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Archive for September, 2013

65th Prime Time Emmy Trends- The Statement Spoken Softly


Allison Williams in Fred Leighton

It has become a tradition among friends and colleagues –editors, bloggers, publicists and other jewelry industry professionals to sound off, converse and have some fun together by live tweeting about the jewelry at the red carpet arrivals at awards shows. Tonight it was the 65th Prime Time Emmy’s and it was unanimous on our hashtag #emmyjewelry that “less was definitely not more” –there was a obvious lack of sparkle in the spotlight and I read a lot of snooze comments, gentle and not so gentle sarcasm and some hilarious remarks all in 140 characters. Despite the lack of bling on bare necks and the tiny studs that could hardly be seen in HD on large movie style screens—certain trends did emerge. Personally I prefer a more subtle style in which the jewelry bespeaks the look or style the actress or her stylist is going for and I found quite a few items I coveted as I watched the arrivals, listened for who was wearing who, while typing away on my laptop.

Here are some of my favorite looks of the evening—and those I thought made up the most alluring trends for women like me who are passionate about jewelry, indulge in self purchasing and but whose lives are spent dashing for a cab on concrete pavement or scooting down steps to various subway lines rather than walking the red carpet. Those of us who occasionally get out for a cocktail or black tie event when we aren’t at our desks, computers, walking our dogs or getting the kids off to school.

I have an advantage since I peek or perhaps peer in the Fred Leighton windows on my way home from where ever I am –but tonight’s showing of the renowned jewels offered up some of my favorite looks

-Gold cuff bracelets, one on each wrist on Allison Williams who gave a shout out to “Old and Beautiful” for her antique styles.

-A demantoid lizard climbing up the back of Anne Feris’ dress , not to mention her Victorian bracelets of which I wish I could have gotten a good shot


Anna Feris in Fred Leighton

Gold also showed up in bold stacks of cuffs on Connie Britton who wore a long time favorite designer of mine-Cathy Waterman…any and all of these bracelets I would want to own


Connie Britton in Cathy Waterman

Padma Lakshmi who brought home the gold in sculptural earrings and an ultra modern wide cuff revealing the many incarnations that this metal can look current in.


Padma Lakshimi

Another favorite contemporary designer, Irene Neuwirth’s earrings graced the ears of Breaking Bad’s award winning Anna Dunn as well as a number of other celebrities but these pastel confections were by far my favorite Neuwirth designs this evening.


Anna Dunn in Irene Neuwirth

Two other red carpet favorites Neil Lane and Martin Katz did the celebs they bejeweled justice—

Taylor Schilling rocked her gemstone Lane and Julia Louis Dreyfus looked absolutely gorgeous in Katz’s moonstone drop earrings as she picked up her award for the evening.


Taylor Schilling in Neil Lane


Julia Louis Dreyfus in Martin Katz

Some other pieces worth a mention

Kerry Washington’s pink diamond earrings by Fred Leighton, Zooey Deschanel large tourmaline cocktail ring and January Jones’ cluster earrings which, with her hair and dress brought back a true feeling of old Hollywood.

Thank you to all who participated in #emmyjewelry tweeting tonight. If you search the hashtag, you will find some wonderful jewelry critics and enthusiasts! And, I suggest you follow them all!

A First for Everything: The Grand Jewels of JAR come to the Met


JAR White Lilac brooch 2001 Diamonds, garnets, aluminum, silver and gold Private Collection And Lilac brooch 2002 Violet, sapphires, garnets, aluminum, silver and gold Private Collection

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my move to the Upper East Side—where I now reside directly across from the entrance to Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In a blog about my experience at the atelier and workshop of David Webb, I also wrote about being separated from the close community of Greenwich Village yet having the sheer rush that comes with being closer to the shops and studios of some of my favorite renowned jewelry houses Living in this tony land of Cartier Love bracelet clad wrists, retro Van Cleef and Arpels’ invisibly set baubles and Chanel’s modern shooting stars definitely does bespeak the passion for luxury of the women who are bedazzled in jewels to drop their children at elementary school.

It takes me exactly four minutes to walk the half a block to get to The MET, so you could imagine my delight when I discovered that, in a first of many firsts, my “neighborhood” museum is featuring a retrospective of the eponymous JAR in Jewelry By JAR. The will be the first exhibition of JAR in America (the only other major exhibition of Rosenthal’s work was held in 2002 at Somerset House in London). And it will be the first time that the MET will feature the pieces of a contemporary and still living and working jeweler. It will also, most likely, be the first time I don’t have to high tail it to make it to a press preview on time.


JAR Geranium brooch 2007 Diamonds, aluminum, silver, gold Private Collection

 I have been to  many of the famous ateliers of Place Vendome but have never  had the excitement of pressing the bronze camellia doorbell to enter the secret and hidden shop of JAR, which Bronx born and Harvard educated  Joel Rosenthal opened in 1978  with his partner Pierre Jeannet and where Rosenthal’s  opulent and fantastical, sometimes whimsical and always meticulously crafted  jewels are presented and captivate and possess even the most discriminating of collectors.


Collection JAR Butterfly Brooch 1994 Sapphires, fire opals, rubies, amethyst, green garnets, black diamonds, silver and gold Private Collection

The exhibition will feature a selection of over 300 works of Rosenthal’s finest pieces—from jewels in classical flower forms and organic shapes to witty objets d’art, which depict the vivid landscape of  his imagination, the fearless beauty of  pave settings and painterly color combinations and the articulated shapes in his work. These qualities have not just created a following among celebrities but has launched Rosenthal’s own star as one of the most acclaimed jewelers over the past 35 years, placing him among the ranks of history’s greatest jewelers.

Jewels by JAR is organized by Jane Adlin, Associate Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, to be published by the Metropolitan Museum and distributed by Yale University Press.

The exhibition will be featured on the Metropolitan Museum’s website at



JAR Zebra Brooch 1987 Banded agate, diamonds, silver, and gold Collection of Ann Getty

Bjeweled in Buccellati and…Venice


Buccellati Pizzo Venezia Ring

My memoir “My Charmed Life”, in which jewelry acts as time posts for my most significant moments and memories, ends on a chapter entitled “The Buccellati Ring”.  My passion for the hand fabricated and hand engraved pieces that are so intricately detailed they appear to be spun into golden intricate lace, damask and brocades runs deep. This is particularly true about the wide Eternelles  variety of bands since I first saw one designed by Mario Bucellati in an auction when I started in the jewelry business nearly 20 years ago. As a collector of all types of rings from ancient and antique through modern, this was the only ring I wanted to be married in. I longed for this romantic band. I waited. I met an Italian guy from Milan, whom I dated for seven years, who had me try on various rings, each one more enchanting and breathtaking than the next.  And, then after I tried on about 10 styles, he took me to another shop and committed to buying me an antique Rolex watch.  Eventually I committed to purchasing a Buccellati ring for myself  to celebrate life.

So, it was perfect, while wearing my Buccellati  Pizzo Venezia style ring at the About J show in Venice to have the pleasure of seeing master jeweler Gianmaria Buccellati again (I had interviewed him for a magazine nine years before) against the backdrop of the romantic city,where ancient traditions and the melding of Gothic and Byzantine architecture inspire awe, amazement and the taking of many photos. I was so glad to be there when he received the “Lifetime Achievement Award”, the first edition of a special recognition as part of the Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Awards, with whom VICENZAORO award celebrates the excellence of jewelry.


Me and Gianmaria Buccellati in Venice at the About J Jewelry show


Last year , I attended a celebration and preview at the multi-generational company Bucellati’s Manhattan based shop, a family of goldsmiths that date back to the mid-eighteenth century and was taken over by Mario Buccellati in 1919. According to Gianmaria Buccellati, in the interview I did with him in 2004, “My father Mario was fascinated by forgotten antique techniques that dated back to Greece and the Middle Ages, but much of his design aesthetic was influenced by the Italian renaissance and French Rococo periods,” Gianmaria explained. “He did not copy or imitate but instead began to put together many of these techniques to create an original signature style.”


Buccellati Eternelles Rings

Gianmaria  passed it down to two more generations, his children and grandchildren.  I was equally happy to be part of a family photograph with third and fourth generation Buccellati’s, Gianmaria’s grandchildren and Andrea’s his son’s children and wife, Maria at the NYC event.

Me with Gianmaria Buccellati, named after his grandfather, Lucrezia Buccellati and Maria their mother

As much as I had been taken by the design sensibility, I was equally excited to hear Maria’s feelings about jewelry and being part of this family’s heritage. “Jewelry is all about emotion, passion and love. It’s how a woman connects memories to a specific moment in time and that is what brings a jewel to life,” she explained. I share this sentiment and was eager to hear stories and particularly enjoyed listening about one long-time customer. “Since he has been married, he comes in and buys a unique one-of-a-kind piece each year for his wife.” And then it came to me—why I have always been drawn to the Buccellati style. It is not only the amazing pieces. The Buccellati style represents beauty, but also family, values, history, passion and deep meaning.

When I interviewed Gianmaria those years back and when I recently met him again, he was charming and down to earth and spoke with warmth, pride and the language of tradition.  His jewels are not only made of gold and precious gems–they are a legacy that continues to live through quiet elegance and the stories still to be told.