LOOT: “MAD” About Jewelry

On Monday night, The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) honored cultural patron, collector, and journalist Barbara Tober at the Robert Restaurant, for her 35 years of commitment to the Museum. The gala benefit dinner kicked off Loot 2015: MAD about Jewelry, the Museum’s annual six day exhibition and sale featuring art to wear designs made by both emerging and established jewelry designers. Sponsored by Vacheron Constantin this year, Honorary Dinner Committee Chairs were Iris Apfel, Corice Arman, Susan Gutfreund, Patricia Pastor, Deborah Roberts, Malini Shah, Liz Smith, and Isabel Toledo. The LOOT Chairman is Michele Cohen.

Curator Bryna Pomp

From 4pm – 8pm, there was a cocktail party, preview, and sale of the one of a kind artist made jewelry on the third floor for patrons (the artists were on hand which made it all the more interesting and fun). Guests, including Loot curator Bryna Pomp, Ms. Tober, Adrienne and Gianluigi Vittadini, Jean Shafiroff, Dr. Susan Krysiewicz, Beth Rudin De Woody, Nicole Di Cocco, and Fe Fendi, were asked to wear their most festive jewelry and many took this to heart. Including moi (not that I need an excuse: for me, the bolder the better!).

Eteri Chkadua

Which is why I was drawn to one of the few women wearing a necklace bigger, bolder and more out there than mine. As it turned out, Russian (Georgian) born Eteri Chkadua, (who is a “serious” artist) was wearing a neon necklace made by her inventor brother, Gocha. They are collaborators, and it’s part of a patent pending collection of environmentally correct, moderately priced (most are $75) colorful, multipurpose accessories with a slightly alien flower shape, all made in the US of flexible rubber (the line is called LuvBomb by Gocha, (www.luvbomb.net). It perfectly illustrates the game changing power of accessories to instantly transform the simplest clothing, and its ability to amuse and put a smile on one’s face. Something to keep in mind since we seem to be at a time where the fashion pendulum is swinging back to a more decorative, more colorful, more whimsical faze (everyone appears to be taking their cues from Iris Apfel, a woman for whom more is always more.)

Danielle Gori-Montanelli

Speaking of the ageless fashion icon, not only was she an honorary Dinner Committee Chair, her face showed up at the preview, in the form of one of Danielle Gori-Montanelli’s brooches. The Washington DC born artist, who works and lives in Vermont, was there with her line of colorful and fanciful felt jewelry (www.studiodgm.com), and the standouts were the necklaces and especially, the brooches, which include crayola crayons, pencils, avocados, all sort licorice, and a group spelled out as “Oy.” (This instantly put a smile on my face). FYI, Danielle will be setting up shop at the Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair which runs from November 16 – December 24th. Quite frankly, given the size of her pieces, and her popular prices ($15 – $475), I can’t think of anything that would make better stocking stuffers.

Veronica Guiduzzi with her Unconventional Objects

Other fun, colorful, statement making, and comparatively inexpensive lines that caught my eye: Veronica Guiduzzi’s Unconventional Objects, which specializes in unique necklaces made of unusual, natural materials such as onion skin and flower petals;

Melanie Tomlinson’s metal nature themed brooches

Melanie Tomlinson’s (www.melanietomlinson.com) nature themed (butterflies, birds, dragonflies, moths, beetles) rings and brooches made of metal; Annemieke Broenink’s rubber jewelry inspired by traditional lace neckpieces worn in the 1700’s (www.annemiekebroenink.com).

Jacques Jarrige

Because I love sophisticated gold sculptural pieces, I was also drawn to Jacques Jarrige’s display (this is the French sculptor’s first line of jewelry). Made of gold plated silver or gold plated brass, the sculptural rings, bracelets, and necklaces (which range in price from about $500 – $900) are so good looking and versatile, when you don’t want to wear them, you can simply display them. By the way, his pieces are on display and for sale, at the Valerie Goodman Gallery, 315 East 91st street, www.valeriegoodman.com, 212 348 2968.

Monies’ US Representative Joyce Williams

Last but not least, there was the iconic Danish jewelry company, Monies, (www.monies.dk.com) founded by goldsmiths Gerda and Nikolai Monies 40 years ago (US Representative Joyce Williams, wearing a few of their necklaces, was on hand). One look at the installation, featuring their iconic bold, statement making hand crafted necklaces and bracelets, played out primarily in black and gold (with a decidedly tribal feeling), I had no problem seeing why they have long inspired Donna Karan, among others.

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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