Yay, by now your flight to the jewelry shows in Las Vegas is probably booked! And when you finally board, you can put on your mask and settle in for a little chill time before the excitement begins. Here’s what I’d do: Binge a feature like Uncut Gems or Crazy About Tiffany’s. Or for something a little darker, JCK’s news director Rob Bates recommends the “Dirty Gold” episode of Netflix’s Dirty Money; you can also revisit the Nirav Modi scandal on episode 2 of the streaming service’s Bad Boy Billionaires: India.
But longer flights call for lengthier, more engrossing diversions, and for this, we’re recommending a generous helping of a jewelry-centric or jewelry world–adjacent TV series. We have a list of suggestions below; all are certain to get you thinking about jewelry trends and the unique quirks of our industry, and ready you for some fun in Sin City.
Let’s start with my personal favorite (pictured up top).
It’s understandable if you’re triggered by jewel heist plots, but maybe you’ll make an exception for this rollicking Netflix charmer. French actor Omar Sy plays Assane Diop, a dashing “gentleman thief” self-styled after Arsène Lupin, a character from an early-1900s French storybook series by Maurice Leblanc. Diop is an impressively clever master of disguise and manipulation, but his motives are noble: to avenge his father’s wrongful conviction—and eventual death—for the theft of an important diamond necklace belonging to the rich and powerful Pellegrini family. The jewel itself will tickle any jewelry lover, especially those familiar with Marie Antoinette and l’affaire du collier—the stolen necklace in Lupin borrows heavily from this famous mystery. But more compelling is the dreamy Sy’s performance (where is his Emmy nomination?) and how the fictional exploits of the original Lupin deftly become the series’ defining narrative trope. Set in Paris, the series has plenty of landmark porn (e.g., Les Jardins du Luxembourg, the luminous Louvre Pryamid) to keep you hooked, as well as French subtitles—but don’t worry, they never detract from the thrilling pace of this wonderful whirligig of a binge.
Come for the salacious stories, stay for Elsa Peretti. As a close friend and creative collaborator of fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick (known to the world simply as Halston), the legendary jewelry designer is all over the five-part Netflix series. Here’s what we said when it premiered in May: “The series does accurately illustrate that as Halston’s star faded…Peretti’s soared. And it’s a credit to the series’ creators that the jewelry designer is centered in Halston’s story. The scenes of Peretti on her own are brief, but through them you witness her ascension from mere muse to creative visionary.” As such, you will be afforded a glimpse of Peretti’s design legacy at its inception, all against the backdrop of New York in the 1970s, complete with snowstorms of cocaine, the shimmer of sequins and disco balls, and the kind of debauchery that dares you to look away (but you can’t). That Peretti’s death dovetailed with the series’ release has us anticipating a 1970s revival trend in jewelry, accented with the sculptural, organic, and minimalist style that Peretti would come to claim as uniquely hers. Take notes!
It’s Bravo’s Southern Charm franchise meets the hit 2018 movie Crazy Rich Asians, starring a cast of superwealthy Asian Americans living, shopping, and pleasure-seeking in Los Angeles. This Netflix reality series is worth watching for the fashion and jewelry alone and is definitely of the guilty pleasure variety. See if the first episode, titled “Necklacegate 90210,” doesn’t suck you in: It centers on a controversy regarding the one-of-a-kind nature of a Louis Vuitton high jewelry pink sapphire and diamond necklace.
The perfect amuse-bouche for a business trip in Vegas comes in the form of this HBO Max comedy starring Jean Smart as a glamorous veteran comedienne facing the final performance of her hotel residency. If you have missed Vegas hotel life, the city’s sweltering heat, a caliber of nightlife such that you do not enjoy at home, and hearing the omnipresent slot-machine hum of the casino on your way to the Luxury and JCK show floors, this series will give you a nice taste of all this (and plenty of laughs to boot). I lobbied for the show’s inclusion in a recent JCK Jewelry Agenda particularly because of episode 4, which includes a plotline around a “Las Vegas Jewelry Expo” and which name-checks Neiman Marcus and Irene Neuwirth.
All That Glitters
This rather odd (but kind of amazing) BBC reality series is now streaming on HBO Max. Think of it as Project Runway for a cast of emerging fine jewelry-makers, designers, and metalsmiths, with even dicier time constraints to keep the stakes high. Most of the contestants on the show—which is set in Birmingham, U.K.—are studio designers working the flea market and crafts fair circuit, or bench jewelers employed at bigger firms. You will learn a lot about jewelry-making, and the series’ personalities represent a wide spectrum of melodious British accents. The host is a deadpan American comedian and actress Katherine Ryan, but more well-known (and top-shelf) are the judges: the celebrated British jewelers Shaun Leane and Solange Azagury-Partridge. Also, I’ve come away with a lingering question for the JCK peanut gallery: How do you pronounce the word soldering?
Top: Omar Sy plays the lead role in Netflix’s Lupin. (Photo: Emmanuel Guimier/Netflix)
Follow me on Instagram: @aelliott718
Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine