February 07, 2011
© Courtesy Mauboussin
Last week French jewelry firm Mauboussin opened the doors
of its shop on Madison Avenue in New York to celebrate the launch of its new
e-commerce site, mauboussin.us. Guests filled all three floors of the townhouse
boutique to snack on macarons, sip La Caravelle Champagne and peruse the new
collections, which include large candy-colored amethyst and citrine cocktail
rings and diamond necklaces and bracelets done in Mauboussin’s signature shooting
star. The Manhattan boutique, which opened in 2008, is the company’s first American
flagship and houses its colored-stone, diamond and watch collections on the
first two floors, while the third floor serves as its bridal salon.
The online shop, meanwhile, is an ode to Mauboussin’s
flagship on the Place Vendôme. Most of the collection will be available online,
though the emphasis is on the company’s steel-and-diamond watches (from $545)
and popular cocktail rings (from $1,100), which come in sapphire, amethyst and citrine
and have poetic names like Couleur Baiser (Kiss of Color) and C’est Toi la Star (You’re
Mauboussin, 714 Madison Avenue; 212-752-4300; mauboussin.us
March 31, 2012
Courtesy Fred Leighton
Ancient Egypt’s mysterious religious and architectural symbols have always fascinated me, and they often influence my style. One of my favorite trips was to Luxor, Dendera and Cairo, where I visited the Khan al Khalili market, the best place to unearth rare treasures. I found lapis and turquoise scarabs, scooping them up by the handfuls. In ancient Egypt this beetle, which was often entombed with mummies, was a sacred symbol, its life cycle seen as a metaphor for rebirth and resurrection—hence, its association with immortality. Scarabs were inscribed with hieroglyphics and carried as amulets, or worn as jewelry for good luck. Today they continue to inspire jewelers everywhere. Santa Monica, California–based designer Darlene de Sedle, who carves them from gold and rainbow moonstone, helped me create a flower-shaped turquoise and purple iolite cocktail ring. I also brought scarab beads to New York–based Aurora Lopez Mejia, who used them to craft a one-of-a-kind necklace. I love the idea that these little bugs hold so much power and significance.
A 19th-century scarab and jeweled pendant necklace from Fred Leighton. $145,000; 212-288-1872.
March 23, 2012
When Milan-based jeweler Pomellato opened its fourth U.S. boutique in Beverly Hills this past December, the brand’s arrival on the West Coast represented the latest victory in its effort to build the kind of adoring fan base in America that it enjoys in Europe. Andrea Morante, Pomellato’s CEO, told Departures last year, “Our jewelry is super-sophisticated, and the American market is looking for that.”
A few short months later, Pomellato has brought POM POM, its line of haute joiallerie, to the U.S., where it debuted at Bergdorf Goodman last week. The line features 12 rings, 11 bracelets and three pairs of earrings, each a one-of-a-kind piece made from rare, vividly colored stones. One example is a rose-gold ring that features a 10.75-carat fire opal surrounded by rose-cut purple and orange sapphires; another is a set of drop earrings comprised of several dozen aquamarines and diamonds. Now that’s sophistication.”
Prices upon request; at Pomellato boutiques and Bergdorf Goodman; pomellato.it.”
April 16, 2012
Billy Farrell / BFAnyc.com
In 1971, Cartier disavowed its classical French roots in favor of NYC-style nuts, bolts and nails in its historic Juste un Clou collection—a raw, edgy line from Italian designer Aldo Cipullo, who designed the iconic Cartier Love bracelet. Last Thursday night, the brand resurrected Juste un Clou with a red-carpeted flurry of champagne and fox fur at Cartier’s Fifth Avenue flagship. The new collection features 12 variations on the original Juste un Clou centerpiece –an 18-karat-gold nail bent into a cuff—including rings in the same design and new versions of the bracelet in rose and white gold, set with pave diamonds.
Upstairs at the Cartier Mansion, guests got an early look at an exhibition commemorating Cartier’s love affair with the gritty, rebellious city that inspired Juste un Clou. “Cartier & Aldo Cipullo, New York City in the ’70s” (open to the public through May 8) displays nearly 40 archival jewelry designs, vintage Vogue spreads, drawings and scrapbooks. While the brand presents itself as playfully rough-edged in the exhibition—next to a photograph of a bejeweled Elizabeth Taylor, witness a close-up of the crossed, hairy arms of a man wearing the entire original collection—there is no undercutting Cartier’s elegance. Even the nails come with diamonds. At 653 Fifth Ave.; rings, from $2,175 and bracelets, from $6,250; justeunclou.cartier.us.
May 18, 2012
Photo courtesy of Chopard
When French actress Bérénice Béjo, who received an Oscar nod this year for her role in The Artist, took the stage Wednesday to host the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, her earrings nearly stole the show. Their one-of-a-kind diamond-drop design is part of a 65-piece Haute Joaillerie Red Carpet collection created by Chopard copresident and artistic director Caroline Scheufele—and it’s all to celebrate the festival’s 65th year.
Chopard, a Cannes partner for the past 15 years, has created new designs around the event before. But this is its most extensive effort by far: More than 70,000 hand-set stones went into the collection, and the entire process took Chopard artisans five-plus months to execute.
Introduced over the course of the 12-day festival—mostly on the necks, wrists and ears of leading ladies—the Red Carpet pieces range in mood. Some, like a tsavorite garnet statement ring shaped like a Granny Smith apple with a brown diamond stem, are pure whimsy; others, like the pink sapphire and amethyst long necklace (pictured above) and the detachable elderflower pendant made of ruby and pink sapphire clusters set on a diamond floral necklace, are classically elegant. All are gorgeously Chopard. Prices upon request; 709 Madison Ave.; 212-223-2304; chopard.com/cannes.
August 14, 2012
© Martin Katz
Writer Aimee Lee Ball described Martin Katz, the iconic jewelry designer for the rich and famous, as “Hollywood’s Best Supporting Jeweler” in the pages of Departures magazine in 1999. Now Katz—who draws inspiration from vintage pieces, modern trends and art (everything from Belle Epoque to Art Nouveau)—has turned his sights to the natural world, culminating in his latest offering, the Nature Collection.
“Nature inspires all artists,” Katz says. “To recreate it through one’s own eyes is the ultimate challenge, as it is already artistically perfect. As I attempt to make my own interpretations of nature’s beauty, I try to add whimsy and three-dimensional depth to bring out the jewelry aspect as well as wearability and interest.”
The collection features both new and vault pieces, all one of a kind, including earrings, necklaces and brooches. One of Katz’s favorites is a tulip-shaped brooch. “The colors are so vibrant and changeable,” he explains. “Tulip bulbs make the pin very playful and versatile.” Prices available upon request; 9540 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills; 310-276-7200; martinkatz.com.
November 22, 2012
Courtesy of Tony Virardi/ Van Cleef
Showcasing more than 65 rare examples of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is one thing. Offering them all up for sale is quite another, which makes the exhibit “Van Cleef & Arpels: A Retrospective,” at New York’s Macklowe Gallery, a real stunner. “VCA brought luxury and French taste to the United States and taught American women how to dress in jewelry,” says Benjamin Macklowe, vice president of the antiques and estate jewelry dealer. “Their pieces bring whimsy and fantasy into a woman’s life.”
Riffing on two major shows from the last two years—one at New York’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2011 and the other at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (through February 10, 2013), to which Macklowe loaned five major pieces—the gallery pays substantial attention to the iconic brand. Standouts include an Australian opal ring from the 1960s set in an Art Nouveau setting and a coral and jadeite suite illustrating the jeweler’s tendency to follow exotic inspiration. A garland-style platinum and diamond bracelet radiates strength and sparkle.
“For months now my clients have been hounding me for our latest Van Cleef & Arpels acquisitions,” says Macklowe. “It should make for some nice Christmas shopping.” We only hope we’re so lucky. November 23 through December 9; 667 Madison Ave.; 212-644-6400; macklowegallery.com.
December 06, 2012
Photo courtesy of David Webb
This sophisticated ring ($42,000), an 18-karat-gold-and-coral creation accented with diamonds and sapphires, is by accessories icon David Webb, who knows how to add just the right amount of pizzazz. davidwebb.com.
December 18, 2012
Photo courtesy of David Yurman
This striking hand-hammered, 18-karat-gold curb chain with amber-hued cognac diamonds ($35,000) by jewelry designer David Yurman is as bold as it is beautiful. davidyurman.com.
February 08, 2013
Photos courtesy of Larkspur & Hawk
There is something undeniably romantic about a piece of jewelry from Larkspur & Hawk, a collection of gemstone-based pieces designed by founder Emily Satloff, who uses an 18th-century technique called foiling to manipulate a stone’s color and maximize its reflective properties. “It starts with a sketch that comes to life with a careful selection of gemstones and colored metallic foils,” she explains. “Each piece is then handcrafted to attain a unique play of light and color, fitted to each particular design. The jewel is literally transformed by its foil.”
The earrings pictured here—the Halley Pear (white topaz, russet foil, rose gold–washed silver; $1,000) and the Olivia Button (white topaz, fuchsia foil, oxidized silver; $1,100)—exemplify the method. Satloff, a former antique jewelry dealer and curator at the New-York Historical Society, oversees the production of her wares in New York, where all the jewelry is handcrafted. “The collection is encompassing of a broad spectrum of women,” she says. “Whether worn to the office, a day of errands or at night to a party, there is functionality in each design.” 212-340-9067; larkspurandhawk.com.