This article was in today's LA times,I thought it might be of
interest to everyone. In case you were wondering, "cocholong stone"
is a type of sea shell, "black gold" is usually gold that is
ruthinium plated, and "pernambuco wood" is a nearly extinct
Brazillian tree under protection of one sort or another since the
1600's.....and yes, you read correctly, Mr Gehry did use the word,
"plop". Sigh...I am now going off alone to be slightly ill
Lisa,(Raining again in Topanga, Yesterday I was in Phoenix for the
day. Raining there too) Topanga, CA USA
Now on sale: the Gehry collection
The celebrities came out in droves to view architect Frank
Gehry's new line of bling for Tiffany's.
By Booth Moore, Times Staff Writer
Imagine wearing a $1-million rendition of Walt Disney Hall on
your lapel? That was Frank Gehry's first thought about
designing jewelry several years ago, when he proposed a
brooch, covered in diamonds, to raise money for the building
Tiffany & Co. said no to that idea, but the idea of a future
collaboration didn't end there. Fast forward to Sunday night,
when Rodeo Drive turned into Gehry-land, as more than 300
guests came out to fete the famed architect and his new line of
jewelry and tabletop items EFBFBC The block in front of the
Tiffany store was closed to traffic and outfitted with the
architect's cloudlike lighting fixtures and corrugated
cardboard chairs, reissued by Swiss furniture company Vitra.
But it wasn't easy to coax partygoers such as Ellen Degeneres,
Owen Wilson, Quincy Jones, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy,
Anjelica Huston and Robert Graham out of the store, where the
cash registers kept humming all night, even as John Legend and
Patti LaBelle took to the stage to sing a duet of "Ordinary
People." Other celebs were already wearing Gehry's designs;
Laurence Fishburne had a single diamond-encrusted "fish"
earring in his left ear. The 76-year-old architect, who reached
a whole new level of fame on the silvery sails of Walt Disney
Concert Hall and the Guggenheim Bilbao, is the first new artist
to be introduced by Tiffany since Paloma Picasso in 1980. The
collection is comprised of six series named after recurring
motifs in Gehry's work: Fish, Torque, Axis, Fold, Equus and
Last week, at his Santa Monica office, where his "Simpsons"
doppelganger hangs above the door, Gehry sat down to talk
about the collection. "I am always looking for things to do
that give me instant gratification because buildings take so
long," he said.
Gehry worked with nine designers, who brought him unusual
materials such as black gold, cocholong stone, pernambuco wood
and raw cut diamonds. When he first saw his ideas realized in
pieces such as the $600 sterling silver Orchid pendant, hung on
a black cord, he thought it looked like junk. "But when
someone put it on, it came to life E280" like how architecture
comes to life when a building is used," he said.
The design references are purely personal. Gehry has long had a
fish fetish, and their abstracted forms are represented in $275
cufflinks as well as kinetic charms on a bracelet and ring. The
fish shape goes to the heart of Gehry's free-form design
aesthetic, molded in the late 1970s and early '80s in reaction
to postmodern architects such as Philip Johnson, who were
basically "regurgitating Greek temples," he said. "They were
going back to that because they couldn't figure out a way to
bring modern architecture into the present," Gehry said.
"So I got angry and started giving talks and saying if you
want to go back, if that's what's important, why don't you go
back 300,000 years before man to fish, because there is beauty
in fish to emulate. I started drawing fish in my book, which
became fish lamps. And that language interested me
architecturally, so I learned to make bubble curve shapes in
The Equus series of undulating bracelets and earrings is
reminiscent of the horse head-shaped auditorium in Gehry's DG
Bank Headquarters in Berlin. And the cross-hatch patterns in
the Axis series of bracelets and cufflinks bring to mind the
corrugated steel and chain- link fences on his Santa Monica
house, completed in 1978.
At $750,000, one of the most expensive pieces is a striking
white gold mesh collar scattered with diamonds and pearls,
which harkens back to Gehry's proposal for One Times Square,
where he imagined swathing the ball-dropping tower in metal
mesh. "They brought me a bunch of silver mesh one day and a cup
of rough-cut diamonds and I just went 'plop,' " he said, making
a spilling motion with his hands.
"I asked if we could throw some pearls in and they did."
Before the Tiffany project, Gehry never looked at jewelry as
high design. "I looked at fashion a lot because I always
thought it was a window into the taste of people," he said.
"But I always thought pure diamond rings and things were cut
and there wasn't much you could do with them. I didn't see much
of a place for me, and it's so miniature, how do you get in
The designers from Tiffany showed him the way, working at
six-week intervals in L.A. and New York. "It's been a real
collaboration. That's what I look for in people I work with,"
he said. "But most of the time it doesn't go that way. Most of
the time people don't get where you are going and can't riff on
it. It's like jazz: You blow a few notes and the guy next to
you takes it. That's what we are talking about."
Now that he's been at it for a while, Gehry feels that the
process of designing jewelry and objects has become its own
thing, separate from referencing his past work. "And now for
the first time, these pots are starting to feed back into my
architecture," he said, pointing to a photograph of jagged
bone china pots in a Tiffany catalog.
"The inspiration for these came from prehistoric rocks made by
Neanderthals to cut. An artist friend of mine has a collection
of them. When I saw them I went nuts. They are so beautiful
and faceted, very architectural and casual. And there's a kind
of indeterminacy about them that I like and have started to use
in my building."
Gehry's partnership with Tiffany is ongoing. The collection is
available in Los Angeles, New York, London and Tokyo, and will
be released to more stores and online this summer. "I feel like
we just started," he said. "And if the general public likes
what we are doing, they ain't seen nothin' yet."
I had three thoughts when I read this initial post.
1) Oh no... here we go again (when I saw the subject line)
2) Oh my God, Tiffany's PR people must be dying a thousand deaths
(when I read the gentleman's statements)
Note: I admit to literally laughing out loud as I read the article
thinking of Tiffany's PR drones freaking out
3) Huffman is probably chewing nails as he reads this.
My thoughts when I saw the nude body displaying the plopped
1) guess the pieces do look like junk unless on a body; no wait...
the body doesn't help
2) gotta love Tiffany for being the best at marketing because who
else would have the..... to charge $600 for a piece of carved wood on
3) LC Tiffany must be doing a happy jig in his grave because he was
the first one to throw a recognizable name (his own) onto someone
And, so, as glaciers melt, typhoons and hurricanes reach epic
proportions ... we can take comfort in the fact that a man who plops
has taken residence at Tiffany's, the bastion of Fifth Avenue & 57th.
In fact, I think I may have to rename Tiffany "Plop & Co."
Perhaps, actually what he is, is a Jewelry MC... kind of like a game
I wouldn't say they're completely horrid... and I do see the design
references to his architectural style.... but it's definitely
nothing to write home about in terms of innovation and creativity.
It certainly doesn't approach the radical position his
architecture holds. But that's only my opinion.
I totally agree with you, Karen.
As a person who holds a degree in architecture, worked as an
architect for some years; Gehry's work has served as great
inspiration for me since the university days.
He made tremendous contribution to architecture not only in terms of
building form, but also in construction method, structural
engineering, development of building material, technology in
modelling [both digital & traditional]... even changed how we see the
Nevertheless, I can't say the same about his 'collection' for
Tiffany. The same shape might hold great potential for a museum, or
just about any type of building. But they're just not that interesting
Maybe he would do better after spending time to understand jewellery
design & production techniques?? I certainly hope so...
Gwen H. Wen