AMBERIF 2019: The Global Amber Fair
The 26th edition of Amberif will go down in history as a festival of jewellery and fashion, contemporary design and masterful jewellery creations, alongside gratifying business and social meetings, interesting lectures and exciting inspirations. Amberif’s appeal is growing with each year!
With its 470 exhibitors from a record-breaking number of 21 countries and nearly 5,500 visitors from 58 countries, along with multiple side events taking place in Gdańsk, The World Capital of Amber, Amberif has once again confirmed itself to be a Global Amber Fair. “For us, it was a successful exhibition, even better than last year’s. Given the market situation, such big interest in Baltic amber products is cause for optimism,” summed up Mariusz Gielo of the Gielo Company. The buyers were the most interested in contemporary, attractively designed unique jewellery of high quality. Creative jewellery designers and artists, whose pieces are astounding in their unique and original approach to using amber in new ways, are more and more daring in expressing themselves through the language of art.
Best of the Best
Their work has been noticed and appreciated not only by the buyers who placed their orders but also by award committees. The Bogdan Mirowski Mercurius Gedanensis GRAND PRIX in the Design Category—a statuette from Poland’s Minister of Technology and Entrepreneurship and 2 kg of silver sponsored by KGHM Polska Miedź SA—went to A2 JEWELLERY for the City Life ring by Ryszard Węsierski, with the GOLD MEDAL in the Workmanship Excellence category going to Maciej Rozenberg for his L’Orfeo Archeology bracelet. “This is my first conceptual piece, which is why I am all the more happy that it has been noticed and appreciated. I have forever dreamt of liberating myself from thinking about jewellery in mainly commercial terms—now I can finally allow myself to do it. After such encouragement, I will be all the more daring on this path,” Ryszard Węsierski of A2 JEWELLERY could not hide his satisfaction.
But it was not his only distinction: the designer also received The Amber Sphere awarded by the Łódź Academy of Fine Arts’ Jewellery Department students to companies and designers who contribute to raising Polish design to new levels, for innovative design, modern features and contemporary form.
Amberif is also where the honorary title of The Amber Personality of the Year is awarded, this year going to Prof. Ryszard Szadziewski from the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk, who is a world-renowned researcher and expert on present-day and fossil dipterans embedded in amber. The Amber Handicraft Award, presented by the Pomeranian Skilled Crafts Chamber of SMEs, went to Aleksandra Kotyla in the Junior Category and to Grzegorz Tryjefaczka and Krzysztof Bondaruk in the Senior Category.
Amber and Fashion
There has never been so much inspiring and captivating fashion at our jewellery fair before! Amberif began and ended with a strong fashion centrepiece to emphasise the unbreakable connection between jewellery and fashion. Amber in Fashion, Amberif’s opening show, featured two spectacular collections: La Via Dell’ Ambra with fashion by Jola Słoma & Mirek Trymbulak and jewellery by Dorota Gulbierz, captivating in its wealth of colours, and Classic from the MichaelAgnes brand by Michał Starost and Agnieszka Łuszcz coupled with jewellery by the Forget-me-Not Fashion House. The designers provided valuable tips on how to combine contemporary jewellery with haute couture; to what an extent this will translate into daily practice will soon be evident in the streets of Gdańsk and beyond.
Dynamic, avant-garde, surprising—this is what the GDAŃSK AMBER LOOK jewellery & style gala, the pinnacle of the 26th edition of Amberif, was like. “The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre once again brought together fashion and amber, Pomerania’s precious treasure. The Amber Look Gala dazed me with its remarkably spectacular shows. It was a unique way to be transported to diverse worlds of art, culture and ambience. I am curious what it will surprise us with next year,” summed up Lidia Przybylska, Editor-in-Chief of Moda w Polsce Magazine.
The public gathered at the Shakespeare Theatre saw seven collections from jewellery and fashion designer duos, as the idea behind the Gdańsk-based shows is a perfect symbiosis of these two components. This year, special emphasis was placed on collections addressed to younger audiences: from street fashion, through metallic installations to evening wear—all this to prove that amber jewellery is cutting edge and a great accessory regardless of age, gender or preferred fashion style. It was a complete success!
Most of the collections on the catwalk were very expressive, sometimes even avant-garde and eye-catching in their combinations of diverse colours, shapes and textures, modelled after motifs from the movies, science fiction and even the Gdańsk Shipyard. There were also references both to the Polish folklore which, once filtered through the artists’ imagination, took on a new, contemporary expression, and to distant cultures which became somehow closer when aligned with Polish amber. And, of course, there were stylish classics, marvellous in their prestigious fabrics and cuts, coupled with high-end jewellery.
Different Sides of Amber
Amber is much more than just jewellery! Amberif is a stage where amber plays various roles. This year, it featured not only in fashion shows and competitions but also in Amberif side exhibitions: Janusz Wosik—In Memoriam, on display at the Gdańsk Amber Museum, and the Presentations 2018: Silver and Amber follow-up exhibition hosted at the Gallery of the International Amber Association.
Amber is the star of the 9th Trend Book, Edition 2019+, which provides inspiration to create innovative designs in line with the current fashion trends. Amber is also the lead character of the Złoto Bałtyku [Gold of the Baltic] documentary, with its first part premiering at the Fair. At Amberif, amber can be found in furniture, pictures, sculptures, functional items and cosmetics. Is there any other such inspiring fossilised resin that can be used in so many different ways?