October 03 2009
I can’t quite remember how and when I discovered the jewels of Italian architect-jeweller Luigi Scialanga, but neither can I forget his organic, neo-primitive jewels, beaten gold, lashed together with amber and coral, the beaded whip tie necklaces, conceived by Scialanga and commissioned by Armani for his runway. Somehow they make me think of that sophisticated yet wild, eccentric mix of fantasy and fashion that emerged in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s.
So I was thrilled to find that an exhibition of Scialanga’s new and archive work (prices from £1,200; Garland necklace, pictured, £6,600) was opening at the David Gill Galleries in London (until October 17). I made the trip south to Vauxhall for the private view, crammed with his band of chic acolytes, madly trying and buying the new pieces. Giambattista Valli, for whom Luigi has made catwalk jewels, was there from Rome, all in black except for a single, graduated strand of stunning white freshwater pearls.