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.
The first time I realized the lovely Amanda Brooks, now the newly minted Fashion Director at Barney’s New York, was a fan of Seaman Schepps was when I read an interview with her in the newspaper in 2010, where she claimed,
My most treasured piece of jewelry is a wood and gold link bracelet from Seaman Schepps. It was a present from my husband when our son was born. My grandmother was a collector of Seaman Schepps jewelry, and then my mother became a fan and was given pieces on special occasions by my stepfather.
She had just published a new book called I Heart Your Style, in which she dishes on the finer points of style and fashion. I ran out to the nearest Barnes & Noble and bought the book. To my pleasant surprise, she mentions Seaman Schepps several times, even to say that our coffee table book was one of her favorite fashion inspiration books! (See below…)
This past week, some of the Schepps vintage jewelry was taken out of our vaults for an upcoming exhibition in Hong Kong! I had the opportunity to see the famous grape brooch (made in 1937) in sapphire, emerald, and diamond that belonged to the heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke–part of an amazing sapphire suite that also includes a bracelet and earrings. The grape brooch is fantastic–one forgets the scale of it; there’s nothing diminutive or quaint about it. It measures almost 5 inches high!