Among the women most commonly associated with Tiffany & Co. (hello Audrey), Italian designer/model Elsa Peretti arguably had the most impact on the jeweller’s design legacy.
She enriched its lexicon with now-classics such as the Bean and Bottle pendants and the lariat-style Diamonds By The Yard necklace.
Her most indelible contribution? The Bone cuff, inspired by childhood visits to Antonio Gaudi’s Casa Mila in Barcelona as well as the crypt of a 17th-century church in Rome.
“My mother had to send me back time and again with a stolen bone in my little purse,” she said. “Things that are forbidden remain with you forever.”
The Bone cuff’s lack of adornments rendered it an outlier especially during the ’70s when diamonds and yellow gold reigned, but Peretti always had a thing for silver.
“My passion was for silver. I loved the old silver jewellery I found in Portobello market. I was brunette so silver suited me. You have to follow your instinct,” she said.
This year, the sculpture-like piece of jewellery – radical in the way it envelops the contours of the wrist – turns 50. To celebrate, the brand’s launching special editions in eye-catching electric red, green and blue this month.
Cue another one of Peretti’s famous quotes: “Great design doesn’t require an effort to look at. You shouldn’t be pushed to look at an object by a signature, but because it is a pleasure.”
This article first appeared in the August 2020 Home Edition of FEMALE
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