GLITTER GALA: The National Jewelry Institute and The New School’s Parsons School for Design are joining forces to launch a new awards ceremony in Paris distinguishing the best pieces produced by leading fine jewelry and watch brands.
The winning designs are to be announced at a ceremony at the Hôtel Le Bristol on July 5, followed by a gala dinner at the Louvre museum the following day, scheduled to coincide with the start of Paris Couture Week.
The host committee of the event includes Francesca Amfitheatrof, design director of Tiffany & Co.; London-based jeweler Solange Azagury-Partridge; Paris-based jeweler Lorenz Bäumer; Pierre Hardy, creative director of fine jewelry at Hermès, and Bulgari creative director Lucia Silvestri.
Brands including Bulgari, de Grisogono, Dior, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. are expected to attend the gala, presided by Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark. Renowned chef Éric Fréchon has been tapped to prepare the meal.
Around 35 watch and jewelry brands are to submit their fine jewelry and watch creations for review by a jury made up of Judith Price, president of the National Jewelry Institute; Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons; Béatrix Saule, chief curator of the Palace of Versailles; Aymeric Zublena, president of the Academy of Fine Arts; and Vincent Meylan, author and historian.
Price said the ceremony would distinguish pieces by each house, rather than naming an overall winner in each category, because the aim was to promote the know-how and brand identity of each house. “We’re trying to get the consumer to be more aware of jewelry as an art,” she said at a lunch at her Paris home on Wednesday.
The head of the nonprofit organization, which creates and supports jewelry exhibitions, said she chose to stage the gala in Paris because it is the home of luxury. “I think the heart of culture is right here in Paris,” said Price, adding that her aim was purely noncommercial.
The National Jewelry Institute and Parsons will also hold weeklong courses in Paris in September and New York in October called “The Fine Art of High Jewelry and Timepieces.” Participants will have the opportunity to meet representatives of leading fine jewelry houses.