Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Colorful Engagement Rings

by Ann Covode

Julia RobertsJulia Roberts is trendsetting once again! She wore some pretty memorable jewels — or, rather, her on-screen character, Vivian Ward, did — in Pretty Woman. It’s quite hard to forget about that ruby-and-diamond necklace Ward receives from Edward Lewis (portrayed by Richard Gere) before the two head off to a fancy soirée. And while it might seem like nothing will ever compare to the dazzling pieces from the ’90s classic, Roberts’ engagement ring from husband Daniel Moder certainly does. Although it’s fairly simple, the actor’s sparkler does stand out for one particular reason. It’s no secret that colored gemstones have been a clear favorite among brides in 2018 and 2019, which means Roberts’ ring — which she’s had perched on her finger since 2002 — is right in line with one of today’s most popular jewelry crazes. Though on trend, one facet sets hers apart from the masses.

JuliaRobertsringJulia’s vibrant green center gemstone makes her ring stand out from the rest. Katy Perry and Princess Eugenie opted for pink center stones and Kate Middleton chose sapphire, but few notable names have sported a verdant jewel on their ring finger, making Roberts’ exceptionally unique.  Julia’s engagement ring appears to feature a 1.5 to 2 carat oval-shaped green tourmaline in a diamond-accented platinum or white gold band.

Eve has designed many unique rings with beautiful colored gemstones. In this “Interchange IV” engagement ring she utilizes a colorful indicolite tourmaline as the centerpiece. Finding warmth in this northern landscape, Eve created the spectacular “Interchange IV” engagement ring. Several years ago she fell in love with the famous Paraiba tourmalines from Brazil and set them in this ring. These tourmalines are now highly sought after and found in the house of Cartier as well as many other famous jewelry houses.

InterchangeIVThe teal indicolite tourmaline warms the 113 diamonds swirling around it as though it is melting the ice. From Eve Alfillé’s “Alone Together” series. The ring is an absolute beauty, featuring a 4.33 carat fine cushion-cut teal indicolite tourmaline encircled by a series of 113 diamonds totaling 0.87 carats that weave a swirling perimeter about the richly hued center. A pair of Paraiba tourmalines in an electric-teal hue sparkle on both sides of the center stone and weigh 0.29 carats together. $12,400

ChateaudeChambord2Eve also delighted in using this pink sapphire to design the “Chateau de Chambord en rosé” engagement and wedding ring pair. She wanted to imitate the Renaissance architecture of that magnificent chateau but chose to give it an art deco vibe to simplify it. It is a fortress of a ring featuring an emerald cut 1.18 carat shimmering pink sapphire. This bright, rosy stone is joined by two diamond baguettes totaling 0.12 carats and two diamond secret stones which adorn the sholders of the ring totalling 0.06 carats. All this beauty is set in 18 karat white gold with detailed antiquities carvings along the gallery. $4270 Shown here with its beautifully carved 18 karat white gold and diamond companion band sold separately. $1780Garden of Eden
Inspired by vegetation and branches intertwining in the sunlight, Eve designed the lovely “Garden of Eden” ring featuring a pretty blue sapphire in an 18 karat white gold setting with 3 diamonds. She wanted this ring to be “Strong but delicate” to mimic nature. One of the diamonds resides at the bottom of the ring for the wearer to surreptitiously enjoy! $1280 The wedding band is also 18 karat white gold with 8 diamonds of 0.04 total weight. $1320

IMG_8781Princess Diana was a forerunner in the colored stone trend almost 40 year’s ago. Her sapphire engagement ring awed the world when it was unveiled at her and Charles’ wedding. Eve designed this “Married at Midnight” sapphire ring encircled by 30 diamonds with that in mind. A sapphire is a classic choice! $4660

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Feathers in Fashion

by Ann Covode

Feathers are in the air this spring with the fashion world revealing it’s new fresh looks. Eve Alfillé is no exception with the launch of her new “Feathers” series. Fascinated with the variegation in bird’s plumage, Eve designed these opal earrings to mimic that effect.

featherear1

These “Aquila non capit muscas” earrings in 18 karat white gold feature two gorgeous Boulder opals, two Paraiba tourmalines, two green diamonds and three diamonds. $4320  The drops were designed for fluidity and movement. Small blue topaz beads and apatite are strung on silk and move languidly through the air, contrasting with the decisive swing of the chains. The drops are anchored with labradorite briolettes and Sleeping Beauty turquoise beads. $575.

The first Monday in May marks a crucial event for the fashion world: it’s Met Gala night. This year’s theme, Camp: Notes On Fashion is an ode to the quirky, funny, and subversive corners of fashion, which means that attendees weren’t afraid to break out their most over-the-top ensembles on the red carpet. RosieHuntingtonWhitleyRosie Huntington Whitley donned this elegant gown at the Met Gala from Oscar de la Renta with a feather cape.

The royals are having having fun with feathers as well! Kate debuted a new hat by milliner Rosie Olivia. No one pulls off a statement hat quite like Kate Middleton. Attending the annual Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey, the stylish royal mom debuted a new hat by the British milliner Rosie Olivia. “I feel so honored that Kate likes my work and that she wanted to wear one of my creations,” Olivia states. “As always, she looked stunning and incredibly stylish. I’m so happy!”Kate Middleton

The design, called Varick — a felt hat with a pheasant-feather trim featuring a clear elastic that sits behind both ears, beneath the hair — perfectly matched Kate’s bespoke teal coatdress by Catherine Walker & Co. “She always looks good in colors. She’s just so elegant,” says Olivia, who also has a showroom in Manchester, England. The hat is available to buy online now (yes, the exact same one) for $568 and takes between 2-4 weeks for delivery.

 

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 2.40.40 PM

 

At this year’s Kentucky Derby, feathers were flying as well.

 

 

 

featherear2.jpg

 

Eve enjoyed designing these “At the Mercy of the Wind” earrings. They mirror the fine pattern of a feathers barbules with Chrysocolla and diamonds from Eve’s new “Feathers” series. $1580 The “Dancing Feathers” drops are an additional $110.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 2.39.41 PM

 

Feathers are always popular with hats at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky. These outrageous hats stole the show at this year’s event.

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 12.02.06 PMActress Victoria Justice wore a crisp white suit to the 144th Kentucky Derby in 2018. Her hat is mostly black with a white top, and features a black feather halo.

 

 

“Feathers are at once flexible and rigid, capable of withstanding high winds in flight, yet bend gracefully.,” states Eve.

earrings

In these “Glorious plumage” earrings the movement of the chains encircling the fine “Sleeping Beauty” top reflects that of the curving feathers. Blue Topaz tops off this ensemble with blue topaz cubes below. These earrings will add flair to any ensemble. $1650

 

 

sarahyland

 

Actress Sarah Hyland rocked this beautiful red fascinator to the Kentucky Derby in 2015. The unique headpiece features red velvet, red netting, and some long feathers.

 

 

In spring, a male bird’s fancy turns to display their nuptial plumage, the better to capture a female’s attentions – to the point of discarding its drab colors in favor of striking colors.

3images copy

 

In this “Spring Flight” pendant Eve captures this transformation with rubies, spessartite garnets and 8 diamonds in 14 karat gold. $1840

She pairs an Ethiopian opal and a Mexican opal with 3 diamonds in 14 karat blush gold  in the “Graceful” ring . $1980

These “Down Feathers” earrings in 18 karat gold shimmer with drops of Sleeping Beauty opal, blue topaz and mandarin garnet. Earrings $465. Drops $240.

rng22389px600dk

 

Eve acquired this stunning black Brazilian opal several years ago and was waiting for just the right moment to debut its luster.  This “Gentille Plume”ring with a black Brazilian opal shimmers with Tsavorite garnets in 18 karat gold. $8240

 

 

Stay tuned to learn more about Eve’s inspiration for her new “Feathers” series.

 

 

 

 

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

More Feathers Fluttering

by Ann Covode

feathers 2

 

featherpinIn creating her Feathers series Eve was drawn to the iridescence of bird’s plumage.  She was especially interested in birds molting into nuptial plumage.  “They suddenly adapt a bright and unexpected color when attracting a mate,”she says.  With that in mind she has created the “Gorgeous Plumage” pin pictured here. She was drawn to the shifting and stunning colors of this Yowah opal from Northeastern Australia. She interpreted the central rachis of a feather in the iron matrix of the opal.   Eighteen champagne diamonds and two Paraiba tourmalines on the sides serve to accent Eve’s perception of lightness and flight.  $2860

Feathers have many different meanings, but they have always been associated with freedom, transcendence and communication with spiritual realms. Finding a feather can be an uplifting, spiritual experience, especially when you find one in an unexpected place such as in your house or in your purse, where there isn’t an easy way to explain its presence. Any feather can be a sign, but the meaning of finding a feather in an unusual place or having one suddenly float across your path can especially seem to be a sign from the angels or from a loved one who has passed to the other side.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Feathers appear when Angels are near?” As a symbol across many cultures, feathers have always represented a connection to spiritual realms and to divinity. And because of their connection to birds, they have always been a symbol of flight and freedom, not just physically, but also in a mental or spiritual sense.

Featherrock

Eve imagines the idea of feathers further by comparing them to words and human discourse. “Now, these many years later, I see human discourse re enacting the riddle my father presented to me. On one hand, the words that are hurled with heat, and clang to the ground, words as weapons. On the other hand, words that are considered, words meant to float and be slowly absorbed, words as instruments of mutual discourse. Both reach their target, but feathers do not maim.,” states Eve.

Eve speaks of a lightness of being and of a way of dealing with the world. In the time that I’ve known her I’ve witnessed how she shows true interest in her clients and their needs. Eve wants to hear the story of your engagement so she can make something special and wants to learn what is special to you. She takes a piece of an idea that you have and elaborates on that in an elegant piece of jewelry. If that is what she means by feathers I think they continue to zigzag in the air around her and have been floating effortlessly for close to 40 years. Her ideas keep fluttering in the wind!

It’s ironic when she speaks of comparing iron to feathers because she is working with gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc. These elements have weight but she has the amazing ability to lighten them in her designs. She floats sunstones in diamonds and hovers sapphires in the air! Diamonds swim in the river and emeralds hang off trees. I am looking forward to this new series because I think the designs really will take flight.

In this time with talk of civility rising to the surface, Eve’s discussions of feathers versus iron in society are particularly timely. When wearing one of her pieces perhaps you’ll be reminded of the importance of your words.

Please join us on May 4th from 1 to 7pm to experience the mastery of Eve J Alfillé.

 

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

In Fine Feather

by Ann Covode

Eve Alfillé’s new “Feathers” series will open on Saturday, May 4th with festivities to highlight these lighthearted designs…

eve sketch feathersEve explains that her inspiration for her new series came from her scientist father at a very young age. “When I was a child, about six years old, my scientist father wanted me to develop logical thinking. He often came up with riddles. This one stayed with me: “What is heavier, he asked, a pound of iron, or a pound of feathers?”

Immediately my imagination conjured a tall tower, and Rapunzel tossing both out her window. I knew the answer: “Iron, of course!” I blurted.,” states Eve. A moment of silence. My father wagging his head. “No. They each weigh the same, a pound.” I knew I disappointed him, but inside, I felt rebellion. Could I also be right? There was something about the image of all these feathers lightly, delicately swirling to the ground that delighted me.”

FloatingfeathersLight, flexible, strong, and colorful, feathers are impressive structures. Although feathers come in an amazing array of types, they are all made up of the same basic parts that have evolved small modifications to serve different functions. Downy feathers have a loosely arranged structure that helps trap air close to the bird’s warm body. The structure of other feathers features a small alteration that makes a big difference; microscopic hooks that interlock to form a wind and waterproof barrier that allows birds to fly and stay dry.Three feathers

“Feathers I have not really known until now. Google tells me many useful things: they adapt to need, flexible and strong in bird tails and wings , with tiny Velcro- like hooks to keep the fibers connected even in high winds. And to keep warm in winter, contour and down feathers have evolved loose strands to trap body heat. Water rolls off a duck’s back, because its feathers have waterproofing, and anyway, feathers are constantly renewed as a bird molts”, ponders Eve.

“I love feathers for many reasons : elegant form, hard and soft at once, balanced in their asymmetry, variegation, and because they show that you don’t need a hard carapace to be protected.,”reveals Eve.

HeaddressMany cultures have used feathers in their ceremonial costumes and artwork. The most astonishing work came from Mesoamerica, where the Aztecs used feathers like mosaic pieces, to create intricate tableaux of gods and martyrs. Caravans of pochtecas, or feather traders, moved through the rain forest as far south as Colombia, exacting feathered tribute from weaker tribes. Hummingbirds, parakeets, macaws, motmots, spoonbills, cotingas, and other species were killed or captured by the thousand, sometimes altering their natural ranges. Some were skinned on-site, but most were trapped or anesthetized with poison arrows and brought to the imperial aviaries in Tenochtitlán. There they were hand-raised on worms and grain and plucked for use in Montezuma’s workshops.

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 11.52.30 AM

In Peru, the biologist Thor Hanson writes in his 2011 book, “Feathers,” the Inca rubbed their parrots with poison-arrow frog secretions so that their colors would change with the next molt. In Hawaii, more than eighty thousand mamo honeycreepers were used to create King Kamehameha I’s golden cloak. The bird is now extinct.

After the conquest, Cortés sent crates of Aztec featherwork to the king of Spain, along with codexes tallying the birds and the down collected. The most beautiful pieces made their way across Europe, enthralling Albrecht Dürer and the Holy Roman Emperor, among others. In France, a taste for feathered hats took hold under Louis XIV and quickly grew into a craze. Ostrich feathers were shipped in from Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, and Madagascar, and dyed black, green, lilac, rose, sky blue, and yellow; heron feathers were brought from Germany and Turkey to adorn the Knights of the Holy Spirit.

 

Guiraca_caeruleaAAP086CB“I love how birds can molt into “nuptial plumage”! What is it? Well, you might say it is akin to getting some new threads and primping up before a bout of speed dating. For a change, the males are the ones who have to do all the work! Girls can stay as they are, dressed to blend in with habitat.”, she adds

Feathers have been a focus of fashion for hundreds of years. “The madness for feathers has reached a point of excess one never could have suspected,” the journalist Louis-François Métra wrote in the winter of 1775.

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 11.58.02 AM“Hats that would have seemed ridiculously tall a few months ago no longer suffice.” Prompted by Marie Antoinette, who doubled the height of her feathered hat for a ball thrown by the Duchess of Chartres, women were soon wearing hats as high as two and three feet. Arguments broke out at the opera, where viewers could no longer see the stage, and the finest ladies were forced to kneel in their carriages to clear the ceiling, or else stick their heads out the window. “When a woman thus coiffed dances at a ball, she is compelled to continually bend down as she passes beneath the chandeliers,” the Count of Vaublanc noted in his diary. “It is the most graceless thing imaginable.” Paris had twenty-five master plumassiers at the end of the seventeen-hundreds. A century later, it had hundreds, making fabrics for Hermès, the Folies-Bergère, and the Moulin Rouge. In London, the feather market went through nearly a third of a million egrets in 1910 alone. In New York, Hanson writes, a bird-watcher named Frank Chapman counted more than forty species of feathers on women’s hats on a single walk, and those were only from native birds. Some ladies had taken to wearing whole birds on their heads by then—an economical choice, given that feathers were more costly, by weight, than anything but diamonds. Among the treasures that went down with the Titanic were more than forty cases of feathers, worth upward of 2.3 million in today’s dollars.

Stay tuned for more inspiration and a sneak peak at Eve’s new collection…

 

 

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Royal Jewelry Heist

By Jen Conley

Swedish Coat of ArmsLast year, Oceans 8 hit theaters and brought the story of a large scale jewelry heist to the public. Around the same time as the movie hit theaters, a real life jewelry heist stunned the EU when royal jewels were stolen from a cathedral in Sweden.

The artifacts were stolen while Strängnäs Cathedral was open to the public last summer. Witnesses saw the thieves escape on a speedboat in Lake Mälaren but Swedish police were not able to catch the suspects.

Swedish Royal JewelsAmongst the items stolen were the crown of King Charles IX, the Crown of Queen Christina and a royal orb. The Key emblems of both royalty and leadership, these relics are of great importance to the House of Vasa and furthermore to Swedish history. The theft left the world stunned and also left many unanswered questions. Who could have stolen such precious items? Where could the relics be found?

Swedish CastleSträngnäs Cathedral is home to the remains of King Charles IX and his wife Anna Maria of the Palatinate. Hosting a large portion of Sweden’s royal jewels in addition to being the burial ground of Swedish royals, Strängnäs Cathedral is a true Swedish marvel! Beginning in the 12th century, Sweden has been a prime northern European power and is one of 27 remaining countries that is still ruled under a monarchy.

King Charles IXKing Charles IX, from the royal House of Vasa, ruled Sweden from 1595-1611 and was the start of the glorious end of the monarchs from that House. King Charles IX is best known for re-establishing the national religion of Sweden to Lutheranism and for his military strength that won him the crown of Sweden . After his death in 1611 he passed the throne to his son, Gustavus Adolphus the Great, who is regarded as one of the most accomplished military leaders of his time.

Queen ChristinaGustavus’ daughter, Queen Christina of Sweden, succeeded him and was the last monarch of Sweden from the House of Vasa. A prominent woman of the 17th century who stunned Europe by refusing to marry, dressed in masculine clothing and later abdicated the throne to her cousin in order to remain unwed. Queen Christina was a major supporter of the arts and under her regime Sweden became a cultural hub for scholars and artists. Her extravagant lifestyle is well documented and her possessions were notable luxuries of the 17th century. The royal House of Vasa is very important to the rich history of Sweden and made Sweden a great European power.

Swedish authorities searched for the answers to those questions for months and the location of the jewels. Potential evidence led them to a 22 year old suspect in November who they believe stole the regalia with help from friends. While they had a good lead on who stole the priceless artifacts the question still remained: Where were they? Last month, after they had been missing for over six months, authorities finally found the royal crowns and orb, which were hidden in a trash bin!. Talk about a load of rubbish!