critter couture

 

Butterflies alighting ear lobes. Lady bugs crawling on fingers. And snakes coiling around arms. Insects and animals have been inspiring jewelry designers for centuries. And this season’s latest crop of critter couture seems to favor a wonderful menagerie of gem-encrusted bugs and amphibians that will totally charm animal lovers, like me. Certainly, this is not a new trend. Animal-themed jewelry—from the heiroglyphic scarabs (aka beetles) of the ancient Egyptians to the Victorian era’s penchant for serpents and butterflies—goes through cycles of popularity. For some jewelry designers, certain motifs have become popular staples in their collections, think Bulgari’s snake, John Hardy’s dragons and Gumuchian’s bees. And from the sneak peek we got of the upcoming Couture Show in Las Vegas, we’ll be seeing a lot more jewelry for animal lovers this spring. Here are some that won our hearts.—Sue Perrycritter couture

We just love the way gemstone and diamond butterflies frolic across the arm in this magnificent bangle from Italian designer Morglione 1922. Equally enchanting is the designer’s rutile quartz and diamond butterfly earring, shown above.

critter couture

Azurite, topaz and brown diamonds offer a playful tapestry of gemstones for this charming lady bug ring from Parisian designer Lydia Courteille.

 

critter couture

The Barcelona-based company, Masiera, is known for its magical Art Nouveau-inspired designs featuring fairies, flowers and insects like this magnificent diamond, pearl and gemstone dragonfly.

critter couture

The butterfly fluttering on this ring makes a brilliant statement in diamonds and pastel gemstones. It was created by designer Arpita Navlakha of Sutra Jewels.

 

critter couture

Bejeweled frogs sitting on lily pads make the most whimsical of earrings to brighten a sultry summer day. They are from the Thailand-based jeweler, Moragen.