The Nuts and Bolts of it All
Sometimes the truly innovative is truly innovative because it’s
truly innovative. And sometimes the truly innovative is truly
innovative because it’s so mundane and common, we wonder why we
didn’t think of it ourselves. Oh yeah, Benjamin. We love it when
you talk in riddles.
Natch’rly folks…there’s a gif with this one. An image to delight
the palette of the eye. (Is there such a thing as an eye palette?)
When it came to jewels and jewelry, the industry that reigned
supreme in its purchasing power and in the public baring of
opulence was, of course, the Hollywood productions studios and
their stables of actors and actresses. Especially back in the
heyday, when being a star was as much glory and glitter as it was
Among the many jewelry designers that catered to the Hollywood
mystique and lavishness, was a chap named Paul Flato. He had a
shop on Sunset Boulevard, in L.A. for those of you who need these
kind of details. So…you want to know who wore Flato’s
jewelry…or at least associated themselves with him in one way or
another? Hmmm? Ya like gossip, folks? Hah! Who doesn’t? If you
recognize all of these names, then you’re giving away your ages.
Okay. Here we go. Fanny Brice. Caesar Romero. Douglas Fairbanks,
Sr. Virginia Zanuck. Charlie Chaplin. On and on. In the movie
Holiday, all of Katherine Hepburn’s jewelry was Flato design. One
of the rings she wore was a Toe Ring. I guess when you run out of
fingers…Merle Oberon wore Flato’s creations in That Uncertain
Feeling. Greta Garbo wore it. Constance Bennett wore some in the
movie Topper. Anyone remember Topper? Anita Loos in Gentlemen
Prefer Blondes. How about Joan Crawford, folks? Or Loretta Young?
Or even Coco Chanel. We’re talking big guns here folks.
So what about the special piece, Benjamin. Let’s get to the meat
of this. Okay okay, folks. Let’s talk about one of Flato’s
designs. A pair of cufflinks. Eddie Duchin owned a pair. And Elsa
Schiaparelli, French couturiere supreme, bought a pair when she
attended Flato’s opening in L.A. So what did these cufflinks look
like you may well ask, if you have not yet already guessed. Ahh me
lads and lassies…they looked like Nuts and Bolts, just like the
kind you find in every man’s personal junk drawer…or in your
local hardware store. Only these were made of 18 karat yellow gold.
And though I don’t know what was paid for these links, I imagine
they cost a pretty penny. But I have to tell you, I like them…and
I’m going to make a pair for myself. How do you all think I’ll
look, dressed in my best Tux, bow tie just so, shoes spit-shined to
a mirror finish, wearing Nuts and Bolts on my sleeve. Cool is how.
Really cool, dudes. Oh, yeah. One more thing. I know I’m blushing.
But if any of you out there want a pair too…aw heck folks…don’t
be shy. Just ask…and I’ll make you a set. Think of the company
you’ll be keeping.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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