By Rachel Garrahan
Larkspur & Hawk jewelry revives the lost art of foiling gemstones to mesmerizing effect. And with Caprice, its latest limited-edition collection, available exclusively at Fred Leighton, designer Emily Satloff mixes the rich colors and depth of her signature jewels with the subtle, luxurious sparkle of champagne diamonds and gold.
Before catching the design bug, Emily worked for many years in antique jewelry, as a dealer and as a curatorial consultant for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. With a passion for jewelry from the Georgian period, she was inspired to experiment with the then-popular technique of setting stones on coloured foils to enhance their intensity and fire. In those rudimentary stone-cutting times, the technique had the added effect of masking imperfections, and once Emily had thought about using them with today's high-quality gems, she was hooked. "I've always been attracted to color and color combinations, and once I started to sketch my own designs and play with gemstones, there was no turning back," she says.
Emily presents her new collection of Larkspur & Hawk jewelry in the elegant surroundings of her Upper East Side apartment, wearing amethyst earrings that demonstrate the foils' unique effect. Constantly shifting according to light and movement, the gems appear red on one side and blue on the other, and cast a soft, candlelit glow on her face. It's easy to see why earrings are among Larkspur & Hawk's best sellers.
Whether setting tanzanite against sky blue to create a violet tone, or giving depth to citrine with lime green, the designer is constantly experimenting with different combinations of stones and foils.
She also loves to play with hand-painting and texturing the foils themselves, emulating the rich taffetas and velvets in the Georgian court. Her starburst earrings, which mix a bold, modern silhouette with deep purples, pinks and grey pearls, would be very at home on one of Prince George Regent's fashionable young mistresses, if she were around today.
With the Caprice collection now at Fred Leighton, the store that has helped make antique gems the height of fashion, Emily feels her career has come full circle. "I'm so happy for my jewelry to be in an environment with its ancestors, and with people who understand it," she says.
Also available are Larkspur & Hawk's popular Rivière-style necklaces. These bold but elegant pieces, finished with a high-quality gold wash, look equally chic with a white shirt and jeans during the day, or with an evening gown at night.
Larkspur & Hawk jewelry can also be found at fine jewellery e-tailer Stone and Strand, and at select Neiman Marcus stores.