Verdura Splendor

Only a handful of jewelry companies today can claim a legacy rich in history and design. Verdura is among them and I was lucky enough to attend a holiday party at their chic showroom last week to celebrate their new Hollywoodland Collection and visiting friend Frank Bowling, the Ambassador of the stylish Montage, Beverly Hills.

Duke Fulco de Verdura was born in Sicily to an aristocratic family. In the 1920’s, when Palermo was a society hot spot, Verdura became friends with Linda and Cole Porter, who in turn introduced him to Coco Chanel.

VerduraStarting with textiles, he soon began designing for her, ultimately settling on jewelry, including such designs as the now famous Maltese Cross cuffs, which she wore on both wrists as one of her signature looks.

Verdura

In 1934, at the urging of Cole Porter, Verdura sailed to America. His dramatic designs soon caught the eye of the Hollywood glitterati, including Marlene Dietrich, seen below wearing his Lily bracelet, the highlight of the current Hollywoodland Collection.

VerduraDiana Vreeland introduced Verdura to Paul Flato and he soon joined his design staff in the newly opened Hollywood boutique. With the backing of friends Vincent Astor and Cole Porter, Verdura then moved to New York and opened a Fifth Avenue shop in 1939. Through the 1950s and 60s Verdura’s designs were a favorite of the society set until his retirement in 1973 at 75, when he sold the company. In 1985, Ward Landrigan, former head of Sotheby’s USA jewelry division, bought the company and has continued Verdura’s legacy, through his nearly 10,000 sketches.

Verdura

The beautiful Richard Keith Langham designed showroom was decked out for the holidays.  And vignettes abounded in every lovely room.

Verdura

The Hollywoodland Collection harkens back to Verdura’s time in Hollywood and his collaborations with some of the era’s most famous style icons. It is a wonderful celebration of both the iconic history of the brand and the timeless enduring qualities of the designs.

VerduraFive distinct personalities were chosen to represent the collection, which re-introduces about 20 designs from the archives: Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Tallulah Bankhead, Tyrone and Annabella Power and Slim Keith.

Verdura

Of all the icons, I must say Slim Keith is the one I have long admired. Her sporty tailored style is an easy and elegant look I adore. Years ago when working with her on the jacket for her book, I spent several days with Keith, looking through her incredible photo albums and was struck then with her classic chic style. My favorite Keith inspired design Verdura brought from the archives has to be this incredible black jade Belt Buckle Bracelet. What a fabulous go anywhere statement piece!

Although the Acorn Earclips

Verdura

and bracelet are pretty amazing as well

Verdura

As I perused the collections, I had the opportunity to try on some of the other spectacular pieces. This Regatta Necklace was one of my favorites. It features a versatile casually chic design, sits in just the right place and is quite comfortable.

Verdura

Here it is closer. The texture of the gold and the settings of the diamonds are marvelous.

Or this Y style necklace with its beautiful stones. Decisions, decisions…

Verdura

In addition to the exquisite jewelry, Verdura also offers charming baby gifts

Verdura

smart desk accoutrements

Verdura

And stylish bar accessories

What a lovely evening! Visiting Verdura is like a step back in time. It’s salon-like atmosphere, the timeless appeal of the beautifully crafted designs and elegant displays all lend it an aura of gracious civility. You can easily imagine any of the sophisticated style icons of the Hollywoodland Collection stopping by to discuss a design or purchase a bauble. So nice to know that Verdura can offer the same to a new generation of style makers!


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22 Responses to Verdura Splendor

  1. pve says:

    I have always admired the artwork of Verdura designs, the maltese cross on black seems so timeless and chic. I love that bygone era.
    pve

  2. You are MY sophisticated style icon. Love the belt bucket bracelet.

  3. Jane says:

    I LOVE this company!!! Great post…my favorite photo of Coco the accessories…take my breath away. I didn’t know we were exchanging gifts this year! The Regatta necklace will work so well for me this season!

  4. Beautiful post, q! Such a rich history indeed.
    I admire the work of Richard Keith Langham, so I know that the showroom is gorgeous too, and can he decorate for Christmas? Wow.
    Of course I love all of the pieces shown, and my favorite piece is the lily bracelet. Stunning.
    Thanks you for sharing, and have a nice week.
    Teresa
    xoxo

  5. Beautiful! The showrooms, the jewelry and tabletop pieces! WOW! I think the diamond necklace would fit perfectly in my stocking!

  6. So many goodies, but that belt buckle bracelet is calling me……

  7. I so need a cuff for Christmas. So many wonderful pieces. Lucky you to have attended this affair I hope they let you try pieces on!

  8. the zhush says:

    Drool worth, all of it! Love that buckle belt bracelet and that gold necklace looks like it was made for you! Le-sigh….

  9. Such a interesting back story behind the bling. Hmm… I know for a fact that Mr. H. has not done his Christmas shopping. Perhaps I should forward him this post as a not-so-subtle hint!
    Have a sparkling week!

  10. Oh, Stacey, those necklaces are perfection on you! How I would love, love, love a pair of Maltese cross cuffs. A girl can dream, right? ;-) xoxo!

  11. Oh my… just makes me so happy to see such beauty. I’ve always love the Verdura Curb-link bracelet designed for Greta Garbo in the late 1930. I think the new Slim Keith-inspired bracelet is just perfection!! Lovely to see today!! ox

  12. Wonder if it’s too late for Santa to get me one of those cuffs – stunning!
    xxoo

  13. imperio jp says:

    oh my – I would definitely go to fisticuffs with anyone over that belt buckle bracelet…. you rock dear Q.!

  14. pretty pink tulips says:

    I’m starting to see that you have a strong connection to jewelry – and very nice jewelry at that!!! I have had my eye on a Verdura 3 stone ring for more than 10 years. I’ll try one on every now and then, but it just hasn’t materialized yet.

    But, funny thing. After your post on Irene Neuwirth at Richard’s, we were in looking for my husband…..and a pair of earrings caught my eye. Santa must be feeling really sweet this year, b/c they are wrapped and under the tree!!!
    xoxo E

  15. Picture of Elegance says:

    I love the acorn and the Regatta necklace. So chic.
    Happy Holidays.

  16. Stacey,
    Seriously, you know how to fun and be oh so glamorous! I died over the buckle bracelet (I once had a gold buckle ring that I lost and always say I am going to replace somehow)and of course the acorn earings and bracelet were beautiful too!
    Wonderful post, I nver knew about all these connections, learned so much!!!
    xo,
    ~R

  17. DivaDebbi says:

    Well Q., I am barely breathing!!! I just adore Verdura. Lucky you for getting to see all these goodies up close and personal. I had not seen an image of Dietrich’s cuff before. Spectacular!! Thanks as always for sharing with us.
    xox
    DD

  18. We LOVE verdura! We actually spotted a cuff in on of the pics we posted today on wallpaper weekly in aerin lauder’s bedroom. Thanks for sharing all of these amazing photos and a sneak peak into the gorgeous interiors. XO

  19. Lisa says:

    Love their stuff. The cuffs are plainly iconic. Oh, and Merry Christmas:).

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