dating back centuries. Directly influenced by Greek and Estrucan aesthetics, Italy is world renowned for its pioneering jewelry making techniques and idiosyncratic visual style.

Many contemporary Italian jewelers like Franco Pianegonda, Lucia Mattioli, and Ippolita Rostagno preserve the tradition of quality materials and longstanding jewelry making techniques. They also favor a subtle yet voluptuous aesthetic that adheres to fluid, sculptural lines accented with an assortment of meticulously faceted gemstones.  Bicego is no exception to this style trend.

A devoted family man, the jeweler savors being able to combine his astute business sense with his creative inclinations to produce a high-end luxury brand.

Like his contemporaries, Bicego manages to bring something truly unique to the most streamlined of pieces. Lucia Mattioli's collections highlight trademark Italian chain links in chocolate gold while Ippolita Rostagno is a master of sinuous, liquid-like form.

Drawing from the endless visual inspiration of the strange yet beautiful forms in nature, Bicego implements a technique fusing centuries-old, hands-on artisanship with cutting-edge technology. The union produces the artist's signature design: a flattened coil of 18-karat yellow, rose, pink, or white gold strands "wrapped around a flexible gold core."

The level of craftsmanship involved to cultivate this incredible detail in earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings is extraordinary. What initially appears to be a thin yet solid piece of gold becomes an object of stunning intricacy once you zoom in on it (be sure to do this when you view his website). This kind of innovation declares the unquestionable artistry of jewelry making.

Within these astonishing feats of engineering lies the heart of beauty. Bicego's jewelry creations are so buoyant and ethereal; his bracelets, necklaces and earrings in particular are like literal dances of golden light peppered with kaleidoscopic gemstones of champagne quartz, blue topaz or pink and green tourmaline.

The designer's convergence of such influences as the shimmer of Cairo's sand dunes, the white beaches of the Indian Ocean, and the glistening waters of the Mediterranean is a testament that jewelry can be both minimalist and statement making.

His jewelry collections of sinewy gold chains and breathtaking gemstones are a beautiful celebration of the ancient and modern cultures of Italy, India, and Africa.

More importantly, the Bicego brand embodies integrity and is committed to obtaining ethically supplied gemstones through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

"We refuse to collaborate in any way with tyrannical regimes or organizations that do not respect human rights," says Bicego. "We insist on complete transparency from our suppliers about who they deal with."

Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold Right-Hand Ring with Diamonds from Gao Collection
Photo 2 (center): 18-Karat Gold Citrine Peridot Bracelet

Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold Ribbon Hoop Earrings
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