With the summer just around the corner, jewelry always come to mind when I’m thinking about my trip to the beach. For a certain sliver of the population, the colors tomato red and chocolate brown are guaranteed to put a huge smile on your loved one’s face the same way that Tiffany blue might for others. Those are the colors that the jewelry designer James de Givenchy, who sells his pieces under the brand name Taffin, uses for packaging his precious gems. James was kind enough to share some of his exquisite pieces with us. Ladies, eat your heart out!
Peridot, Blue Saphire and 18K Yellow Gold Necklace
James’ design of this gorgeous piece of art was inspired by bonsai trees. James shares, “I actually keep oversized bonsai-like sculptures in both my home and showroom because I’ve always found the, aesthetically pleasing. Making the piece was very complicated…the yellow gold snake links ere difficult to work with as we needed to make sure they would and wouldn’t bend in just the right areas. It’s one of my favorite pieces….I think it’s quire stunning.”
Chalcedony, Holly Wood and 18K Yellow Gold Bracelet
James explains, “This piece was made as part of a series of flat bracelets covered in either lacquer or wood and cabochon stones. Each of the bracelets is different in finish and color. I don’t have a favorite, but think all of them are absolutely fun! Like anything, these bracelets need to be worn with care, but they’re not terribly fragile as the cabs are made of agate….a very durable stone.
Amethyst, Diamond, Silver and 18K Gold Ear Pendants
James comments, “They’re such a gorgeous pair of amethyst. The stones are Brazilian and quite large with great quality….each over 65 cts in weight. I found them from one of my Brazilian dealers who comes through New York once in a while….he always has beautiful stones. When I saw them, I knew instantly how I wanted to set them. I think this type of setting is a perfect way to showcase a great pair of stones. It’s so glamorous!”
Emerald, White Ceramic and 18K Yellow Gold Ring
James explains, “This is very pretty, old Colombian emerald – flat, great crystal,and beautiful color. I instantly knew I wanted to do an offset band on this ring because of how flat the emerald is. Adding white ceramic with the yellow gold gives the ring a more contemporary feel which I absolutely love! Ceramic is something new that I’m working with; it’s a very hard material compared to metal so it won’t scratch. I also think it’s fun because it’s like going back to the time when enameled pieces were “in” during the 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s…except it’s very durable and you don’t have to worry about breaking it. This piece could be a cocktail ring as emeralds are quite fragile and not good for every day wear.”
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About James de Givenchy
James de Givenchy, designing under the name Taffin, has become one of the most sought-after jewelry designers today. Raised in France in a family of illustrious artists, de Givenchy moved to New York in search of the diversity that would later inspire his designs. After studying graphic design at Manhattan’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, the French born Givenchy landed a job a Christie’s in the jewelry depart- ment, and thus became enamored with gems. “I fell in love with the engineering of jewelry, its manufacture,” he says. “The construction is as important as the design. Trying to find ways to structure a piece of jewelry is very much like designing a build- ing. It’s this construction that I find so challenging and fun – finding ways of hiding the construction so the design comes forward.”
After gaining experience as the head of Christie’s West Coast jewelry department and later serving as vice-president of Verdura, de Givenchy eventually opened his New York salon in 1996 working with private clients on special commissions. His approach to jewelry design and his personal connection with clients evokes the memory of the past relationships between legendary couture houses and jewelers: “The couture element is the fact that you deal directly and personally with your clients,” states de Givenchy. Often compared to legendary designers Raymond Templier and Suzanne Belperron, his designs are sculptural with respect for the qualities of each individual stone, with a special emphasis on fine workmanship. De Givenchy’s inventive style lends each piece a sense of whimsy and adventure, combining extraordinary combi- nations of diamonds, peridots, sapphires, mandarin garnets, coral, and spinels.