From the Philippines to Paris

At the Perles exhibit at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, Philippine pearl producer Jewelmer showed how to present the significance and impact of jewelry within the cultural context of a people.

On Nov. 7, Jewelmer held “Le Miracle de la Perle d’Or des Philippines” (“The Miracle of the Philippine Golden Pearl”), a 45-minute presentation of Philippine arts and culture focused on the golden Philippine South Seas pearl. The event also launched Parisian author Didier Brodbeck’s latest work, Le Miracle de la Perle d’Or.

Wearing their Filipino pride and pearls were fashion designer Rhett Eala, queen of Philippine jazz Verni Varga, violinist Jay Cayuca, saxophonist Mike Guevarra, percussionist Arween Nava, and keyboardist Nikko Rivera. Together with Bayanihan – The Philippine National Folk Dance Company and Douglas Nierras Powerdance, they gave audience members a taste of Filipino glamour. Post-performance, the dancers and models led guests to the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution to view the Perles exhibit.

The program didn’t end after the cocktails ran dry and the models dispersed. The following day Jacques Branellec, managing director of Jewelmer, gave a lecture on “Les Fermes Perlières Havre de Paix Pour la Biodiversité” (“Pearl Farming: A Safe Harbor for Biodiversity”) at the Grand Amphitheater of the museum. Branellec spoke on Jewelmer’s pearl farming and environmental conservation and preservation practices as well as the creation of the golden South Seas pearl, its characteristics, and the current status of the environment and its relation to pearl farming. French director Pierre William Glenn created a short film for the presentation, which urged everyone to look beyond the physical beauty of the golden pearl and envision it as a symbol of hope for environmental regeneration.

At a time when companies are throwing more celebrity ambassadors behind their brands or trying to capitalize on the “green” movement, it’s refreshing to see a brand like Jewelmer take fashion jewelry back to its cultural roots. After all, what is adornment for if it says nothing about who you are and whence you’ve come?

Perles runs at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle through March 10.