Feeling emotional

NIKOS KOULIS’ LATEST COLLECTION IS A BRILLIANT RETHINKING OF THE SNAKE CHAIN 

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I am not usually a fan of the snake chain. When I try one on, it never feels quite right.
Until I came across Nikos Koulis’ take on the snake chain I presumed this was because it was a style of jewelry best suited to women in their 20s. But the Greek jeweler who won the the Best in Gold category at this year’s Couture Design Award has changed my mind.
I love the knot silhouettes in his latest collection Feelings, and the way white and yellow gold are woven around diamonds and black enamel. It’s very cool indeed. Inspired by the designer’s childhood memories of the boat ropes he would see while walking though island ports, ‘feelings’ are exactly what this sensitive, creative collection elicits in me, too.

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ALIGHIERI [ Perfect Imperfection ]

Italian literature and Swiss sculpture inspire London jewelry…

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When I first came across London designer Rosh Mahtani’s perfectly imperfect jewelry my thoughts turned immediately to the extremely tall and slender figurines of Alberto Giacomo, one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century.
The Swiss artist once said of his trademark eroded surfaces that he was not sculpting the human figure but the “shadow that is cast”. I see that same sensibility in the gold-plated pieces of Alighieri, a collection Mahtani says was inspired by the Divine Comedy.
(All the slides are shoppable, beautiful Alighieri jewelry is available for you online)

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Chanel High Jewelry collection : Coromandel [ Something to screen about]

“I’m like a snail. I carry my house with me. Two Chinese screens, books everywhere. I’ve never been able to live in an open house. The first thing I look for is screens,” Coco Chanel

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Her precious 17th and 18th century Coromandel screens, discovered in the 1910s, were everything to Coco Chanel. They followed her from residence to residence, and were also constantly on the move in her various homes, detaching, reducing, masking and magnifying doorways, fireplaces and mirrors according to her needs and desires. For Coco, décor was a poetic landscape in which she liked to lose herself across the oceans and the centuries.

The imaginary world of Coromandel is the inspiration for this poetic collection of 59 pieces that is designed around the floral, animal and mineral themes depicted on the Chinese screens. Coco’s signature flower, the Camellia, birds just about to take flight and the French fashion designer’s love of crystal and gemstones – as they appear in the screens, they feature in the jewelry. It is ingenious and hypnotic!

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Butterflies in Flight

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American artist J.Louis’ dreamy interpretation of the female form evokes Van Cleef’s billowing of a butterfly’s wings beautifully.

It can take a lifetime to find your style, but at the tender age of 26 I think J. Louis has already got it.
The expressive faces of his peaceful feminine figures are married beautifully with abstract blocks of raw colour, and when I first came across his work my thoughts turned immediately to Van Cleef & Arpels’ Between the Finger ring and earrings.

I love that the emblem of the butterfly in flight continues to provide design inspiration for the maison’s stunning additions to its spring 2019 collection. And I also love how the deep blue of lapis lazuli contrasts with the warmth of yellow gold and the glitter of diamonds in these pieces: iconic Van Cleef & Arpels asymmetry inspired by nature.

@thejlouis @vancleefarpels

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Silvia Furmanovich’s Marquetry

Silvia Furmanovich is a powerhouse of Brazilian jewelry. Her work is famously rich and sumptuous, incorporating organic material while exploring global culture and staying evocative of her native Brazil. Her collection, Marquetry, is a conscious celebration of the country’s most precious resource: the Amazon rainforest.

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The collection was inspired by Furmanovich’s encounters with artisans of the Amazon, where she was introduced to their innovative and environmentally conscious approaches to the decorative arts. Marquetry, the classical furniture inlay decoration technique, is brought to an entirely new level with this collection, which leverages all-nautral dyeing techniques and renewable woods to create individual jewelry pieces that are light, wearable, and detailed beyond belief.

These native woods are reclaimed from the forest floor, not cut from living specimens. The incredible colors and textures can be traced back to artisans’ deep knowledge of the environment, a knowledge that can be obtained only from generations of time spent living in what most of us would consider an “untamed” environment, observing the effect of natural phenomena on wood. For example, some colors in the collection naturally occur when wood is submerged in water for a prolonged period.

“Pairing the tones and textures of indigenous salvaged wood with rare and precious gems, gold and diamonds creates a beautiful effect,” she says. “I love the mixture of materials. I don’t have a prejudice against using common materials like seashells or pieces of wood with gold and diamonds. I want to make something that matches what I’m looking for; it doesn’t have to be ‘precious’. Mixing precious with common is beautiful.”

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BEST APHORISM FROM KARL

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KARL LAGERFELD QUOTES:

WOMEN:

“The woman is the most perfect doll that i have dressed with delight and admiration.”

“The only love that I really believe in is a mother’s love for her children.”

FASHION:

“Never use the word “cheap”. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you.”

“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.”

“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”

“Fashion is a language that creates itself in clothes to interpret reality.”

“I am a fashion person, and fashion is not only about clothes — it’s about all kinds of change”

“I want everyone to wear what they want and mix it in their own way. That, to me, is what is modern.”

“A respectable appearance is sufficient to make people more interested in your soul”

WORK:

“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you “

“People who do a job that claims to be creative have to be alone to recharge their batteries. You can’t live 24 hours a day in the spotlight and remain creative. For people like me, solitude is a victory.”

“Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity.”

WORLD/ PEOPLE:

“We live in a dark and romantic and quite tragic world.”

“Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose!”

“Don’t look to the approval of others for your mental stability”

“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

“People who say that yesterday was better than today are ultimately devaluing their own existence.”

“When people talk about the good old days, I say to people, ‘It’s not the days that are old, it’s you that’s old.’ I hate the good old days. What is important is that today is good.”

“Music gives color to the air of the moment.”

ABOUT KARL:

“I’m very much down to earth, just not this earth.”

“Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am the happy victim of books.”

“I love classic beauty. It’s an idea of beauty with no standard.”

“I like to reinvent myself — it’s part of my job.”

“Normally, I don’t recommend me for wedding dresses – they all get a divorce.”

“I will not talk about that. I like to read biographies, history, philosophical things like this. But it’s for my private use, and not for making people say, Oh, how clever this stupid man is. I don’t make intellectual conversation. I’m very superficial. I’m just a fashion designer. Fashion designers look at fashion magazines, right?”

“Why should I stop working? If I do, I’ll die and it’ll all be finished. ‘m lucky to work in the most perfect of conditions. I can do what I want in all kinds of areas. The expenses are not expenses. I would be stupid to stop that. Work is making a living out of being bored.”

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Everyday Luxury: Vhernier

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What better way is there to show how much you love a jewelry house than to wear their pieces every day? I’ll admit, I’m ready to wear Vhernier every single day. Their pieces are simple, but bold and eye-catching statements of strength and elegance.

As much as jewelry is a way of channeling our creativity and aesthetic, it’s can also direct and symbolize our mood and feelings. Vernier’s strong, structural, architectural jewelry gives me a sense of determination and technology that vibes perfectly with the modern world we live in. They’re little architectural masterpieces.

Here we present a couple of Vhernier classics and a new piece that channel this sensibility. The Vhernier Abbraccio is on the left and Tourbillion on the right. They’re both designed to be worn on the right hand (per Vernier’s attention to design and detail), but the Abbraccio can be worn on the left as well.

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Writing That Sparkles

Maison Chaumet Presents ‘Brillantes Ecritures’ Exhibition,22nd February – 1st April 2019, Paris

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Chaumet shows that jewelry and literature are a natural pairing.

The maison’s fans will know that throughout its history Chaumet has been a source of inspiration to men and women of letters. From Balzac to Dumas, Wharton to Rostand, Collette, Olga Picasso and Alfred de Musset, the list is long and distinguished. Now Chaumet is telling the story of its fascinating links with writer clients and literary figures in Brillantes Ecritures, an exhibition that brings together romantic novels, society columns, historic jewels and archive documents.

From February 22 to April 1, at 165 Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris

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Reflections on St. Valentine’s Day 2019

Love is complex, and while St. Valentine’s Day simplifies it into gifts, chocolate and flowers. The Jewelry Icon brings another lens to the endeavor.

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We have to admit, the ranks of The Jewelry Icon are filled with skeptics. One might think that because we cover the most incredible jewelry, and so often the creation and history of such pieces is associated with love and passion and grand families, that we would be taken with the idea of St. Valentine’s Day. But that’s not quite the case. It’s not about love – we live for love, whether with lovers or children or family. It makes the world go round. But it’s the total commercialization of the holiday that we object to, the idea that someone needs to bring something expensive home for the holiday or they “don’t love me.” That’s just not true and it’s an unhealthy way to look at relationships. So, we have some ambivalence. But we do still love jewelry, so check out a few of our favorites for this year and remember that love isn’t like the movies and is about more than romantic love: it’s the glue that binds people together.

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ALHAMBRA TRAVELS …

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A NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE ABOUT THE EMOTION BEHIND PERSONAL ORNAMENTS TRIGGERED FEELINGS ABOUT MY JEWELRY ATTACHMENTS.

 

With the creeping years I get increasingly attached to my jewelry. Treasured rings, bracelets and necklaces  almost become  my companions. I remember special occasions when I wore them, what I was thinking and feeling at the time, the jewelry tells stories.

When it comes to my absolute favorite pieces, like my vintage Alhambra, I’m so attached I live in fear of losing them. This is jewelry that I want to pass on to my children. All of which means I find this article in the New York times fascinating: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/30/fashion/jewelry-personal-stories.htmlIn Jewelry, Their jewely has become part of these people, and I understand that.

Spirited and quirky, Van Cleef’s spirited Lucky Charm is another piece that might well find its way into my family’s jewelry box.

 

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