Oh, there are bigger, flashier exhibits, but “The Power of Style: Verdura at 75” is transporting. No where else will you see such gorgeous jewels alongside such rare period photos of the film stars, royals and swells who wore them.
I fainted when I saw this emerald “scarf necklace.” It was weeks before the exhibit and they let me try on the copy they’d made. I swooned again. They didn’t let me try anything else because they did not want to keep holding me up.
This image via Town & Country, here
But wait! There’s more!
There’s Katharine Hepburn and Greta Garbo, the Duchess of Windsor and Diana Vreeland, Cole Porter and Coco Chanel–and the actual jewelry they wore, not reproductions.
There are Fulco di Verdura’s own design sketches …
…as well as a collection of exquisite miniature paintings he did as gifts to friends. I went nuts over these, more so than the jewelry, possibly, but don’t tell my husband.
There is such a richness of creativity and joie de vivre here that you cannot help but be inspired by it. I felt ten carats happier just for seeing it–not only the jewelry but the care and cleverness in the exhibition itself.
Curated by the late Duke Verdura’s friends Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, and their daughter Patricia Lansing, the show includes 150 pieces loaned by collectors from all over the world. Kudos also to the dashing Nico Landrigan, now president of the venerable firm purchased 30 years ago by his equally dashing father Ward, for the sheer effort and ingenuity in renovating and designing the intimate display space.
This dare I say jewel of an exhibit is on through December 23, Monday-Friday from 11 to 5, and Saturdays starting November 29, also 11 to 5, at 745 Fifth Avenue, 12th floor, adjacent to Verdura’s showroom.
Addenda: Tis the Season to Be Jewelry
Since I mentioned other jewelry exhibits, and if you are a magpie like me and attracted to shiny objects, you probably know about Sotheby’s November 20-21 sale of Bunny Mellon’s “Jewelry and Objects of Vertu,” but you may not know that the website has a lovely video wherein Ward Landrigan talks about Mrs. Mellon’s confident taste and her husband’s patronage of Verdura. And… see Jewels du Jour’s favorites here.
I discovered the blog Jewels du Jour in the writing of this post. Where has she been all my life? Author Natalie Bos did a beautiful job introducing the Verdura exhibit here, and she revisited the exhibition again last week, including more photos and history.
Also not to overlook is Treasures from India–Jewels From the Al-Thani Collection now on at the Met. If you like, you can see the whole thing from your sofa, as each object is on the Met’s site. Not quite the same, but all this jewelry is exhausting and you may need a rest.
Oh and just for fun, you may have seen the crown jewels at the Tower of London, but you can re-visit Crown Jewels via The Daily Telegraph here . (Warning: eye-popping, even if you’ve seen them before.)
And finally, speaking of London’s Tower and seeing as it is the week of Veteran’s Day, if you haven’t seen those World War I commemorative poppies surrounding the Tower, see them via CNN here. They honor those who fought and died so that others might survive and prosper. For some that means celebrating the power of creativity and finding beauty in everyday living–jewelry or no. Amen, and thank you.