• Guo Pei Jewel of Fashion

    Guo Pei One Thousand and Two Nights, 2010. Guo Pei, One Thousand and Two Nights, 2010. Silk gown embellished with gemstones, pearls, crystals, beads, and sequins. Photo courtesy of SCAD/Vancouver Art Gallery.

     

    Inspired by the red carpet fashion of the Oscars, I offer a deeper look at the inspiring fashion designer Guo Pei. Though the show has ended, Guo Pei recently held her first North American exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

     

    In the Beginning

    To begin with, Guo Pei learned to sew at an astonishing age. From age of 2, she worked alongside her mother, sewing the family's clothing for the winter. As she grew, so did her love for making clothes, especially dresses.

    Not surprisingly, in 1970s China, the go-to fashion consisted primarily of Mao suits. In defiance of such limitations, Guo Pei wore loose-fitting dresses. She recalls her father tossing her paintings and sketches in the trash. Fearing, as many fathers do, that her passion would render her poverty-stricken, he encouraged her to pursue a real job.

    Pressing on with her passion, she proved him wrong and has earned his devoted support. In 2015, she earned a place at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, a solo show! That same year, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture inducted her as a member.

    The Chambre serves as the chief governing body of Paris's haute couture industry, granting her a spot on their annual Fashion Week calendar. After making her debut on the Paris runway in 2016, TIME Magazine named her one of their 100 Most Influential People, as well as one of the Business of Fashion's 500 Most Influential People.

     

    The Guo Pei Philosophy

    The Chinese artist continues to walk her own path, designing dresses that incorporate the magic of Chinese mythology, the splendor of the Qing Empire, and the traditions of Chinese painters, embroiderers, and artisans.

    Guo Pei infuses every creation with an artistic passion. She aims to seamlessly blend Chinese tradition with western modernity. Guo Pei draws inspiration from fairy tales and legends, and most surprisingly, military history.

    She reveres the body as a blank canvas, waiting to tell the story of creation. Each garment begins when her imagination sparks to life. She paints in material and thread, telling a story of romance, beauty, and sometimes courage.

    China's preeminent contemporary fashion designer continues to stand apart, separating herself from competition and trends. Her art arises from within, a wellspring of creation waiting to emerge for every occasion.

    ~by Angela Magnotti Andrews

  • The Tiffany Diamond at the Oscars 2019

    Lady Gaga wearing the Tiffany Diamond at the Oscars 2019

    Photo Getty Images. Tiffany for Press 2019.

     

    The Tiffany Diamond remains the iconic diamond for Tiffany & Co. For the past five decades, it has remained behind glass at the Fifth Avenue store. That is, until last night, when it graced the red carpet for the first time on Lady Gaga's beautiful neck.

     

    The Tiffany Diamond

    First discovered in the Kimberley Mines of South Africa in 1877, the massive Rare Fancy Yellow Diamond began as a 287-carat rough stone. Purchased in 1878, by Charles Lewis Tiffany, the diamond emerged from the rough at the hands of Tiffany's diamond cutter, George Frederick Kunz.

    Kunz, who described the stone as "smoldering," coaxed its brilliance out of the rough by employing the timeless cushion cut. For many years, it remained in quiet repose in the Tiffany vaults.

     

    Jean Schlumberger's Darling

    In the 1950s, the Tiffany Diamond captured the imagination of Jean Schlumberger, whose exciting designs have graced many a red carpet. Schlumberger designed a suite of settings for the Tiffany Diamond.

    The most famous is the Ribbon Rosette necklace in which the fancy yellow diamond graced the neck of Audrey Hepburn in 1961. He also drew an elaborate feather-type clip set with white diamonds, a floral motif bracelet, and a swag necklace for the yellow rock.

    It remains unclear whether these designs were ever realized. A final Schlumberger drawing for the diamond came to life after his death, Bird on a Rock. Unfettered by the confines of a metal setting, the yellow diamond served as a perch for a fanciful diamond-encrusted bird.

     

    Public Appearances

    While it remains the hallmark of the Fifth Ave. store display, the Tiffany Diamond has only been worn three times.

    Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse wore the diamond for the first time in 1957. That year, Mrs. Whitehouse chaired The Tiffany Ball, a charity event which raised funds to preserve 17th and 18th century buildings in Newport County.

    The next time, it appeared on the neck of Audrey Hepburn. In 1961, the Breakfast at Tiffany's actress wore the yellow stone in the Schlumberger Ribbon Rosette necklace.

    Producers used the photos taken that day for publicity for the film. Although Hepburn did not wear the necklace in the film, it made a small cameo appearance in a glass case.

    That was the last time the Tiffany Diamond was worn in public. Until last night, when it shimmered with Lady Gaga on the red carpet at the Oscars.

    In her beautiful tribute to Audrey Hepburn and the legendary history of the Tiffany Diamond, Lady Gaga shone with her own radiance, as well.

    ~by Angela Magnotti Andrews

  • Celebrity Engagements Recap January 2019

    Amazing rings worthy of celebrity engagements Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry

     

    January proved a busy month for celebrity engagements. I'd like to highlight six of these celebrity engagements and, of course, the beautiful rings that marked their special occasions.

     

    Flawless Diamonds

    Firstly, Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters agreed to marry Tim Tebow, star of the NFL. Tim proposed at his family's farm in Jacksonville, Florida, on January 10. Demi-Leigh now enjoys a 7.25-carat, round diamond solitaire set on a white gold or platinum band.

    Not surprisingly, the diamond grades internally flawless. Excellent choice, Mr. Tebow. The happy couple chased the romance of their proposal with a shot of family fun at Disneyworld!

    Meanwhile, on January 14, Chris Pratt proposed to Katherine Schwarzenegger (yes, Arnold's daughter) with a delicate solitaire ring set with a large diamond in either a cushion or oval cut.

     

    A Bali Sunset

    Two days later, Michael Clifford, drummer for 5 Seconds of Summer, proposed to his beautiful girlfriend, Crystal Leigh. Clifford planned an undeniably elaborate sunset proposal at the Ungasan Clifftop Resort in Bali.

    With "Medicine," by the English rock band The 1975, playing in the background, Clifford got down on one knee in the exact place where the couple shared their first kiss three years prior.

    Of course, she said yes. Leigh's ring, seen in several photographs of their romantic evening, features an oval- or cushion-cut diamond, certainly at least 3 carats, set on a pave band.

     

    More Celebrity Engagements

    On January 17, Oroville actors Scott Grimes and Adrianne Palicki announced their engagement on Twitter. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a photo of Adrianne's engagement ring.

    On January 27, Elisabeth Röhm (Law & Order actress) accepted Jonathan T. Colby's proposal of marriage. Colby, a retired judge, proposed in the backyard of their La Jolla home at sunset. He purchased her ring from Tiffany's, a classic diamond solitaire on a yellow gold band.

    Finally, at the end of January, Rafael Nadal gave an exclusive interview with Hola! Magazine, sharing that he proposed to Mery ‘Xisca’ Perello last May while on holiday in Rome. The couple have dated for the past 14 years. Evidently, they plan to wed this fall in Mallorca, the beautiful island paradise where they live and work.

    We congratulate all the happy couples!

  • 2019 Town & Country Jewelry Awards

    A Gorgeous White Gold Necklace by Town & Country Award Winner Roberto Coin A Gorgeous White Gold Necklace by Town & Country Award Winner Roberto Coin. Click here for more details. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    This past January, Town & Country hosted their second annual Jewelry Awards. Spearheaded by editor-in-chief Stellene Volandes, the awards program aims to celebrate the "care and craft with which every piece of jewelry is made and the industry champions who have made this such an exceptional year." (source)

     

    Twelve Jewelry Award Categories

    This year, a panel comprised of jewelry designers, editors, collectors, and tastemakers chose the honorees awarded in 12 categories. Some of these categories include Legend of the Year, Breakthrough Designer of the Year, and Collection of the Year. They also awarded Gold Designer of the Year, and even Red Carpet Stylist of the Year.

    They also included Philanthropic Collection, Colored Stone Designer, Champion, Pearl Designer, Jewelry Watch, Diamond Designer, and Innovator of the Year. For each category, one designer, stylist, innovator, or champion of jewelry went home with a giant faceted crystal engraved with their name.

    This year's award party took place at The Standard, High Line Hotel in New York City. In addition to nominees, honorees, and the hosts, actresses, athletes, authors, models, and jewelry industry leaders enjoyed the celebration of excellence in jewelry.

     

    Town & Country Jewelry Award Winners 2019

    At this time, I'd like to highlight a few of this year's winner's. I'm especially happy to celebrate Roberto Coin, who won in the category of Gold Designer of the Year. EraGem truly appreciates the mastery that Roberto Coin brings to his designs. Town & Country describes Coin as a "goldsmithing maverick," willing to push the limits with stunning results. (source)

    Tiffany & Co., another EraGem favorite, won this year's Philanthropic Collection award. This year, Tiffany designed puzzle piece charms in the shape of endangered species from Africa. Fashioned from sterling silver and 18k gold, 100% of the profit from the sale of these charms supports the Wildlife Conservation Network. An excellent way to pay tribute to Africa, the country that produces Tiffany's highest-quality gemstones.

    Finally, we celebrate Kate Young, who won the Red Carpet Stylist of the Year award. I love that Town & Country includes champions of jewelry in their awards. Truly, some of the most important celebrity jewelry events of the year happen on the red carpet. The men and women who dress and accessorize the stars deserve to be honored for helping set trends, support important causes, and give jewelry artists a spectacular opporutnity to share their gifts with the world.

    For a complete list of this year's award winners, we invite you to visit Town & Country's website.

  • Holiday 2018-19 Celebrity Engagement Ring Details

    Exquisite diamonds favored for 2018-19 Holiday Celebrity Engagment ring choices Ice on Ice. Exquisite diamonds favored for 2018-19 Holiday Celebrity Engagement Ring choices. Click here for more details on this platinum and diamond ring. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Ice, ice, more ice, as well as one alexandrite, take the win for celebrity engagement ring choices this past Christmas. Several lucky men proposed to their superstar sweethearts under the mistletoe. Of course, they all said YES!

     

    Debby Ryan's & April Love Geary's Engagement Rings

    New Zealand drummer Josh Dun proposed to American actress Debby Ryan on December 23, 2018. Her engagement ring features a central emerald-cut diamond flanked on either side by what looks like round brilliant diamonds. Josh chose yellow gold for his fiancé, a beautiful choice for the classic three-stone style.

    American singer/songwriter Robin Thicke also proposed to his sweetheart during the holidays. Though April Love Geary's engagement ring remains somewhat elusive, in the one photo I saw it appears to be a delicate diamond solitaire on a pave band. At some point prior to their engagement, the couple tattooed their commitment on the inside of their left ring fingers. "RT" on hers, "ALT" on his.

     

    Erica Mena's Engagement Ring

    Reality TV star Safaree Samuels planned an elaborate Christmas Eve proposal for his sweetie, Erica Mena. The night included a Christmas tree proposal, a serenade, a fabulous fireworks display, and the most spectacular ice-on-ice engagement ring.

    Erica Mena's singular engagement ring begins with a central cushion-cut diamond which undeniably weighs at least 6 carats. Surrounding the diamond is a halo of diamonds. He designed the band to include exquisite prong-set diamonds all the way around. Sources report that the accent diamonds include Asscher and Russian cuts.

    The shimmering sparkle of this diamond must take Mena's breath away. Safaree designed the ring himself and worked with Trax NYC to create it especially for Mena. Without doubt, Mena's ring takes the ice trophy for the season.

     

    Heidi Klum's Engagement Ring

    German musician Tom Kaulitz proposed to Heidi Klum on Christmas Eve. Prior to popping the question, he put considerable time into designing her engagement ring. First of all, he chose the primary stone, a deep green color-change alexandrite.

    After that, he hunted for the perfect accent diamonds to pair with the colored stone. Heidi's yellow gold ring features the central cushion-cut alexandrite surrounded by a halo of white diamonds. Two square accent diamonds flank the central stone on either side.

    We offer our congratulations to all and wish them happy wedding planning!

  • Dawn Comes on the Edge of Night by John LaFarge

    Dawn Comes on the Edge of Night by John LaFarge Sotheby's Dreaming in Glass Auction featured Dawn Comes on the Edge of Night, a masterwork by John LaFarge. Photo by Sotheby's.

     

    This past December, Sotheby's presented Dreaming in Glass: Masterworks by Tiffany and LaFarge. Long revered for his masterpieces in enameled stain glass, Tiffany items represented the majority of the sale. However, it is Dawn Comes on the Edge of Night by John LaFarge that, in my view, stole the show (though it was not the highest-selling piece).

     

    John LaFarge

    John LaFarge, a contemporary of Tiffany's, has been described as American art's "most versatile figure." (source) Experts claim he was the first 19th century artist to collect Japanese art and incorporate the oriental design elements into his own work. He also authored several books.

    While Tiffany focused primarily on stained glass, LaFarge produced studio paintings, plein-air landscapes, murals, watercolors, as well as masterworks in stained glass. He pioneered the opalescent medium in stained glass, a technique he used in Dawn Comes on the Edge of Night.

    Born in New York, LaFarge intended to study law until he visited Paris. Inspired by the art there, he began apprenticing with different artists. He also spent time with known literary artists.

    He began painting large murals in the 1870s. Some time later, he began instructing students in the art of painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Schools. Simultaneous to his painting career, he also worked tirelessly in the medium of stained glass.

     

    Dawn Comes on the Edge of Night

    In 1903, Frank Lusk Babbott commissioned LaFarge to create a stained glass window to hang over his staircase. Babbott was a prominent New York businessman and art collector who lavished his Brooklyn home with the finest art of the day.

    LaFarge based the design of the Babbott window on a black-crayon sketch he drew in 1883. Originally, he planned to incorporate the sketch into a mural for Cornelius Vanderbilt II. However, he went in a different direction for the Vanderbilt mansion and saved the sketch.

    In April 1903, he patented the sketch, perhaps right around the time he decided to use it for the Babbott window. In the patent, he describes the design as "the figure of a woman leaning or floating, sea and sky in landscape.” (source)

    Reduced to words, it sounds rather banal. However, melded together from hundreds of tiny shards of brilliantly-colored glass, the striking French-inspired figure evokes a determined woman leaning into the light of the coming dawn.

    Though the winds buffet her to the point of bending over, she appears to draw strength from the pink and violet blush of the morning sky. Her feet stand steadfast upon the green earth, her back to the fading night sky.

    This gorgeous masterwork, not surprisingly, sold for more than it's estimated value at Sotheby's Dreaming in Glass auction. One very fortunate collector snatched it up for $765,000. Certainly, its beauty and provenance will prove a worthy investment.

  • Meteorites, Fossils, and a Dinosaur Tooth Sold! at Christie's Auction

    A spectacular, 2520 pound iron meteorite found in the South Australian Outback in 1909. A spectacular, 2520 pound iron meteorite found in the South Australian Outback in 1909. This meteorite shares many common elements to those sold in Christie's Sculpted by Nature Auction. Photo from Flickr.

     

    Meteorites, fossils, and a dinosaur tooth. Just a few of the spectacular creations made by Mother Earth available at auction this past November during Christie's annual online sale, Sculpted by Nature.

    Christie's offered collectors a chance to purchase natural tectonic art forms, sculptural fossils, ancient animal relics, and exceptional meteorites. Altogether, the 71 lots which sold realized a total of $617,692.

     

    Meteorites - Space Art

    Two meteorite specimens fetched top bids. The first, a Dronino Meteorite, brought in over $29,000. Described as an extraterrestrial zoomorphic tabletop sculpture, this iron meteorite was discovered in the Ryazin district in Russia.

    Its iron composition took on a wavy, textured appearance with a platinum-colored patina. This surface texture remains singular to the Dronino meteorites, a result of the way their unique properties interact with the properties of Earth's terra firma.

    Another meteorite sold for just over $26,000. Christie's described this meteorite, also comprised of iron, as an aesthetic tabletop Campo del Cielo meteorite. Found in Gran Chaco, Argentina, this spectacular space sculpture appears as though wrapped in pewter and speckled with bright highlights and charcoal accents.

    Certainly, the most compelling aspect of this meteorite is its regmaglypts. These thumbprints represent physiological proof of the space rock's flight through space and into the Earth's atmosphere. Christie's calls them "flight markings." How spectacular!!

     

    Fossils + A Dinosaur Tooth

    In contrast to these otherworldly spectacles, two down-to-earth specimens competed soundly as top sellers. The first, a 2-1/2" tooth from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, sold for just over $27,700.

    This almost perfectly preserved dinosaur tooth hails from Harding County, South Dakota. As part of the Hell Creek Formation, it belongs to the Maastrichtian time period, in the uppermost portion of the late Cretaceous. In years, that translates to between 72 and 66 million years ago.

    Finally, we come to A Fossil - Sea Lily Group. This gorgeous specimen of ancient flora sold for a startling $24,462. Dating far before the dinosaur tooth, to between 174 and 182 million years ago, this exquisite impression formed in Holzmaden, Germany.

    The four captured specimens represent perfectly the crowns of Seirocrinus subangularis, the Jurassic Sea Lily. Holzmaden is home to the Posidonienschiefer Formation, a world-famous location for fossils from the Jurassic period.

    Although they represent a small portion of the art that passes through Christie's on an annual basis, I consider these truly ancient artforms, singularly crafted by nature, among the most important. I'm looking forward to next year's auction already!

     

  • "Jewelry: The Body Transformed" at The Met

    Jewelry: the Body Transformed Jewelry: The Body Transformed, featuring Yashmak by Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen. Photo: The Met.

     

    For four more days, The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibits Jewelry: The Body Transformed. This exhibition aims to encourage a more enlightened view of jewelry based on the universal uses of jewelry from ages past to now.

     

    The Body Transformed

    Jewelry: The Body Transformed includes a selection of over 230 objects of adornment spanning four millennia. Of course, jewels comprise the majority of these objects, including earrings, headdresses, necklaces, tiaras, and rings. The remaining objects include sculptures, photographs, paintings, and other accessories.

    Most of the items on display belong to The Met's encyclopedic collection, many of them rarely seen by the public. Melanie Holcomb, one of the curators for The Body Transformed, expressed, "We are inclined to understand jewelry as a superficial pleasure. She hopes visitors leave "seeing that adorning oneself is one of the most profound acts we engage in.” (source)

    The exhibition chiefly demonstrates the way jewelry accompanies nearly every critical human milestone, including birth, marriage, and death. Historically, jewelry symbolized power, dominion, domination, and the spoils of war. Balanced against the masculinity, jewelry also symbolizes beauty, femininity, individuality, and even sometimes conformity.

    The Body Transformed highlights the longevity of jewelry as an art form. Indeed, it represents "the world's oldest art form, predating cave paintings by tens of thousands of years," says the exhibit's curators. (source)

     

    The Body as Canvas

    In particular, I find that the most compelling aspect of The Body Transformed is this notion of the body as a canvas for artists. Indeed, the show begins with an exploration of head-to-toe jewelry for the body.

    Reviewer Brian T. Allen describes jewelry as "the unique unity of body and art, the body a moving canvas to which the best jewelers, great artists and designers, respond." (source)

    To begin with, several glass columns stand in a grid-like formation in the first gallery. As described in Vogue, the columns serve as jeweled forms that showcase the different forms of jewelry for different areas of the body.

    For example, a pair of golden grave shoes rest at the base of one. From there, a pair of metal shin guards from the 1530s might meet at waist height a belt made by Elsa Schiaparelli in 1933, and on up to the ears and neck with jewels from different times and places. (source)

    These eclectically adorned statues especially demonstrate the intriguing continuity in jewelry form and materials. At the same, they highlight the distinctive styles and flairs of each period.

    In four more sections, The Body Transformed takes visitors on an almost surrealistic journey into the heart of personal adornment practices.

    Not surprisingly, most of the offerings fit what you expect to find in a museum. Egyptian funereal adornments, Medieval religious icons, noble and royal jewels from various nations, and selections from 20th and 21st century luxury jewelry designers.

    However, in contrast, some of the jewels demand more from the viewer.

     

    Yashmak

    Arguably, the most compelling work is Yashmak (pictured above). Shaun Leane create the piece for Alexander McQueen for his 1999 runway show. Fashioned from a multitude of hammered aluminum plates, each is centered with a blood red Swarovski crystal.

    Specifically made for wear on the runway, the face piece includes open eye sockets. Of course, Leane embellished them with blood red crystal eyelashes.

    Leane patterned this metal veil after the yashmuk worn by Turkish Muslim women to conceal their faces in public. The artist expressed that the conception for Yashmak arose from the notion of “jewelry covering the body to create this formidable structure." (source)

    Leane's other works on display continue to explore the crossroads between art and culture, beauty and pain, as well as ravishing menace. These include a jaw piece and a crown of thorns. (source)

     

    The Jealous Husband

    To further illustrate these crossroads, The Body Transformed also features somewhat discordant works by Simon Costin and Alexander Calder. The first, Simon Costin's Incubus necklace, purportedly provoked controversy when first display in 1987. (source)

    The necklace frame consists of swirling, twisted wires of silver and copper. Perched upon this wire nest are five glass ampoules of golden fluids, Costin's semen.

    Not quite as jarring, Calder's necklace The Jealous Husband appears to snap onto the shoulders of the wearer. Calder fashioned this twisting sculptural necklace from brass. In 2008, The Wall Street Journal described it as a "...a form of forbidding body armor, complete with long spikes shooting straight up from the shoulders...[a] whimsical chastity belt..." (source)

    To be sure, this fascinating show offers endless intrigue. Visitors will enjoy the many juxtapositions, the comparisons, and the unique displays offered by six talented curators. They will also enjoy the jewels!

    Again, this show has only four days remaining. If you're in New York this weekend, I highly recommend visiting The Met's website to plan your visit.

  • Visit "Fabulous Fashion" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Fabulous Fashion at Philadelphia Museum of Art "Mercury" dress on display in Fabulous Fashion. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art.

     

    Fabulous Fashion: From Dior's New Look to Now remains on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art until March 3rd. With only a few weeks left, those of you reading from Philadelphia will not want to miss this opportunity to see the evolution of fashion from every conceivable angle.

     

    Experience Drama + Glamour

    Set on the first floor in the Dorrance Special Exhibitions Galleries, Fabulous Fashion opens with two pink Dior creations set in contrast to one another. Dior fashioned a New Look in 1948. Its tailored bodice and skirt in pale pink satin stands as the historical premiere of modern ready-to-wear couture.

    Beside it, in hot pink with a wool stole, stands the suit designed by John Galliano for Dior in 1998. The stark contrast between color, texture, and design epitomizes the aim of the exhibition: to demonstrate how designers continually reinvent the art of fashion through the use of color, pattern, shape, volume, draping, metallics, and embellishments.

    Speaking of metallics, my favorite dress is the "Mercury" evening dress created for the fall/winter season of 1994-95. Designed by Geoffrey Beene, the silver lame dress truly resembles molten metal.

    I also adore the yellow halter top dress fashioned by Italian designer Emilio Schuberth. It features halter bodice falls into a 1950s flare skirt, embellished with purple ribbons at the bustline and low down in the center of the skirt. It also has dimensional roses in yellow, with purple embroidered leaves.

     

    Two Special Museum Patrons

    Fabulous Fashion began as a way to celebrate a recent donation from Kathleen Field. Married to the late Martin P. Field, developer, Kathleen Field invited Kristina Haugland, the Le Vine Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles, to visit her estate.

    Haugland returned to the museum with a donation of 80 designer items from the former fashion model and interior designer. From there, Haugland decided to expand her idea and include a selection of other acquisitions received from another generous donor, Annette Y. Friedland.

    Haugland describes Field's taste as "exuberant." Perhaps the most exuberant of her donations is the Lacroix catsuit. She also donated the pink Dior suit which opens the show.

    Though Field and Friedland are friends, their tastes are wildly different. In juxtaposition to the bolder, more outlandish choices made by Field, Friedland's tastes run toward the reserved. On display are several Pierre Cardin dresses, as well as a gown by Emilio Schuberth. Perhaps this is the same yellow halter dress I love!

     

    Fabulous Fashion

    From the very beginning, Kristina Haugland wanted to take visitors on a trip of whimsy and fun. Rather than turning this exhibition into a grand teachable moment, she aimed to immerse viewers in the color, form, and texture of the fabrics and accessories.

    She uses multi-level platforms paired with rose and blue lighting in order to afford stunning views of the dresses from all angles. Haugland hopes this approach will slow the pace and allow for a more immersive experience, where visitors see firsthand the sculptural quality of these three-dimensional works of wearable art. She wants the gowns to excite, inspire, and impart the joy of fashion.

    “Everyone has the experience of wearing clothes, and can imagine what it would be like [to wear what is displayed],” Haugland said.

    Between now and March 3rd, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in seven decades of haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion. For more details, I invite you to visit the museum's website.

     

  • Laura Ramsey "Gems at Large"

    Laura Ramsey Iolite & Diamond Ring 14K Gold Laura Ramsey Iolite & Diamond Ring 14K Gold. Click here for more details. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Laura Ramsey designed this contemporary cocktail ring featuring five pear mixed-cut iolite stones and 33 single-cut diamonds set pave. Designed in a spray motif, this gorgeous designer ring reminds me of a peacock's feathers. It is an excellent representation of Laura Ramsey's flair for design.

     

    Laura Ramsey

    Laura Ramsey is best known in partnership with her husband, the famous gem cutter John Ramsey. For over 40 years, this gemstone power couple has traveled the world in search of glorious rough gemstones.

    Focusing on the more obscure and sometimes rare stones, such as tanzanite, tsavorite, and rubellite tourmaline, John cuts the stones, and Laura incorporates them into her stunning contemporary designs.

    They met in an airport on December 6, 1975. Though she started out as a shy girl growing up in difficult circumstances, Laura eventually found her gumption and went to work as an airline stewardess.

    Once on board the plane, John caught her eye and a bond formed almost instantly. They were married the following August, and eight months later caught another flight together, this time to Kenya, Africa.

     

    Gem-Hunting Around the Globe

    Their trip to Kenya was the first big action step toward realizing their dream of establishing a full-scale gemstone and jewelry design business. From Africa, they brought home tanzanite, tsavorite, and the rare and beautiful scapolite.

    Soon after, John became one of the first gem cutters in the world to facet rough tanzanite. The Ramseys sold these gemstones in the rough and faceted to clients. They went on other excursions around the world, and eventually Laura Ramsey began using some of John's cut stones in her designs.

     

    Gems at Large

    As the years went on, John and Laura Ramsey continued to gain attention in the gemstone industry for their knowledge, skill, and integrity. Eventually, they chose to distribute Laura's designs through the home shopping industry.

    They launched their own home shopping program through ShopNBC, called "Gems at Large." Her high-end jewels sold in abundance, and their business partnership continued to fuel their success.

    Sadly, their relationship with ShopNBC ended somewhat abruptly and mysteriously. Today, John and Laura Ramsey maintain a personal website where they sell their jewels and gemstones to private clients.

    Laura Ramsey's creative talents extend beyond jewelry, as well. She also paints with watercolors, draws and sketches with pencil and colored pencils, and she takes beautiful photographs. Interested collectors can purchase her art on Pixels.

    Her integrity and renown in the jewelry and gemstone industry ensure that Laura Ramsey jewels remain a solid investment for collectors and contemporary jewelry enthusiasts. To add this beautiful LR jewel to your collection, give our sales staff a call today.

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