Friday, April 1, 2011

Enduring Beauty: Tina Chow

"with its aura of mythic beauty sustained over time, the classical mode is nothing less than the desire to transfigure women into goddesses."  -Harold Koda Curator in charge at the Costume Institute Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Designers as diverse as Madame Gres, Fortuny, Romeo Gigli, Balenciaga, Madeleine Vionnet and Paul Poiret were inspired by ancient dress.  Classical style can be evoked by a robe a la Grecque, a pleated silk jersey gown, a peplos, a one shoulder dress.  It can be decorative like in many of Greek key decorated pieces by Gianni Versace.  

Tina Chow was a fashion icon, a woman of style, a jewelry designer and a collector of twentieth century couture.  In her collection, were pieces by Fortuny, Paul Poiret and Vionnet so maybe it is not surprising that she also was inspired by the art and fashion of ancient Greece in her jewelry designs.

The amfora is a fat bodied vase with a small neck that was made to be given as a prize to victors in the Panathenaic games held in Athens every four years.  It would have held oil from sacred olive groves in Attica.

It is this shape that Tina Chow chose to make earrings from.  I have only seen them so far in a clear rock crystal bound with 18-karat gold wire.  She reduced the amfora to its most minimalist shape and in a sensuous crystal clear rock crystal they are also very glamorous.  

1980s Tina Chow Rock Crystal Amfora Earrings with 18-karat gold coil wrapped wire backs.

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