A Behind The Scenes Looks At World Renowned Jewelry Companies
Often when I write about iconic jewels featured in fictional film they are pieces that are part of a plot line, help to develop the character or the jewels that the leading actresses owned personally and wore in a particular movie. For Bejeweledmag.com and throughout my book, “If these Jewels Could Talk: The Legends Behind Celebrity Jewelry” I also have written about the renowned houses who lent pieces which the actresses of the day made famous on the sliver screen.
During a week home with the flu (a good bet not the one I had the flu shot months before) , I found myself surfing through Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, I was exuberant about the ability, while stuck in my house, to re-watch and see for the first time several jewelry documentaries in which the plot, characters and jewels are all part of the real life story. Just in case you have missed any of these informative, magical insider journeys into the prestigious and luxurious world of fine jewelry, I have compiled a few that you can stream or purchase on DVD.
Before we take a look at those I saw during the past month, lets start with one that is making headlines—and is due out in June. It’s the anticipated collaboration between Cartier and Sofia Coppola. While not exactly a documentary, the film is timed to be released with the relaunch of its Panthère watch, which was originally issued in 1983 and has not bee produced again since 2004.
Coppola who is no stranger to directing luxury brand films and whose impeccable attention to the detail or the time period in which her movies take place seems perfectly suited for the partnership with the French mega-brand. The film will star Courtney Eaton and Brooklyn and Amanda Sudano, Donna Summer’s two daughters.
“I love the era when the Panthère debuted and I think of it as glamorous and sexy, and thought about films and the women of that era,” Coppola told Business of Fashion. “I wanted it to feel like a perfect fun day in the life of the Panthère watch and the woman who is wearing it. I imagined she’s visiting LA and away from work, and is enjoying the sun, romance and her friends.” The film will debut in select theaters and social media outlets.
My favorite of all of the jewelry documentaries is Crazy About Tiffany’s (the title based on one of Audrey’s Hepburn’s line’s in the fictional film Breakfast at Tiffany’s). This gem of a documentary has it all—charm, the romance of jewels, celebrities, interviews, movie clips; pop culture and the history of iconic house from it’s simple beginnings as a jewelry store to a global and cultural renowned brand.
Written and directed by Matthew Miele, it includes behind-the-scenes production meetings with Tiffany’s design director, Francesca Amfitheatrof and the great works of the jewelers who designed some of the most prolific pieces of their day: Jean Schlumberger, Elsa Peretti, G. Paulding Farnham and Paloma Picasso. Actresses, jewelry collectors and experts take us through the pop culture: celebrities on the red carpet to the Super Bowl trophy, which has been produced since 1967 by the house. Miele goes back in history to the beginning when Louis Comfort Tiffany first launched the jewels and the various times when dreams and careers were made. The instantly recognizable blue box is also discussed (down to how the color of the box was achieved).
You can watch Crazy About Tiffany’s on Hulu or stream it from Amazon Prime.
Watch the trailer below
Fabergé : A Life of Its Own, the award-winning, 2015 documentary is definitely worth watching and mentioning, particularly the day after Easter. One of my favorite editors, for whom I wrote for over a year, Claire Roberts of TheJewelleryEditor.com got a jump on the story. Last week she covered the rich history that is explored in this 90-minute feature length film, offering potential viewers a glimpse of why they should purchase this beautifully directed piece on DVD or On Demand. Says Claire in her article: “the film tells the fascinating story of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé and his rapid rise to fame. Much has been written about the history of Fabergé, but this new film, narrated by Samuel West, digs deeper than most. From his humble beginnings as the son of an immigrant French couple, it traces Peter Carl Fabergé’s transformation of the family jewellery business into an internationally recognised name, accompanied by archival footage, photographs and hundreds of spectacular Fabergé creations.” Claire continues.
“The sheer range and scope of Peter Carl Fabergé’s output is dizzying, and Fabergé fans are in for a real treat.” You can read more on her article and the documentary, which traces this visionary ‘artist jeweler’ and offers behind the scenes access to private collections and interviews with living decedents, experts and recently re-discovered treasures. There are also some of most revered creations, including pieces from the collections of Queen Elizabeth of England, Prince Albert of Monaco, as well as eggs of historical importance, most notably the Winter Egg of 1913, commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II for this mother.
On April 10, the documentary became available for purchase on iTunes, On Demand, DVD and Blu-Ray.
Watch the trailer below
Master of Dreams, which was released in 2013, takes us through the imaginative and innovative genius of 13 internationally renowned jewelers including Boucheron, Buccellati, Bulgari, Chaumet, Chopard, Damiani, De Beers Jewelry, Forevermark, Graff Diamonds, H. Stern, John Hardy, Stephen Webster and Verdura. The documentary explores the unique histories and heritage of each brand and how differently each of the jewelers’ creative processes work in bringing their striking pieces to life. The film is split in four one hour episodes by region and offers an insider’s peek into the impetus and inspiration behind the jewels, from initial concept to finished piece.
Each of the designers speak about their inspirations, techniques and the reasons behind their choice of metals and stones, opening their doors for jewelry enthusiasts, purchasers and collectors to get an in depth look at how, from start to finish, the pieces are made.
The four one hour episodes are divided into:
Episode 1—The Italian Jewelers: Bulgari, Buccellati, and Damiani
Episode 2—The French & Swiss Jewelers: Boucheron, Chaumet, and Chopard
Episode 3—The English & South African Jewelers: Graff Diamonds, Stephen Webster, De Beers Jewelry, and Forevermark
Episode 4—The Jewelers of the Americas: John Hardy, H. Stern, and Verdura
Masters of Dreams also takes us inside Christie’s auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection. In addition, the film feature’s Bulgari’s Shanghai retrospective, the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival, the 2012 Biennale des Antiquares in Paris and London’s 2012 Masterpiece Fair.
Master of Dreams can be purchased on DVD.
Watch the trailer below
It’s no surprise that Chopard –an official partner to the Cannes Film Festival would be drawn to creating a documentary surrounded the discovery of its prized 342-carat Queen of Kalahari rough diamond. And, so the company hired Alexis Veller to film each stage of the adventure for n a 55-minute film.
Chopard’s co-president Caroline Scheufele speaks about her reaction when she first traveled to see the rough of the D color, flawless diamond in the Karowe Mine in Botswana. “I immediately sensed that this was an incredibly rare gem of exceptional beauty and purity.” says Scheufele. “The energy and emotional charge emanating from this gem are truly incomparable.”
The 342-carat stone was cut into what was named the Garden of Kalahari—23 diamonds, five of which weigh over 20-carats each and include cushion, brilliant, heart, emerald and pear shapes in some of the most striking, prestigious and exceptional Chopard designs ever made.
The star-studded Paris premiere of the film was followed by a performance of ‘Diamonds are Forever’ by Dame Shirley Bassey.
Watch the trailer below