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PFEIFFER’S GEMS: “I don’t know anything about jewelry. I’m not kidding. I can get you a movie though,” quipped Rona Pfeiffer, a former film and television agent turned jewelry designer at the launch of her shop-in-shop at the Elizabeth Charles boutique in New York City’s West Village on Tuesday night.
The charming, effervescent sister-in-law of Michelle Pfeiffer (she designed some pieces for the upcoming Tim Burton film, “Dark Shadows,” starring the actress) had been making jewelry for a few years — a craft she fell into while helping her young daughter with a project — when her father got Alzheimer’s disease. “I made the choice to stop and take care of him for about five years, and in the past two years I have come back kind of with a vengeance,” she said.
Pfeiffer’s Gothic, earthy pieces are all handmade by the designer (“It almost kills me, but on some level I love it”) using natural materials like turquoise, ostrich egg, lava and raw coral, often cut with baroque pearl, rose cut diamonds, gold, raw rubies and burnished metals. Prices start at about $400 for bracelets to $29,000 for a necklace, with most pieces ranging from $1,500 to $6,000.
Despite her Hollywood connections (Ginnifer Goodwin, Laura Dern and Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood are all fans), the designer prefers to let the pieces speak for themselves. “I don’t ever wear my stuff. I agreed to put a pair of earrings on tonight, but I really don’t wear my own things,” she said.
Though the shop-in-shop — housed in a quaint room through a courtyard in the back of the boutique — is her exclusive retailer in New York, the line is also available at Elizabeth Charles boutiques nationwide, as well as Fred Segal Couture in Santa Monica, Calif., Lux Couture in Boston and at elizabeth-charles.com.