For the first time in a long time, I’m at a loss for words. After starting the year with a bang with a blockbuster trip to New York City, Kuwait, and Geneva, I returned home to Los Angeles in late January only to head out again less than a week later to Arizona for the Centurion fair and the flurry of gem shows in Tucson. By the time I got back from the Sonoran Desert in early February, awards season was in full swing here in L.A.—and so was I, careening from one party to another like a jewelry-crazed pinball.
I’ve spent the past week decompressing from two months of nonstop socializing, which is another way of saying: I got nothing—except, that is, my memories, and the photos that captured them for posterity:
The best part of the 24 Karat festivities in New York City is catching up with good friends. Randi Molofsky of Gemfields and Desiree Hanson and Liz Irving from JCK Events were the prettiest ladies at the party.
A view of the Kuwait skyline from my room in the Hotel Missoni, where I spent three nights in mid-January while visiting the designers behind Octium, a new jewelry brand making inroads in the U.S. market.
There are two things to take note of in this shot: First, the tremendous earrings, which Octium designed using Zambian emeralds supplied by Gemfields. And second, the Arabic lyric sewn on the pillow, from a song by Mohammed Abdu, a Saudi folk singer best described as “the Arabian Elvis.” It’s partially obscured so let me restate it here in its awesome entirety: “Every beautiful person I see makes me wish I was with you.”
On my last day in Kuwait, I toured the “Treasury of the World” exhibit at the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah museum, and saw Mughal masterpieces, like this 430 ct. carved emerald pendant accented by pear-shape diamonds, that had my eyes popping out of my head.
In Geneva, where I attended the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, I spent more time gawking at Darshan, the Imperial eagle guarding the entrance to the Roger Dubuis booth, than I did with most timepieces. It’s a long(ish) story but you can read more about Darshan’s purpose at SIHH here.
The artistic savoir-faire in the Swiss watchmaking trade never ceases to amaze me—especially this year, when Cartier presented a Rotonde de Cartier watch featuring the ancient technique of granulation. I got the chance to hold the dial up close and see its majestic panther head rendered in tiny gold granules.
In Tucson, I headed straight to my favorite daytime spot, El Minuto Café, for margaritas and enchiladas with two of my favorite people in the world, Michelle Orman and Debbie Yonick.
Then I hit the floor of the American Gem Trade Association GemFair, where I quizzed Evan Caplan, a.k.a. “The Trouble Maker,” about his cache of fine stones, like this hot pink topaz from Brazil.
Back in L.A., I once again found myself admiring Gemfields’ emeralds, like the opaque, oversize specimen in this earring by Kimberly McDonald, on display at the Soho House West Hollywood event that ushered in Mila Kunis as the company’s new global ambassador.
I ended my whirlwind of Oscar week events at the Spirit Awards on Santa Monica Beach, where my tablemate Cameron Silver, the proprietor of Decades, showed us all how daytime casual red carpet dressing is done.