Tiffany & Company’s High Jewelry — for Men
Exactly when a man’s lapel became the stage for displays of patriotic fervor, tribal affiliation or cultural distinction is open to interpretation. French men since at least Napoleon have loved exhibiting their décorations — medals, crosses or discrete bar pins, color coded to represent different honors bestowed by the nation — and Freemasons have long signaled fellow brothers with badges denoting rank.
Next month, the badge of honor gets an upgrade with Tiffany & Company’s first dedicated men’s pieces for its annual Blue Book high jewelry collection. Blue Book functions as “the creative laboratory for Tiffany, a place to experiment, to try new settings, techniques and concepts,” says Reed Krakoff, Tiffany & Company’s chief artistic officer. Traditionally, the brand’s statement jewelry has been worn by princesses or movie stars. And yet, Krakoff notes, “half of Tiffany’s customers are men.”
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The new designs took over two years of development, during which rare gemstones, found everywhere from Botswana to Russia, were “auditioned” by Tiffany & Company’s chief gemologist, Melvyn Kirtley. Among the 12 pieces are a gold bird’s-head-shaped signet ring with a row of rubies subtly inset on one side, as well as a “handkerchief” brooch featuring a 5-carat emerald-cut diamond at its center and a line of baguette diamonds peeking out between its layers of 18-karat gold — brushed in front and polished to a high shine on the reverse side, where only the wearer will see it. There’s also a platinum brooch in the form of a beetle, its body glittering with diamonds and its jaws clutching a giant 7-carat blue spinel.
Clearly, the designers had a taste for whimsy, and some of the sparkling creatures also come with individualized “vessels” for their storage or display. (These components were handmade by the artisans of Tiffany’s holloware workshop in Rhode Island; they also create the trophies for the Super Bowl and the World Series.) A sleekly abstract, 18-karat gold bird pin studded with sapphires and diamonds nestles inside a sterling silver and gold vermeil birdhouse, while the beetle is secreted within a silver and gold vermeil matchbox, as if placed there for safekeeping by a boy who stumbled upon it while exploring the remote corners of his backyard. “I’m always drawn to the juxtaposition of something naïve with something extraordinary,” says Krakoff. “And I think it’s very much a part of Tiffany’s DNA — this offhanded, unstudied American sense of luxury.” So: Made for men, but, as Kirtley and Krakoff also point out, in these gender-fluid times, the pieces could actually be worn by anybody. All you need is character — and a special occasion. — LESLIE CAMHI
The Tokyo Neighborhood Where Tradition Meets Modernity
Tokyo’s Kagurazaka district lies just west of a canal that was once the outer moat of Edo Castle. The neighborhood, home to samurai during that period, has long been known for its shrines and narrow alleys. Over the past decade, though, it’s seen a new wave of shops, restaurants and cultural venues that, as is so often true in Japan, honor the past and embrace the present in equal measure. Chief among them is Akomeya Tokyo in La Kagu, a high-end Japanese grocery with an attached restaurant and cafe that opened this year in a former book warehouse reimagined by the architect Kengo Kuma in 2014. More browsing can be done at Koharuan, which is filled with glass and ceramic works by contemporary Japanese artisans. And for indigo-dyed textiles, shirts and pinafores woven using the centuries-old kasuri technique, visit Jokogumo.
Kuma also oversaw the 2010 restoration of the Akagi shrine, a 15th-century Shinto holy site — here, the sound of ringing bells is joined by that of gentle clapping as visitors ward off evil spirits. Afterward, you might enjoy dinner at one of Kagurazaka’s classic ryotei — Torijaya Bettei has the best udon suki — or the new outpost of Toriko, which serves yakitori and wine, and then wander back to Trunk (House), a 70-year-old former geisha house that was converted to a rental property in August. The two-story structure’s genkan-style entryway looks onto a small indoor courtyard with azaleas, irises, Japanese holly ferns and stones salvaged from the wall that once encircled Edo Castle. — EMILY TOBIN
Six Funny Hats
Bowlers, bonnets and more keep the drama up top.
A Jeweler’s New Project That’s All About Mixed Metals
Since its inception in 2010, Spinelli Kilcollin jewelry has often been described as architectural. Surely the pieces, including the popular Galaxy Rings — stacked bands in combinations of yellow and rose gold, platinum and sterling silver linked together by tiny metal loops — evince an interest in materiality and intersecting lines, but the descriptor is especially true of the brand’s latest offering: furniture. This new venture came about when Spinelli Kilcollin’s married co-founders, Yves Spinelli and Dwyer Kilcollin, couldn’t find the sort of furniture they’d envisioned for their ’70s-era house in Los Angeles’s Montecito Heights neighborhood — and decided to design it themselves. “I grew up in Honolulu and had a lot of exposure to the Japanese minimalist style, where objects and details are aesthetically pleasing but never frivolous,” says Spinelli. That philosophy is apparent in their Elam table — 3 feet by 10 feet with an aluminum frame, a polished bronze top and gleaming cylindrical brass legs. As with their jewelry, though, the materials can be scrambled, so you might end up with a brass frame, an aluminum top and bronze legs. “With mixed metals, your eye sort of tricks you, and the various tones become an entirely new color story,” Spinelli says. (The table, which is made in Los Angeles with local materials, can also be made in different sizes.) The pair then conceived a futuristic-looking sconce — a vertical brass rod with an unshaded Edison bulb on either end — and is currently working on a shelf light and a coffee table. Says Kilcollin: “It’s about using pure geometry to create ideal forms, and instead of starting with a full-on collection, we’re working on an inspiration-based schedule.” — KATE GUADAGNINO
Fall’s Fuzzy Textures
Feel-good accessories, from furry slides to woolly leather clutches.
Top row from left: Chloé bag, $2,190, similar styles at (646) 350-1770. Tod’s bag, $1,425, tods.com. Dries van Noten bag, $390, By George, Austin, Tex., (512) 441-8600. Chanel bag, $4,900, (800) 550-0005. Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh shoes, $1,175, off—-white.com.
Bottom row from left: Bottega Veneta bag, $4980, (800) 845-6790. Hermès shoes, $1,225, hermes.com. Marc Jacobs bag, $1,895, marcjacobs.com. Max Mara bag, $630, (212) 879-6100. Kenzo shoes, $885, kenzo.com.
A Sparkling Necklace That Harks Back to Rome’s Moviemaking Past
Cinecittà, Rome’s legendary movie studio, was built in 1937, at the height of Benito Mussolini’s reign. Its slogan, “Il cinema è l’arma più forte” (“Cinema is the most powerful weapon”), seemed ironic after the bombings of World War II, but once the soundstages were rebuilt in the 1950s, Rome became an epicenter of filmmaking — Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” (1960) and William Wyler’s “Roman Holiday” (1953) and “Ben-Hur” (1959) were all largely made within Cinecittà’s walls. The studio’s stream of stars created a symbiosis with the city’s greatest jeweler, Bulgari; actors including Elizabeth Taylor, Gina Lollobrigida and Anna Magnani would visit the Via dei Condotti store after a day on set, trying on the house’s lavish creations of large colored gems set off by webs of diamonds. This necklace — in pink gold with seven lozenge-size oval stones of more than 14 carats each, including topaz, rubellite, morganite and three colors of quartz — recalls those untamed days: a cascade of Technicolor glamour and endless light. Cinemagia necklace, price on request, (800) 285-4274. — NANCY HASS
A 20th-Century Classic With a 21st-Century Upgrade
In 1919, one year after the Dutch architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld — a leader in de Stijl (“the style”), a functionalist arts movement with an insistence on verticals and horizontals — created his seminal rectilinear Red and Blue chair, he crafted a console that elevated his theories to an even higher plane. With its virtually continuous grid, from which drawers and storage hang, the piece evokes the paintings of Piet Mondrian (a de Stijl compatriot), the early drawings of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Japanese-inflected furniture of Edward Godwin, a mid-19th century British designer who influenced that era’s Arts and Crafts movement. The original, which was widely exhibited and celebrated, was eventually lost in a fire. In the early 1950s, Rietveld, who died in 1964, oversaw its re-creation by his longtime woodworker. Now Cassina, which has for decades licensed Rietveld’s other designs, has reissued the buffet again, this time in collaboration with the designer’s heirs. Made of solid and veneered ash with no screws or nails, it comes in a light-toned natural finish and the black-stained version pictured here. Regarded as a model of progressive imagination and transgressive design when it debuted, its radical angularity remains forever modern. 636 Elling Buffet, $31,360, cassina.com. — NANCY HASS
A Jewelry Designer’s Ceramics for a Cause
Irene Neuwirth, the Los Angeles jewelry designer, was introduced to Creative Growth — the Oakland, Calif.-based studio for artists with disabilities — in 2016, when she purchased a terra-cotta whale and walrus by an artist named Larry Randolph. A year later, she attended the nonprofit’s annual fashion-show fund-raiser. “Artists show their creations on a runway,” she explains. “It was one of the most joyous experiences.” Since then, Neuwirth, 43, has amassed a 30-piece collection of animal figurines by Creative Growth members. “The work is so whimsical, and I’ve loved the natural world my entire life,” says Neuwirth, who’s also an avid horse rider. They’re displayed in the Venice Beach bungalow she shares with her partner, the producer and writer Phil Lord, and their two Labradoodles. “I bought these pieces because I love them, not for charity,” she says. Last spring, Neuwirth opened a shop in Brentwood with the Charlotte, N.C.-based fashion boutique Capitol, where she sells her famously colorful one-of-a-kind gold-and-gemstone jewels. — JOHN WOGAN
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