Margot’s Glow

a rare margot de taxco necklace

a rare margot de taxco necklace

Margot de Taxco’s motto “As the stars are to the Night, So are Jewels to the Woman” are words to live by for we who adore adornments. You can see by her work above that she strove to create works to live up to that motto. While most enamels are simply glass over metal, Margot created a more luminous effect by applying tiny bumps in the silver prior to the enameling so there is texture within the color. It is similar to the French guilloche’ technique but instead of a machine etching the silver, the pattern actually corresponds to the design, thus creating a much richer, more beautiful effect.


The Eye of Avedon

On a recent trip to Paris, I made the Jeu de Paume a priority destination to feast my eyes on a major retrospective of photographs taken by Richard Avedon, whose art has captured great moments in fashion since the 1940s. The thought of seeing “Dovima with Elephants” (1955 for Harpers, featuring a lovely Dior evening gown) up close in large scale brought goosebumps up my arms, but in reality, I found the fashion portion of the exhibit a bit disappointing. The photographs were small, and there were so many people crowded around, it seemed viewing them in a book would be just as satisfying. Leaving that hall, I wandered through a wonderful section of famous and not so famous faces captured in time by Avedon, which was much more satisfying, but then I entered into a photographic experience I never expected. Avedon’s less fashionable photos were mind-blowing! The real, raw humanity captured in black and white rocked me to the core. His “American West” series I had seen in books, but when I found myself looking into the eyes of these larger than life images, I truly felt like I was seeing the soul of America. These works were criticized for being over staged, but in my view, that’s what made them great. Like his fashion photographs, the American West series read like portrait paintings, where the viewer is drawn to the eyes and cannot escape the feelings the artist has crafted.eyeofavedon

Backing it up with substance

yves saint laurent sparkle necklaceWhen I first set my eyes on the Yves Saint Laurent star necklace above, I fell in love with its simple elegance and artistry. When I lifted up I realized I was gazing at the back of the necklace! Of course, I was delighted to find the gorgeous cut crystals, but I really appreciated the fact that Laurent made sure this necklace was pleasing from all angles. To me, that’s the mark of a great jewelry designer.

Cavalli’s Charm

cavalli buttons

Gracing an iconic early 1970s jacket I found the most unique detail I have ever seen on a vintage Roberto Cavalli creation.
In case you didn’t know, the great Cavalli rose to fame in the late 1960s through his innovation in textile printing.  I read once that after art school where he developed his techniques he actually sat on the streets of Paris with a sewing machine patchworking his printed  leathers to denim, creating art as well as a sensation that quickly spread all over the world.
I have had the pleasure of knowing several early Cavalli works, and each had its own unique wonderfulness.  This one that I recently acquired is unique in its exquisite patchwork pattern and printed leathers and textiles… but those handmade enamel snap covers (buttons) just really sent me to the moon! Nowadays I expect jewelry on modern Cavalli creations, but on a vintage piece, I have never seen such elaborate finishings.

Farewell YSL

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent

Yesterday, he passed away, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and transformation in fashion. YSL broke through boundaries, but his focus was always on making women look and feel strong and beautiful. I will not go on about his life, that has, and will be written by others. I just wanted to give pause, and thanks for all the beauty he brought to my life
Rest in peace our lovely Yves.

Sant Angelo’s finishing touches

Folkloric woven trims, though very beautiful and expressive, are rarely seen in high fashion. You will see them in German dirndls, or home made hippie dresses, but even at the height of the rich hippie era, the use of this type of adornment was not often used. The brilliant Giorgio Sant Angleo is the only designer I can think of that successfully integrated this type of trim into a wearable, fashionable garment. In fact, its the trim that makes this skirt so very special. Sant Angelo was all about freedom, and this skirt that mixes panels of bright patterned fabrics, with bright patterned trims is as free as you can get.

Chanel’s sliver lining

chanel couture label

So much has been written and said about Gabrielle Chanel. We know her life and loves, her hard times and joys. She is a cornerstone in fashion culture, and an inspiration to working class girls who have talent, and an unfaltering will to succeed. Chanel’s story is impressive, but she became a legend not because she was pretty, charming or smart, but because of her uncompromising quality in design and construction. Her early works are incredible to behold. Under her scrutiny, skilled hands worked hours upon hours to make each piece created for Chanel the picture of perfection. After the war, her styles changed, but the attention to every detail remained apparent on each dress, suit and gown. This suit from the 1960s is a prime example of what I am speaking of. Of course, the choice of fabric and the overall design is incredible, but the jewel tone lame’ chosen for the lining sets it miles above any suit I have ever seen.