Ippolita Jewelry Collection is being showcased this week at Neiman Marcus with a trunk show and personal appearance by one of the company representatives on April 10th. I’ve always admired this designer jewelry collection as one that I felt to be an original trailblazer. Through its unique use of stone craftsmanship and signature bangle clusters, it has created a trend, followed by many in the jewelry business. Ippolita believes in layering her pieces and is considered the first of her trade to take fine jewelry into daytime wear. She created her pieces to be worn for everyday use and to take the wearer from day into night.
I had the privilege of spending some time with the designer when she was here, herself, recently, over dinner and and then a follow-up interview with her and her product at Neiman Marcus the next day. I found her to be absolutely charming and inspiring. She was an artist at her core and spoke often of her commitment to fine craftsmanship, beauty and fashion as her inspiration with each collection. She spoke of actually taking her inspiration from the materials first and feels that dictates her designs. She is consequently always looking for new materials and is amazed how she can still find a new stone, work with it and its qualities will then also impact her design. Secondly, she is also driven partially on an emotional level by where she and/or the world is at that point in time, and that also is an influence on her final work.
Ippolita’s newest collection, featured above, the Stella Collection, is her first collection of silver and diamonds, also incorporating hand-crafted Mother-of-Pearl, Turquoise, Blue Topaz and Clear Quartz. The collection is beautifully artful and feminine, two qualities she ensures are in her pieces. Also, the result is a Cool Blues color story, so popular in fashion now and particularly adored by the Texas woman, making it a lovely focus for her caseline presentation.
In chatting with Ippolita, I was surprised to hear that her metal pieces were half of her business and of her collection. I had always thought of her first and foremost in my mind for her scrumptious stones, but after our discussion learned to appreciate the beautiful metal pieces from this artist that did, in fact, study sculpture at the prestigious Instituto d’Arte in Florence.
About Ippolita: Born Ippolita Rostagno, in Italy of an Italian father and American mother. She lived in Tuscany until she was 18 when she came to America. She began as an artist studying in Italy before continuing her studies here in the states. Because she has family in Italy, she still spends much time there. Her love of art brought her to fashion, which interested her because she found it another great form of individual expression. Her company, founded in 1999, began doing private label jewelry for many large stores, namely Banana Republic and Ann Taylor come to mind. She then produced her first 18k gold collection for Bergdorf Goodman in 2000 and her career as we know it today began. She works on a fashion cycle, about a year out on each collection and takes many of her calls from what she sees in the fashion world….her example to me was if styles were featuring ¾ sleeves for Spring, she would design more bangles. She feels simplicity to be her trademark. Her goal is to create simple designs that makes us look pretty and creates nothing too dramatic for the sake of fashion. She creates her fashion look through layering of many of her pieces at one time…..necks, bangles, etc.
The following are some highlights of many of her collections that can be found at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman or on her website, www.ippolita.com. Her newest collection, Stella, is featured above.