// Alexandra May Jewellery / Philippe Ferrandis earrings rss

Balenciaga: Iconoclast, Artist and 'The Master'.

by Alexandra May | May 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

Hiro (b.1930) Alberta Tiburzi in 'envelope' dress by Cristobal Balenciaga, Harpers Bazaar,June 1967 ©Hiro 1967

When Balenciaga moved to Paris he established himself as 'The Master', a man who created couture art and dressed the elegant and the wealthy. His atelier window was decorated with Janine Janet sculptures rather than examples of his own designs which perhaps helps the reader shift their focus to Balenciaga as an artist and an aesthete rather than a fashion designer.

 X Ray photography of evening dress, silk taffeta, Cristobal Balenciaga, Paris, 1955. X -Ray by Nick Veasy, 2016.

It's easy to forget that fashion is an art form, especially with mainstream mass production reducing beauty to a disposable commodity.

Balenciaga refused to buy into this. He needed the patronage of the wealthy (although he railed against it!) because the work he did was extremely labour intensive, and to an extent the women he dressed needed to have time as well as money, to allow for their numerous fittings.

Since time immemorial artists have had both patrons and muses, and Balenciaga was no different.

Balenciaga was a sculptor of fabric who was considered to be the leader in his field by others and in turn considered the fabric to be his own master. He was a ground breaker with his innovations of volume and re proportioning of the body. He invented the shift dress, the baby doll dress, the body stocking, pattered tights and his vision was constantly forging ahead.

 'Baby Doll' cocktail dress, cape de chine, lace and satin, Cristobal Balenciaga, Paris , 1968 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Balenciaga's time in Paris, for many years was a triumphant one. He 'worked like a 'dog' as he himself said, giving his all and constantly pushing boundaries and reinventing and developing his ideas.

The 1960's bought with it the advent of ready to wear clothing, and a greater than ever emphasis on youth. The time of elegance, couture and a certain type of wealth was past.

If he had been younger Balenciaga would have been able to rise to the occasion in changing the direction of his work, coping with increasing bureaucracy necessary to run a business and also deal with the turning of the tide of the media and public against him and what they felt he represented.

However he felt that he had fought and struggled enough in his life, and retired completely. He died of a heart attack soon after, which, in my perhaps overly romantic interpretation seems very much like dying of a broken heart.

Evening mini-dress, metal wire and plastic pailettes, Paco Rabanne, Paris 1967. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The fashion house of Balenciaga near drifted into obscurity for many years, until its re-emergence under a series of incredibly talented designers. For the Autumn-Winter collection of 2006 Nicolas Ghesquiere made his homage to The Master taking pieces from the archive and reimagining them for the 21st century

...' the noble Spanish couturier died in 1972 but with a little help from Nicolas Ghesquiere...the Balenciaga vision became as fresh and modern as anything on the winter 2006 runway' Susie Menkes /The International Herald Tribune

Looking at the jewellery that I stock in the shop, I also see the work of artists. Designers who have a vision and work hard to realise it.

Rings, earrings and necklace all from 'You Missed it Collection' by Konplott.

Philippe Ferrandis is one such designer, creating his first collections for the House of Givenchy (who had such close ties with Balenciaga that journalists thought there were secret tunnels connecting the two couture houses) before following his personal creative needs and establishing his own atelier.

Necklace and earrings from 'Orient Express' collection by Philippe Ferrandis.

Other jewellery designers in Alexandra May that I also consider to be wonderful artists are Miranda Konstantinidou/Konplott, Jean Louis Blin, Heidi Bennett...well the list goes on and on!

Etruscan Urn Earrings by Jean Louis Blin

In this cycle of creation we must not forget our own role which is akin to the role of the modern patron, albeit on a smaller scale. People such as myself and my lovely customers who see a piece of jewellery not simply as something to make us look and feel fabulous, but as an item that someone has spent time and love creating and will hold its value like any other objet d'art.

Necklace and Earrings from 'Samarai Bloom' Collection. Ring from 'Alien Caviar' Collection. All by Konplott.

As the work of Balenciaga shows, true art survives all trends and fashions. 

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion is at the V&A from 27th May 2017-18th Feb 2018 van.ac.uk/balenciaga 

Posted in 1960's, artist, atelier, baby doll dress, body stocking, couture, couture jewellery, Cristobal Balenciaga, design, fashion as art, fashion innovations, givenchy, graphics, iconoclast, Janine Janet, Jean Louis Blin, jewellery as art, Konplott, Konplott earrings, Konplott necklace, Nick Veasy, Nicolas Ghesquiere, objet d'art, Paco Rabanne, patterned tights, philippe ferrandis, Philippe Ferrandis earrings, pink earrings, pink necklace, red earrings, red necklace, red ring, sculptor, sculpture, shift dress, Spanish Couturier, Susie Menkes, V&A, Victoria and Albert Museum, visionary fashion

New In: Philippe's 1950s-Themed Range

by Alexandra May | September 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

Philippe Ferrandis 'Polynesia' Salmon Pink & Coral Glass Large Bead Necklace

The variety in Philippe Ferrandis's work is amazing: his new 'Polynesia' range is completely different in style and and feel to all his other collections. There's no hint of sparkle in this line, and no faceted glass: instead, the jewellery is entirely made up of smooth, entirely opaque beads with a gently polished finish. The 20th century influences are immediately recognisable: the rounded, simple daisy shapes are very reminiscent of the 1960s flower-child movement, while the strings of uniform, outsized beads are pure '50s. The corals and salmon shades featured, meanwhile, are very 1940s - It's impossible to associate this brilliantly designed jewellery with just one era.Philippe Ferrandis 'Polynesia' Salmon Pink, Coral & Red Clip-on Earrings  Philippe Ferrandis 'Polynesia' Salmon Pink & Coral Glass Bead Necklace

The smooth glass beads in this piece's central flower pendant are fixed into a metal setting, meaning the necklace sits flat and keeps its shape. These pieces are clearly inspired by the pop-it beads of the 1950s (below).

Philippe Ferrandis 'Polynesia' Salmon Pink, Coral & Red Hook Earrings

Enjoy browsing!
Alexandra

Posted in 1940s, 1950s glamour, 50s glamour, autumn fashion, coral, coral stones, costume jewelry, french designer, french jewellery, jewellery, jewelry, necklace, new arrivals, new jewellery, parisian jewellery, Philippe Ferrandis earrings, Philippe Ferrandis necklace, Phillipe Ferrandis, pink, polynesia range, rose, salmon pink

Aloha from Hawaii

by Alexandra May | July 09, 2015 | 0 Comments

Continental style by way of the Pacific Islands: my latest shipment from Philippe Ferrandis's Paris workshop draws its inspiration all the way from the shores of Hawaii. Philippe's celebrated skill with colourways sees the collection's soft blues, teals and sea greens contrasted and complemented with flashes of warm coral, pale lilacs and vivid limes to create a hazy, Hawaiian-postcard colour scheme.

The earrings in the collection, though simple and unfussy, are expertly designed: a milky, opaque glass stone sits atop a glistening, intricately cut swarovski and an extra-long iridescent resin teardrop with a textured surface completes the piece. 

This gorgeous, glowing jewellery deserves to shimmer in strong summer sunlight, whether at home in the city or on holiday at the beach. It's wonderfully light to wear, so the hook fittings will not weigh heavily on pierced ears, and the clip-on earrings feature rubber pads to ensure hours of comfortable wear.

This statement necklace, with its tessellating ovals, triangles and oblongs, is a perfect piece of colourful summer jewellery, with softened neons sitting alongside perennially-fashionable pastel shades. My personal favourite, though, is this bold collar, which Philippe has given a sharp, modern edge with the addition of a chunky silver chain. 

Enjoy browsing!

Alexandra

 

Posted in 1950s glamour, blue, clip-on earrings, collar necklace, coloured stones, coloured Swarovski, colourful jewellery, colourfull jewellery, costume jewellery, drop earrings, french jewellery, green, holiday, jewellery, jewels, light as a feather, lime green, limited edition, long earrings, multicolour, pastels, philippe ferrandis, Philippe Ferrandis brand new, Philippe Ferrandis earrings, Philippe Ferrandis necklace, pierced earrings, statement jewellery, statement necklece, summer holidays, turquoise, wish list

1 2

Please select a wishlist category

Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news, limited edition pieces, new arrivals and special offers from Alexandra May.

 

*required field

×
×

Write a review

I love to hear what my customers have to say about their experiences in the shop and online

Whether it’s because you’ve worn your new earrings at a wedding, adore the cocktail ring you were given on your birthday, or you just simply treated yourself, please let me know!

Alexandra

  • ×

    Create an account

      or   Return to Store

    ×

    Login to your account

      or   Return to Store

     
    Forgot your password?
    ×

    Create an Account

    Sign up for the latest news, limited edition pieces, new arrivals and special offers from Alexandra May.

    ×