The Ring in the Film Rules Don’t Apply goes from Screen to Street
More than any other category of jewelry, rings act as visual celebrations of the most memorable moments and emotional connections in a woman’s life, They can be worn stacked or singular and statement making, or in mixed metals and themes. Due to the popularity of all types and time periods, we continue our series entitled Ringing in The New Year, which will run through the beginning of 2017.
Newest in our installment is a style of ring that plays a key part in the plot of a recent film and also has a starring role in the jewelry collections of antique aficionados.
The film is Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply (20th Century Fox), which opened nationwide on November 23rd and is set amid the glamour of late 1950s Hollywood and focuses on the romance of two employees of Howard Hughes— their relationship with each other and with the eccentric billionaire. While I won’t give away the part the ring plays in the film (for those who have not seen it)– I have featured the ring above and will say that it was provided by another Hollywood legend, Neil Lane, and that this navette style ring, set with old cut diamonds surrounding a Columbian emerald dates back to the late 1800s.
Neil Lane is no stranger to loaning jewelry for films—he worked with Academy Award winning costume designer Colleen Atwood on the film Chicago and provided the Art Deco bracelets featured on Renee Zellweger’s and Catherine Zeta Jones in the movie . One ultra-wide bracelet previously belonged to Mae West.
An avid collector of jewels with provenance such as those belonging to West, Myra Loy, and Ginger Rogers and from the renowned houses of Hollywood’s heyday, Neil is also one of the main go-to jewelers for antique through mid-century as well as his own designs for A-listers on the red carpet. (See full Neil Lane article here)
When I spoke to Neil for an article I wrote on Chicago in 2002 and asked about the stacks of wide Deco bracelets that were chosen for the film, he explained, “We used them in the last scene when the girls had ‘arrived’. The film took place during the same time period as when the bracelets were made and so they were the perfect choice.”
When talking to Neil about Rules Don’t Apply, my first question was why was this particular ring chosen, when it was not of the same time period in which the film takes place?
“I worked with Warren Beatty to choose the ring— and this was the one that made the final cut. Warren wanted a ring that would appear timeless and not at all dated. It also needed to feel significant but not over-the-top—leaving something to the viewer’s imagination about where it came from.”
The ring has been part of Neil’s vast archival collection for many years and he dates it to 1890.
Navette style rings, which are composed of a long marquise shape and can rest just under the knuckle or almost cover the entire finger are making a comeback due to interest in all types and styles among the new generations of antique ring collectors. “Like many of the rings of the past, when you find a wonderful example of a navette —there is a refined aesthetic and a feeling that there are many stories behind the piece that doesn’t exist in modern jewelry,” Neil explains.
Sheri Evans co-owner of Metier San Francisco says that she is selling navette shaped rings extremely well over the past few years.. “There’s a certain grace and sexiness to the navette form as it elongates the finger. It packs a lot of look into its slim, lovely shape. She continues, Generally longer and bigger than other ring shapes there’s space for elaborate stone work or beautiful miniature paintings yet the navette never looks heavy on the hand.The style was also very popular in the Georgian era and Georgian jewelry is really having a moment right now. Clients and collectors alike are snapping up these beautifully contoured rings and the navette ring has always been a Metier favorite.”
Ju Kim, the owner of Laelius Antiques, a highly curated collection of antique pieces, predominately from the Georgian through Victorian eras, presently has three Victorian style navette rings in her well-appointed mix. “I believe it’s both the new and long-time antique ring enthusiasts interested in this shape. Plenty of consummate collectors have at least one in their collection.” Kim continues—it’s definitely a statement look, whether it’s a Georgian mourning style or an all mine cut diamond sparkler. I think women need to choose what’s most comfortable for them. For a more versatile every day appeal, those that rest under the knuckle seem more appropriate and easier to wear. But, if you really want to go for it, you can pick one of the really large ‘look at me’ proportions, which cover much of the finger. Most importantly these rings should be dynamic and worn with confidence and pleasure.”
In addition to length and width, navette styles range in time from Georgian through the Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco eras and become more open and airy as they move through the different periods. The earlier rings are set in silver over yellow gold or high karat yellow gold, while the later styles are set in platinum.
If you are interested in purchasing a navette ring, do a little research into the different time periods and price ranges, ensure that they are authentic, are all original and in pristine condition. Otherwise–when you know what feels and looks good on you and know your own style–rules don’t apply.
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