FashionFacets

Jewels Sparkle at Golden Globe Awards

Jewelry, an integral part of any entertainment industry awards ceremony, was in the spotlight at the Golden Globes. Legendary actress Lynn Redgrave was decked out in David Yurman’s Cable Classic jewelry for her appearance at the Golden Globe fête. Redgrave won the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in Gods & Monsters.

Yurman selected faceted rhodolite garnets to match the jewel-toned claret ball gown designed by Amsale. He placed them in a cushion setting of 18k gold, surrounded by diamonds in a cable necklace sectioned with pavé diamond beads and a rhodolite pendant as a central statement. Matching earrings, a bracelet, and a ring were added to complete the ensemble. The designer personally fit the jewels on the actress and appeared on “Entertainment Tonight” to offer millions of viewers a sneak peek at the jewelry.

Calista Flockhart and Cate Blanchett were two of many actresses who sported diamond jewelry for the Golden Globes. Blanchett, the Best Actress winner for her performance in the title role of Elizabeth, wore a 300-ct. briolette and faceted diamond bead necklace and bracelet set from Cynthia Bach. Flockhart received a Best Actress nomination for her television series, “Ally McBeal.” She wore a pair of diamond floret earrings from Van Cleef & Arpels.

Among the other actresses wearing diamonds were Chris-tina Ricci, Best Actress nominee for The Opposite of Sex, in diamond cluster earrings from Harry Winston; Julianna Margulies, Best Supporting Actress nominee for “ER,” in a diamond sprinkle design necklace from Martin Katz; and Meg Ryan, Best Actress nominee for You’ve Got Mail, in a diamond springwire necklace and bracelets, also from Martin Katz.

Discoveries

Jewelry designer Ellie Thompson draws much of her inspiration from the architectural and structural elements of her native Chicago. She says her work reflects not only the visual elements of the city, but also its intangible pulse and rhythm.

During a decade-long career as a gemologist as well as an appraiser and auction consultant, Thompson nurtured her creative urges by building a small collection of jewelry, sold at a friend’s store and through various private commissions. In 1997, with a sketchbook full of ideas, she set about creating a collection focusing on cabochon-cut gemstones in textured gold.

Thompson has always been attracted to rich colors, especially those in the cool palette. “I like the challenge of combining colors in an eclectic mix as a way of expressing high energy, or with more subtlety for a timeless, elegant look,” she says. Thompson uses predominantly 18k gold in a variety of finishes, from superfine sandblasting to a soft, not-quite-polished finish. She also works in platinum and says she likes its strength, durability, and versatility as a dressed-up or casual metal.

Within two years of the collection’s launch, Thompson received three prominent design awards. She was a winner in the 1998 Platinum Passion design competition, in the Everyday Platinum category. Her entry was a pair of platinum hinged hoop earrings with pink sapphires. In February of this year, she garnered both Spectrum and Platinum Honors awards from the American Gem Trade Association for a pair of platinum and 18k gold earrings with blue-green tourmalines, blue sapphires, and diamonds.

Ellie Thompson & Co., 5 N. Wabash, #1400, Chicago, IL 60602; (312) 263-2264.

Fashion model turned jewelry designer Irina Pantaeva is the granddaughter of a Siberian shaman and the daughter of a composer and a theatrical costumer. Her jewelry combines the exotic aesthetics of her native city, Ulan-Ude, on the shores of Siberia’s Lake Baikal, with a sense of mysticism handed down from her grandfather and the dazzling beauty of the costumes designed by her mother.

After a stint at a formal design school, Pantaeva gained practical fashion design experience working for a Siberian designer. Her striking appearance, combined with the changes brought about by the fall of communism, enabled her to embark on an international modeling career, during which she further studied design history and its relationship to the human need for self-expression.

“I have never thought of jewelry as merely a way to adorn ourselves,” she says. “It is a link to the universal forces that surround us and mark the shape of our existence. Yet, because our visual sense is so important to us, so much a part of how we experience life and how we feel about our lives, my creations must impart a unique beauty to the wearer, one that is distinctive and unmistakable.”

Inspired by the folklore and traditions of Siberia, she designated four fundamental concepts for her first collection: Lotus, which represents an opening into the world as well as an enclosing of the center of one’s being (the heart); Dragon, the guardian of cosmic wisdom and the preserver of positive energy; the Four Elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air; and Snowflakes and Icicles, which are reminiscent of her Siberian childhood.

The designer, who goes by the single name “Irina,” has a manufacturing partnership with International Bullion & Metal Brokers, New York, to produce her designs.

Irina, 49 W. 24th St., New York, NY 10010; (212) 929-8800.

Aaron Henry Furlong is a third-generation member of a Los Angeles family of jewelers and diamond merchants. After earning both a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California at Davis and a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America, he embarked upon a six-year apprenticeship as a bench jeweler in 1989. He has achieved industry recognition in the form of a 1996 De Beers Diamonds Today award and a 1997 American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Award. He has now launched a wholesale line, the Aaron Henry division of F. Conrad Furlong Inc., 550 S. Hill St., #1620, Los Angeles, CA 90013; (213) 623-1191.