Good Golly, Miss Helen

Luxury, Russian-born fur and jewelry designer, Helen Yarmak is no shrinking violet; that is for sure, especially considering the sexy, no-holds-barred ways in which she handles her rich sables, minks, ermines, et al. So, it is a no brainer that her jewelry line would not follow suit. And, indeed, it does; big time. While some of the jewelry pieces here might come across as being a bit much and sometimes, a bit-too-over-the-top, the majority of the line is simply spot on and absolutely covetable by its very haute nature.

Thinking about the mantra of Marie Antoinette, “Let Them Eat Cake”, (which unfortunately, as everyone knows, did not bode well for the Parisian Aristocrat), it surely seems as if Yarmak’s, modern-day mantras might come across as, “Let Them Wear Haute Couture”, or as in the case of the jewelry collection, “Let Them Wear Heavy G”.

Perhaps these mantras fit perfectly with the designer because they state clearly the place where her M.O. seems to come across in a say-it-loud, crystal-clear and totally, right-on manner. Or, maybe these mantras serve to define Yarmak’s creative repertoire as being about the idea of unabashedly and unashamedly – even in today’s tough economic climate, no doubt – giving her well-heeled clients as much fashion, style and glamour as they can handle, even though prices for some of these sparkle-plenty pieces can range from the sublime ($750) to the stratospheric ($500,000). But, this is all good, especially given the fact that the pieces are exclusive enough to be available for purchase only through Yarmack’s Retail Boutiques, located at NYC’s Plaza Hotel and throughout Russia, as well as via her website (

The 2009 Jewelry Collection was previewed to the fashion press by Yarmak (who flew into town from Russia just for the meet-and-greet”event ) and her minions, over a recent, two-day period at the designer’s plush, Fifth Avenue, Crown Building Showroom, where not so coincidentally, Playboy’s offices are currently located.

The outrageous assortment of gems were in their place, all right, as lots of huge, multi-colorful cocktail rings, necklaces, brooches, earrings and the like, rendered accordingly in 18k gold (yellow, white and black, n’est ce pas), as well as sterling silver, (the latter definitely looking somewhat plain-jane and out of place at times), were all seen strewn purposefully around the room.

Not discordant nor undermined at all, the jewels themselves appeared to be right at home and quite comfortable, mind you, set amongst the showroom’s sweeping cityscape views (from nearly every window), the open-air, wrap-around deck, one of the coolest and most well-stocked bars imaginable in any nightclub, let alone any showroom, and all of the non-stop coffee, champagne and finger food on hand. One might worry that with so much eye candy to look at, the gems might get lost in the shuffle. Not to worry, though, mostly every piece stood on its own, for what it was worth.

Of particular note here: Yarmak’s unusual use of precious and semi-precious stones across a delicious, one-of-a-kind grouping, embracing Emerald beaded earrings, in 18k yellow gold with diamond and green garnets; Tanzanite, Sapphire and Diamond earrings and matching ring in18K black gold; Diamond Orchid earrings and matching ring, in white or yellow gold. A nice addition to the overall mix, but somehow more quiet and young than the rest of the bunch; the Enamel Collection comes across as quite fun and playful. For this part of her collection, Yarmak shows her girlish side. There are rings festooned with cows, bullfrogs, hippopotamus, and green leaves with ladybugs all over, as well as a very pretty, ballerina pendant for mixing and matching.

– Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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