All That Jazz

Seaman Schepps legendary Jazz Cuff in Emerald, sapphire and diamond

One of the designs that made Seaman Schepps legendary for his imagination is wit is the Jazz cuff bracelet! Can you believe believe it was originally designed/created in the 1930s? It’s absolutely of-the-moment nearly 75 years later.

Schepps designed a series of oversized “barbaric”-style bracelets. Here’s an original Seaman Schepps Cuff, c. 1944:

Seaman Schepps Jazz Cuff, c. 1944

Seaman Schepps Jazz Cuffs, modern and vintage

Seaman Schepps Jazz Cuffs, modern and vintage, are picture above. Clockwise from bottom left: A modern Jazz Cuff in sapphire and diamond; Cabochon and faceted emeralds with diamonds in yellow nad white gold, c. 1935; Cabochon and engraved emeralds, sapphires, and rubies with garnets and diamonds in white and yellow gold, which originally belonged to Mrs. Axel Wnner-Grem. c. 1940, now in a private collection.

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Alexander McQueen Resort 2013

gen·ius  n.
pl. gen·ius·es
1. Extraordinary intellectual and creative power.
2. A person of extraordinary intellect and talent.

Seaman Schepps vintage 3-Link Bracelet and John Rawlings photograph

Not too long ago, in a little restaurant off the beaten path in Paris, I found myself in a heated debate with a renowned (but contentious) French violinst over the definition of “genius”. He challenged me to name a person who can truly be called a genius. In his mind, only the Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach could qualify. I was left a bit speechless. While we throw the word “genius” around quite a bit, who really truly deserves that label? Who can live up to Bach?

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John Rawling's photograph for Vogue

It’s a month before production begins on our next catalog, and I’m obsessively sifting through John Rawlings’ photography for Vogue through the 40s and 50s. In the age of provocative-bordering-on-obsene fashion photography à la Terry Richardson et al, Rawlings’ eye for composition and form–together with the refined 40s styling–is suddenly refreshing… and surprisingly sexy. Here’s a shot by John Rawlings for Vogue, circa 1941.  The models are peering into the March 1941 of Vogue, which just so happens to feature Schepps jewelry on the cover!

Model wearing Seaman Schepps jewelry for Vogue, 1941, by John Rawlings

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor wearing Seaman Schepps on the cover of Modern Screen

The legendary jewels of Elizabeth Taylor are practically as famous as Liz herself! The recent auction of her jewelry at Christie’s garnered much attention, and sold for many times the estimated value. Of course, Seaman Schepps did not escape the woman who adored jewelry like no other. Here she is at the height of her fame wearing Schepps on the cover of Modern Screen magazine from 1952.

Tatiana du Plessix Liberman

In 2010, I was fortunate to catch one of the most extensive exhibitions of Irving Penn’s photography at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Whilst peering at the 120 photographs on display at the gallery, the one above (of beauty icon and writer Francine du Plessix Gray–left— with her stepfather Alexander Liberman and mother Tatiana du Plessix Liberman)  stopped me dead in my tracks.  The photo was taken in 1948 in New York. Tatiana is wearing Schepps’ Pearl Wrapped Link Bracelet and Earrings!

My curiosity was piqued. Who were Alex Liberman and Tatiana du Plessix Liberman? After all, you had to be a bit of a somebody to sit for Irving Penn.

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