Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Opal series: VERDURA's opal ring

Photo by Opals Information

Born a Sicilian Duke, Fulco di Verdura (1899-1978), began his career in 1920's Paris collaborating with Coco Chanel as a textile designer and later as a jewelery designer for her boutique costume jewelry collections. Verdura went to America in 1934 where he soon became head designer for Paul Flato, Hollywood's society jeweller of the 1930's. In 1939 Verdura established himself in New York and through the 50s and 60's was the master jeweler of choice for the glitteratti; "Verdura ended up being the jeweler to the stars because at the time, the movie studios were paying to have jewelry made specifically for the films and would give the jewels to the actresses as part of their payment." Says Ward Landrigan who now operates the Verdura brand and has been reproducing collections from more than 4000 sketches since 1984.
Verdura's is not ''hang a cheque around your neck'' jewelry, his is witty and ultrasophisticated, shells set with precious stones, natural motifs and the most colourful of gemstones. His deployment of Opals was arguablyde rigueur, the results however were enchanting and the stones most enlightened by his unorthodox style.
''No one can hold a candle to Verdura, there is so much erudition, taste and fantasy involved in each of the pieces.  The jewelry is not for insecure people and does not appeal to the herd instinct. Women who wear Verdura don't want to look like every other person wearing their Van Cleef diamond flower pin, their Chanel suit and their Prada bag. It is the ultimate status symbol, recognized only by its initiates, who might wink at each other across a crowded room.'' Says Amy Fine Collins, fashion writer for Vanity Fair.
Collins considers Verdura the 20th century's best jewelry designer and the New York Times proclaimed Verdura 'America's Crown Jeweler'.