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Diamond Eternity Rings Are Making a Debut as Engagement Rings

Capture the Essence! of Eternity with this Square Step-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum. Photo ©EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Eternity with this Square Step-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Traditionally, diamond eternity bands were given as a gift from husband to wife on a significant anniversary. More recently, though, according to Today Style, couples are beginning to choose an eternity band as a stand-in for an engagement ring. This trend appears to be developing in sync with the increased popularity of stackable rings and bracelets.

The versatility and simplicity of eternity bands create a perfect foil for celebrities to hide their engagements from the paparazzi. Since eternity bands are low-profile, it’s easy to stack several bands together, even alternating them day by day to throw the media off their scent. In January, Ben Foster proposed to Robin Wright with two simple golden bands which the actress sports on her left ring finger. One is a golden lover’s knot, and the other is an eternity ring.

In keeping with the notion of wearing multiple bands on one finger, rather than purchasing a separate wedding ring at the time of their union, a couple can opt to add an anniversary band on their 5- or 10-year anniversary. Not only does this decrease the initial impact to their wedding budget, but also allows the freedom to change styles over time. For those more trendy brides, this option has a tremendous amount of appeal.

Eternity bands come in all shapes and sizes, from wide bands with ornate detailing and evenly spaced gemstones, to narrow bands studded all around with diamonds or gemstones, to half-eternity bands with stones lining only the face of the band. They come in a wide range of precious metals, including platinum, yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and more. They can be intricately carved without stones, or they can be studded with stones of varying colors.

Truly, there is an eternity band for every style, every taste, and every whimsy. We invite you to make an appointment to come and see our wide selection of beautiful eternity bands.

Lauren Scruggs Said Yes to Jason Kennedy AND to a Jennifer Meyer Radiant-Cut Cushion-Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring

Capture the Essence! of Lauren Scruggs' diamond sparkler with this 1.5-Carat Cushion-Shaped Diamond Halo Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Lauren Scruggs’ diamond sparkler with this 1.5-Carat Cushion-Shaped Diamond Halo Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

We’ve been captivated by reports of the perfect surprise proposal carried out by Jason Kennedy for Lauren Scruggs at her Dallas apartment. However, it has been a tad bit disappointing that her beautiful diamond designer engagement ring has been given no more than a sideways glance.

Of course, the proposal was absolutely romantic, complete with an apartment filled with white tulips and a yard filled with a candle-lit message. Jason ensured that those people most important to Lauren, her family, were present to witness as he dropped to one knee and declared his intentions, and photos flood the web documenting her acceptance, given also on her knees.

Of course, it’s not wonder with a story as inspiring and dramatic as Lauren’s that the so-called minor, more personal issue of her ring have faded into the background. In several interviews over the past few years, the courageous fashion expert has publicly shared openly about her horrific accident, her trying recovery, and her bleak outlook on the possibility of future love.

In her book, Still Lolo, written a few years before meeting Jason, Lauren wrote of her ideal partner, what she called “the ultimate boyfriend” and described as “…tall; beachy good looks; laid-back yet driven personality; tender and caring; funny and genuine; a heart for God; a clear direction in life” {p. 4}.

Sounds like a tall order, and one she gave up on until the day she stepped onto the set of Dateline NBC for an on-air interview with Natalie Morales. Somewhere nearby, as Ms. Scruggs expressed her deepest fears after the accident, that “no guy would ever think I was attractive again, much less would want to marry me”, E! News co-host, Jason Kennedy, was watching her in awe, thinking to himself, “I would love to marry a girl like that.”

A year later, he was on his knees, slipping a gorgeous Jennifer Meyer ring onto her right ring finger. And as most of Hollywood already knows, Jason is Lauren’s perfect match. Driven and purposeful, successful and definitely sporting those beachy good looks, Jason Kennedy also has a heart for God and, as Ms. Scruggs told Ms. Morales, “he just loves people well, loves me well, and is fun and funny.”

And there you have it, another article about Lauren Scruggs and Jason Kennedy and their engagement with only a scant mention of the ring. Ah! But we’re not finished yet.

Here are some details I was able to gather on her gorgeous ring:

  1. It was made, probably bespoke, by Jennifer Meyer, an LA-based jewelry designer who strives to strike “the perfect balance of understated elegance and unparalleled quality” {cited: jennifermeyer.com}.
  2. Since Jennifer Meyer typically fashions her jewels in white or yellow gold, the band and setting are likely made of white gold.
  3. The central diamond is a radiant-cut cushion-shaped diamond of an undisclosed carat size {cited}.
  4. In some photos, the central diamond appears to be surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds. This halo, if it is not an optical illusion, looks to be tucked tightly around the center stone, which appears to be set in cathedral style atop the band.
  5. The narrow tapering band is studded with pavé diamonds, ensuring maximum sparkle from every angle.
  6. She wears the absolutely beautiful ring, an elegant choice for an elegant lady, on her right hand, the one uninjured in her accident.

Courteney Cox Eludes the Press with Several Engagement Rings

Capture the Essence! of Courteney Cox's showstopping Tribeca Film Festival bling with this Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring with three rows of Pave Diamonds on a Plaintum Band. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Courteney Cox’s showstopping Tribeca Film Festival bling with this Princess Cut Diamond Engagement Ring with three rows of Pave Diamonds on a Platinum Band. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Just today Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid made their official announcements via Twitter. The simple statements, “I’m engaged to him,” and “I’m engaged to her,” captioned an identical selfie of their calm and happy faces.

For a few months now, Ms. Cox has been seen sporting a blingy ring (or possibly two) on that finger, sending the rumors flying. When asked directly if she was wearing an engagement ring, Ms. Cox downplayed the whole thing with a “this-old-thing” attitude and an almost self-conscious attempt to distract the reporter from the question at hand.

The ring appeared to be a diamond-studded sparkler with a wide crown and a tapering band that looked to be completely paved in white diamonds. She wore it to the Tribeca Film Festival, which she attended in April for her feature-length directorial debut, Just Before I Go.

Just last night she sported what appears to be a different ring (or several rings) on that same finger. The blurry paparazzi photos make it hard to tell just what’s going on, but if I were to guess I’d say it’s a swirling gold or rose gold band nestled against a thin-banded platinum or white gold ring with a single diamond. This could be another of her rings that she’s worn for ages, it could be the same one she wore to the film festival, or it could be the one.

Aside from their official Twitter announcements, the couple appears to be playing a bit of a cat-and-mouse game with the press. Stellar of them, don’t you think? If we find out more, we’ll be sure and let you know. Until then, we wish the pair all the happiness in the world.

Vintage Celebrity Engagements: Jacqueline Bouvier and Jack Kennedy

Capture the Essence! of Mid-Century Emerald Jewelry with this Emerald Ballerina Cocktail Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Mid-Century Emerald Jewelry with this Emerald Ballerina Cocktail Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

May is the month for emeralds, and what better way to enter into the spirit of romance than to discuss one of America’s most beloved couples, Jacqueline Bouvier and Jack Kennedy. On June 24, 1953, Jack Kennedy offered a delectable diamond and emerald ring to a woman who captivated him with her grace, her elegance, and her intelligent conversation.

Jackie was a woman of the world with a mission to enjoy all that life’s upper crust had to offer. In the burgeoning world of women in the workforce, she took a job with the Washington-Times Herald, after making a promise to the editor that she wouldn’t up and leave the minute a man proposed. With her camera and pen in hand, she set out to make a name for herself as a columnist.

For a number of years she roved the streets of Washington, DC (and beyond) asking (mostly) random individuals questions pertinent to the issues of the day. Several times a month, she spent her weekends traveling by train to attend football games and parties at surrounding northeastern colleges. On one such trip, she penned a letter to a friend and happened to casually mention a young man who caught her attention.

He was “a charming, confident, and handsome but insistent flirt to whom she responded with indifferent amusement, yet absolute attraction” {1}. This young man was here today, gone tomorrow as far as Jackie was concerned…that is, until they met several more times at inner circle events.

In 1948, Jackie was preparing to depart for her first assignment abroad. Before leaving, she atteneded a wedding on Long Island, where she met a fellow journalist who would become a lifelong friend, one Charles Bartlett. This young man was fairly certain that Ms. Bouvier was the perfect match for his up-and-coming friend, Jack Kennedy. Determined to introduce the two of them, he attempted all evening to draw her away from prizefighter Gene Tunney, but his efforts ended in defeat.

It would be more than two years before he would have a second chance to introduce the two, and by that time Ms. Bouvier was engaged to be married to Wall Street stockbroker John Husted. At an intimate dinner party hosted by the Bartlett’s, Jackie and Jack enjoyed a pleasant evening of conversation. Just as Mr. Bartlett suspected, his friend was fully invested in getting to know the fascinating young woman. However, an invitation for drinks after the party was stymied by a surprise visit from Ms. Bouvier’s fiance.

She moved on seamlessly, it would seem. It was clear to her that the young politician had no interest in the prospect of marriage, and she was already engaged. However, their brief meeting and her time abroad the following year began to shift her perspective on the prospects of marrying John Husted. According to author Donald Spoto, Jackie began to yearn for the company of more charismatic, cultured men. John Husted fit the bill for her parents, but he was losing her affections swiftly.

She soon called off her engagement, and once her friend Charles Bartlett learned of her new status, he once again set to his matchmaking schemes. On May 8, 1952, he and his wife deftly repeated the intimate gathering which had at first brought the two young powerhouses into conversation. This time, Jack did not let her get away. He began inviting her on dates and introducing her to family members.

Within the year, he was ready to propose. His father not only gave his approval, but went off to Fifth Avenue to purchase just the right ring for their engagement. At his chosen venue, Van Cleef & Arpels, he leaned heavily upon the advice of his jeweler Louis Arpels, who in turned leaned heavily upon his wife, who knew Jackie well enough to recommend the perfect engagement ring: A mid-century masterpiece complete with a 2.88-carat diamond situated beside a 2.84-carat emerald, accented by marquise and tapered baguette diamonds in a beautiful retro swirl motif.

On June 24, 1953, Jack proposed to Jackie, and the next day the press was ringing with the news. A Denver columnist wrote, “The single girls in Washington will do well to weep” {cited}, and weep they did. As the women of Washington grieved the loss of one of America’s most eligible bachelor’s, the rest of the western world began eagerly anticipating what remains one of America’s most celebrated weddings.

Their wedding took place the following September at St. Mary’s Church in Jackie’s hometown, Newport, Rhode Island. In her hair she wore her grandmother’s rose point lace veil with orange blossoms and a lace tiara. In her hands she carried a bouquet of white and pink spray orchids and gardenias. Around her neck she wore what would become her iconic piece, a single strand of family pearls.

Her dress was a wonder in ivory silk, fashioned out of 50 yards of the luscious material. The bouffant skirt was decorated with elaborate tucking and tiny wax flowers, and the off-the-shoulder bodice was styled with a similar tucking technique. She is said to have worn a diamond leaf pin, a gift from Ambassador and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, but the wedding photos show only the exquisite diamond bracelet her groom gave her on the day of their wedding.

After greeting 3,000 well-wishers on their journey from the church to their reception, they celebrated with champagne and dancing with 1,200 invited guests. They spent their first night at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and the remainder of their honeymoon in Acapulco. And the rest, as they say, is history.

1. Anthony, Carl Sferrazza. The Kennedy White House: Family Life and Pictures, 1961-1963. pg. 147.

May’s Birthstone (Emerald) Has Long Been Favored Among Powerful Women

Colombian Emerald Engagement Ring with Diamond Accents

If you were born in the month of May, you have the good fortune to call emerald your birthstone. With a history dating as far back as gemstone history extends, emeralds have long been favored among powerful women. In Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra was known to wear the stones in abundance, and though her famed mines now yield only low-grade stones, at one time Cleopatra’s mines were an abundant source for valuable emeralds.

Moving forward through the centuries, emeralds were chief among the Mughal Empresses. The powerful Mughal Empress Nur Jahan, considered to be one of the world’s most influential women during the 17th century, wore exquisitely carved Mughal emeralds intermingled with rubies. These carved verdant beauties circulated throughout Europe, and by the early 19th century many had found their way into the hands of some of the world’s most elite jewelry houses, predominantly Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Tiffany & Co.

Reworked into masterful designs by these prestigious firms, emeralds became the jewel of choice for many of the most influential women of the mid-century and beyond. Paris’ Duchess-in-exile, Wallis Simpson, wore several pieces by Cartier which were enhanced by carved emeralds, and one of the mid-century’s wealthiest heiresses, Marjorie Merriweather Post, owned one of the most exquisite diamond and carved emerald shoulder brooch’s ever made by Cartier. Another woman of marked influence, HRH Princess Faiza of Egypt, once owned a gorgeous emerald and diamond necklace made by Van Cleef & Arpels. In 2013, this jewel realized a sales price of $4.2 million at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale.

In addition to necklaces and brooches, several emerald engagement rings have been worn by influential women throughout the past several centuries. In 1837, Queen Victoria wore an emerald in her engagement ring. The ring, fashioned as a golden serpent biting its tail, featured a demure emerald atop its head. The ring was designed by her doting husband, Prince Albert, who endeavored to lace it thoroughly with Victorian sentiment. The serpent with its tail between its teeth was a popular Victorian symbol of eternal love, and the emerald, which happened to be the Queen’s birthstone, represented hope and was believed to ensure that a woman would mature into a truly adoring wife.

Fast forward a century, and we find John F. Kennedy gifting his fiance Jackie Bouvier an exquisite retro-style engagement ring fashioned by Van Cleef & Arpels. Her ring, purchased in 1952, featured a 2.84-carat square-cut emerald juxtaposed to a 2.88-carat square-cut diamond accented by a swirl of marquise-cut and baguette diamonds. The ring was chosen by Louis Van Cleef, whose wife advised him in the perfect style for the American debutante.

More recently, in 2012, Halle Berry also chose a square-cut emerald center stone for her engagement ring, a beautiful jewel fashioned of chunky hammered gold with a bezel-set emerald flanked on either side by a bezel-set round brilliant white diamond. Halle Berry holds the honorable position as the only African-American woman to win an Oscar for a leading role and uses her platform as one of America’s highest paid actors to lobby for the environment and for women’s issues in the realm of health, education, and justice.

As you can see, it seems that although the verdant green stone is not a frequent choice for today, it is a choice made by unique and influential women.

Mums the Word on Recent Celebrity Engagements

Although reports of George Clooney’s engagement to human rights attorney Amal Alamuddin and Adam Brody’s super-secret wedding to Leighton Meester continue swirl without confirmation from either couple, both of these beautiful and sophisticated women have done their part to further urge engagement ring trends toward classic elegance.

For the career-minded bride, we offer the following suggestions for celebrity-style elegance:

GIA Certified 1.5 Carat FVS1 Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

This 1.5-carat emerald-cut diamond is mounted on a discreet platinum band. This style closely resembles that of Ms. Almuddin’s gorgeous engagement ring, although her diamond is slightly larger and mounted on yellow gold without the added bling of baguette cut diamonds flanking the shoulders.

 

 

 

Bezel Set 2-Carat Diamond Engagement Ring

This gorgeous bezel-set diamond engagement ring features a stunning 2-carat diamond solitaire set in a bezel of platinum and mounted on an elegant platinum band. This resembles the diamond engagement ring most recently seen on the hand of Leighton Meester. Although Mrs. Brody’s bezel is slightly less pronounced, and her diamond is mounted on what appears to be rose gold, this platinum beauty certainly captures the classic appeal of a bezel setting.

 

Emerald-Cut Diamodn Engagement Ring and Wedding Band

For our final selection, we offer this fusion of Ms. Alamuddin’s and Mrs. Brody’s styles. With its alternating baguette and round brilliant diamonds, this wedding band in platinum resembles the simple eternity ring Mrs. Brody wears alongside her bezel-set diamond solitaire. The matching engagement ring features a beautiful G-color, emerald-cut diamond which echoes the sophistication of Ms. Alamuddin’s stunning emerald-cut engagement ring. I think you’ll agree that this pairing exudes sophistication and elegance.

 

George Clooney’s Alleged Proposal is One to Imitate

Capture the Essence! of Sophisticated Elegance with this GIA-Certified 1.5-Carat F/VS1 Emerald-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Sophisticated Elegance with this GIA-Certified 1.5-Carat F/VS1 Emerald-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Talk has swirled about George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin this past week. She is wearing a sophisticated emerald-cut diamond mounted on yellow gold and flanked by two baguette diamonds set horizontally on the shoulders of the band. Speculations run wild as Hollywood’s Bachelor of the Century seems to have made a move to end his long reign of independence.

Fortunately, it does not appear that he is choosing co-dependence. Instead, he has chosen a woman whose impact upon the international human rights scene demonstrates her ability to keep pace with his efforts for Sudan and Haiti. As one writer commented, “When Clooney proposed to Alamuddin, he chose a person of substance” {cited}.

While there has been no official confirmation of the couple’s engagement, news hounds are buzzing with reports from Mr. Clooney’s mom, Ms. Alamuddin’s law firm, and most recently Matt Damon. In all likelihood, the public will not receive confirmation of the details of their proposal, as Mr. Clooney has more than once declared his disinterest in sharing his personal life with the public.

However, if the rumors are true, his proposal is one to imitate. He appears to have kept things simple and somewhat traditional. According to reports in the press, Mr. Clooney began with a trip to visit Ms. Alamuddin’s family in Dubai in March. Then in April, he invited her over to his place for a home-cooked meal. In the privacy of the moment, he is said to have bent to one knee and asked for her hand. Over the next few days, they celebrated in public places with close friends.

You really can’t go wrong with traditional romance. We wish Mr. Clooney and Ms. Alamuddin joy in whatever preparations they are tending to as they build their life together.

Greek Tradition Calls for Blue Sapphire and White Diamond Engagement Rings

Capture the Essence! of Greek Romance with this Designer Ritani Blue Sapphire & Diamond Halo Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

Capture the Essence! of Greek Romance with this Designer Ritani Blue Sapphire & Diamond Halo Engagement Ring. Photo ©2014 EraGem Jewelry.

In 2010, Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark married his bride, Tatiana Blatnik. In photos of the event, Tatiana wears a simple gold band on her right ring finger and a stunning cabochon sapphire surrounded by a halo of white diamonds on her left ring finger. In this one photo we see a vast treasury of Greek tradition.

According to Orthodox Greek custom, a man is first expected to visit his intended’s father and ask permission to propose. Once permission is granted, a date for their engagement is set. Relatives and close friends are invited to attend a lavish party at which a priest is present to bless the engagement rings. After the blessing, the priest places the rings on the bride and groom’s left ring fingers.

Tradition would dictate a simple gold band for the man and the woman, although many modern Greek brides choose iconic engagement rings, such as diamond halos or diamond solitaires. However, when it comes to royalty, the Greeks have their own tradition: Sapphires and Diamonds. In part, this is because the jewels of royals are passed down from one matriarch to the next, as was the case with Tatiana.

Nikolaos gave his intended a ring passed down to him from his mother, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece. She, in turn, had received it from her mother, Queen Ingrid of Denmark. Queen Anne-Marie wears her own sapphire engagement ring, a beautiful double-sapphire ring. The blue cabochons are surrounded by diamonds and mounted on a wide band, likely of platinum.

According to Victoria Finlay, author of Jewels: A Secret History, the Greek custom of wearing sapphires may date back to the legend of Prometheus. You may recall reading about Prometheus’ affront to Zeus when he stole fire from the God-King and gave it to humans. As punishment, he was bound by chains to a rock and nightly traumatized by a bird of prey until Heracles killed the bird. After this rescue, Prometheus was freed, but he was forced to wear a symbol of his punishment at all times–a ring of chain with a piece of the stone to which he’d been bound.

According to Finlay and others, this stone was quite possibly a blue sapphire (or perhaps lapis lazuli). The color blue was symbolic of the hottest flames of fire, and as symbolized in the colors of the Greek flag, the blue of sapphire represents vigilance, truth, loyalty, and perseverance, all requisite virtues for a happy, healthy marriage. And to pair a blue sapphire with the white of diamonds (white symbolizing peace and honesty) is the pinnacle of Greek symbolism.

Vintage Celebrity Marriages: Lisa Fonssagrives + Irving Penn

This photo is of Lisa Fonssagrives with an unidentified man. The image was taken by Edgar de Evia at the Rhinelander Mansion in 1950, the year Lisa married Irving Penn. It is uncertain whether the man pictured is the model's husband, but it's possible. Photo © Edgar de Evia, available for use under the Creative Commons license.

This photo of Lisa Fonssagrives with an unidentified man was taken by Edgar de Evia at the Rhinelander Mansion in 1950, the year Lisa married Irving Penn. It is uncertain whether the man pictured is the model’s husband, but it is possible. Photo © Edgar de Evia, available for use under the Creative Commons license.

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Love between artists can be fiery and tumultuous, but for retro-era model Lisa Fonssagrives and iconic photographer Irving Penn love seems to bear all the marks of compatibility, collaboration, and enduring commitment.

While many may argue that being a fashion model is hardly an artistic endeavor, anyone who has read anything about Ms. Fonssagrives will think twice about believing such hogwash. Described by those at Vogue as “one of the most elegant women ever to wear a dress” {8}, the Swedish dancer-turned-model employed her keen knowledge of the intricacies of photography (gained from a previous marriage to dancer/photographer Fernand Fonssagrives) and her rigorous training as a dancer to infuse every one of her poses with electric energy and vivid dynamism.

“I was a sculpture all my life,” she said once, and Vogue agrees: “Fonssagrives turned her body into an exquisite sculpture” {8}. It is no wonder, then, that Irving Penn, a consummate photographer, who by 1948 was changing the face of modern photography, fell for the “exquisite blonde,” whom he placed as his central figure, a white goddess among lesser goddesses in blacks and grays and whites, in the first photo he ever took of her–his ’12 Beauties’ portrait for Vogue, shot in 1947.

Two years later, a reporter from Time Magazine sat in on another photo shoot, commanded by the great Irving Penn in a “dazzling bright room high above the late summer landscape of Manhattan’s Central Park” {1}. The article begins with quotes from Irving Penn; however, the true focal point of the article was none other than the sculpted beauty, Ms. Fonssagrives.

That year, her image graced the cover of the esteemed magazine, and in the write-up the reporter was among the first to elude to the burgeoning romance between two artistic equals–a photographer and his model/muse. ”The ecstatic monologuist [Penn]…” grew “breathless with excitement” as he coached the Swedish artform into a pose which appeared “uncomfortable but graceful…as though some preposterous comedy plot compelled her to be completely at ease while leaning against an exceedingly hot stove” {1}.

One year later, Lisa and Irving would tie the knot in a ceremony eluding the public eye. An envy of today’s uber-public celebrities, Lisa Fonssagrives and her lover enjoyed a lifetime of rare privacy longed for by today’s trendsetters. For this reason, the only hint we have of what kind of passion they shared lies in their own fervent approach to artistry and their enduring affair while fully mixing business with pleasure for 42 years.

Anyone who has worked alongside their spouse, let alone been at the direction of their spouse in their work, knows this must have required a tremendous amount of mutual respect, shared passion, and deep commitment to each other and to their art.

They remained together until death parted them in 1992, when Lisa Fonssagrives died from pneumonia at age 80. Though she retired from modeling only two years after she and Irving were married, she went on to make a name for herself in clothing design and sculpting.

Her clothes were featured in advertising campaigns (shot by her husband) for DeBeers and Plymouth, and her lingerie and loungewear were carried by Lord & Taylor {8}. Her sculptures went on exhibit in 1983 and 1986, in one-woman shows at New York’s Marlborough Gallery {8}.

In 1958, Irving Penn was named one of the World’s Greatest Photographers by Popular Photography, and in 1985 he won the Hasselblad Award {7}, given to photographers “recognized for major achievements” {2}. He continued to sear Vogues pages with his breathtaking, minimalist craft until his death in 2009.

Life Magazine, in 1960, wrote that Penn, in his attempt to “create a new kind of fashion picture,” also managed to create “a new, austere style that influenced all modern photography” {5}. His work in platinum garnered him a show at MoMA in New York in 1975, and in 1980 a collection of his nude portraits were shown at the Marlborough Gallery in New York {7}.

Before his retirement from Vogue, Irving Penn captured the portraits of Kate Moss and Nicole Kidman. In fact, his very last cover photo was of Nicole Kidman posing to promote her movie The Stepford Wives (2004). The year prior, Nicole Kidman had the privilege of sitting with “the industry’s greatest photographers–Penn, Annie Leibovitz, Craig McDean, and Helmut Newton–for Vogue’s September issue” {7}. After her session with Mr. Penn, the actress “collapsed into the corner of the elevator” and exclaimed, “You encounter a different realm” with Penn {7}.

In July 2007, Anna Wintour dedicated that month’s entire issue to Irving Penn, who turned 90 that month. Two years later, Ms. Wintour dedicated another issue to the legendary photographer. In the December 2009 issue, Ms. Wintour wrote, “He changed the way we saw the world, and, in particular, our perception of what is beautiful” {7}. His last assignment for Vogue appeared in the August issue, “a still life of dark-spotted bananas for a story on the signs of aging” {7}. That October, the passionate artist passed away at the ripe old age of 92.

I wonder if his camera sat on a bedside table next to his only other true love, Lisa Fonssagrives.

Notes

  1. “Advertising: Billion-Dollar Baby,” Time Magazine, September 19, 1949.
  2. Hasselblad Foundation. “The Hasselblad Award.” Accessed April 12, 2014. http://www.hasselbladfoundation.org/the-hasselblad-award/en/.
  3. “Times Topics: Irving Penn,” The New York Times, last updated October 7, 2009. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/irving_penn/index.html.
  4. Marter, Joan M., ed. “The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art,” Volume 1, p. 58.
  5. “Penn’s People,” Life Magazine, November 14, 1960.
  6. Saroyan, Aram. Door to the River: Essays and Reviews from the 1960s Into the Digital Age, Boston: 2010.
  7. Voguepedia. “Irving Penn.” Accessed April 12, 2014. http://www.vogue.com/voguepedia/Irving_Penn.
  8. Voguepedia. “Lisa Fonssagrives.” Accessed April 12, 2014. http://www.vogue.com/voguepedia/Lisa_Fonssagrives-Penn.

Yellow Sapphires Make Happy Brides, Just ask Jenny McCarthy

4-carat-yellow-diamond-engagement-ring-dia950i

On April 16, ‘The View’ watchers, and their hosts, were surprised suddenly when co-host Jenny McCarthy made her big reveal. It began as an update on the “Date My Dad” episode. She reported that her dad was very happy, having made a love match with the final woman he dated from the show. “…[H]e’s very happy, because he’s happy for me, because…”

She flashes her left hand front and center, her face taut with pent-up excitement, and announces, “…I just got ENGAGED!!!!!!”

Screams peel through the audience, as her co-hosts share their raw astonishment, all except Whoopi Goldberg, who seems to have known something was up. After dancing around and hugging her co-hosts, and lots and lots of shouting, Ms. McCarthy succeeds in calming everyone down just enough so she can share “how it happened.”

Over the weekend, she and boyfriend, Donnie Wahlberg, sat on the couch whispering sweet nothings. At one point, Donnie left the room. Soon after, Jenny’s son, Evan, appeared and handed her a card with the word ‘Will’ on it. Confused, she watched him run back out of the room. A few moments later he returned with another card which read, ‘you’.

“He ran away, and I knew what was happening, and I just started crying,” the happy star said. Her son ran away and returned again with a card that read, ‘Mary’ (yes, spelled with one ‘R’). After departing one last time, Evan returned with Donnie, who wore a t-shirt with the word ‘Me?’ printed on it, holding the ring.

“…and he got down on his knee and he said…’Will you marry me?’….and in that moment Evan yelled, ‘I have another dad!” she said, tearing up again. As she shares their very private moment, the audience erupts in squeals again as Donnie comes sneaking through the back to take hold of her from behind in a loving embrace, planting several romantic, but somewhat awkward kisses upon her lips.

The couple first met on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live,” in 2012. Nearly a year later, Jenny told Bethenny Frankel that she thought Donnie was married when they first met and decided not to approach him.

“It wasn’t until he did my talk show,” she said. She was preparing to interview him on air on March 29, 2013, and asked her crew if he was attached. When she found out he wasn’t, she took the plunge. After enticing him to spill all his dirty secrets on VH1, she slipped him her phone number.

“I didn’t call,” Donnie told Jenny’s co-hosts on ‘The View’ six months later. After two weeks, they got together for their first date and talked for six hours. “I got to see who she really is, and she’s a wonderful woman. She’s very smart, she’s very intelligent, she’s a great mom,” he said.

After scoring 100% on their Newlywed-style game, their fate was sealed. Now, she’s wearing a gorgeous halo-style engagement ring complete with a knockout square-shaped yellow sapphire surrounded by diamonds. The shank of her platinum (or possibly white gold) band also glitters with diamonds, much like the sparkle in her cornflower blue eyes as she talks about her lover.

Congratulations to the happy couple!