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- Amedeo Scognamiglio, cameo jewelry, Dolce & Gabbana, Miroslava Duma, Miu Miu, Prada, Scheherazade Jewelers, Shala Monroque, Tavi Gevinson
For those that think cameo jewelry is a “grandma thing,” think again. Cameo jewelry is currently riding the crest of a seven-year fashion wave that began in 2010. As a premier fashion jeweler to the Twin Cities area, Scheherazade Jewelers brings a historic collection of cameo jewelry to the Galleria throughout the month of June.
The Story Behind the Collection
The event has incredible timing to it. For starters, the cameo collection was purchased by Geolat & Associates (Scheherazade’s estate jewelry partners), in February. In just three short months the collection of 49 cameos that were purchased by a single collector over 53 years was refurbished and ready for sale by early May. The extensive collection made its public debut during Scheherazade’s early May estate jewelry event (scheduled from May 2-5).
During that time Patti Geolat, founder and CEO of Geolat Companies, and her estate jewelry business associate Kate Peterson have learned much about Lily and her collection of cameo jewelry. Lily was a connoisseur of fine jewelry with a penchant for cameos. She kept a detailed “jewelry diary” where she wrote down detailed notes about each cameo including how she came upon finding the piece, when and where it was purchased and in some instances adding in comments about an occasion or specific interest in a cameo.
“From everything we’ve seen, it appears that this is one of the largest and most diverse collections of fine quality cameos ever assembled by a single private collector,” says Kate. “The collection was also especially well curated. And, each piece was chosen for some unique feature or for the special quality of craftsmanship.”
The collection has many pieces that possess rare, unique qualities that add to the actual value of some cameos. In the image below, these cameos are “remarkable for their elaborate scenes and detail,” says Kate. The first depicts the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The second is a detailed scene that combines dimensional, architectural carving with full figure characters in a musical motif. And, the third showcases the motion of muses using elaborately detailed carving techniques, according to Kate.
The first cameo in the second row is rare and valuable because of the unique, full body carving. Next to it is an unusual left-facing image (most head-carving cameos face right). And, the final cameo carving is of lilies of the valley, and was a favorite of Lily, the original collector.
The Cameo Trend
Cameo jewelry has enjoyed periodic revivals most notably in the early Renaissance. Once again cameos are enjoying another revival. “Cameos are in the third or fourth year of a seven-year fashion cycle,” says Paula Peterson, president of Crown Luxury Consulting. As a consultant for luxury brands and an expert on luxury trends, Paula has observed a number of looks driving the cameo trend.
“The larger the better,” says Paula. “Seasonally, women are wearing cameos with brightly colored silk ribbons in the warm weather months and on velvet strips during the cold weather months – especially around the holiday season. In terms of lengths, women are wearing cameos short and long at collar and opera lengths. Cameos are even being pinned to fabric handbags.”
The trend started back in 2010 and 2011 when fashion reads and fashionista blogs declared the cameo comeback. The cameo trend got some real traction around this time when Miu Miu, a sub-label of Prada, created collections of cameo jewelry. The Italian designer’s cameo jewelry had less relief details than traditional cameos, but the modern interpretations paid homage to the traditional cameos with mainly right-facing profiles of female figures.
Famed designer Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2011 presentation reinforced the cameo comeback with necklaces, bracelets, brooches and rings. Exaggerated shapes, different subject matter and modern coloring were some of the defining characteristics or the cameo comeback.
Also, Italian designer Amedeo Scognamiglio has created many contemporary cameo jewelry designs. Hailing from the birthplace of cameo jewelry, the Italian designer has taken cameos in completely different and modern directions while remaining loyal to the quality and craftsmanship associated with cameos with fun, funky, edgy cameos – most notable is the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil three monkeys and numerous skull cameos.
Cameo Trend Leaders
As with any trend, there are identifiable mavericks leading it. Three world-class and classy beauties associated with the breaking cameo trend include Miroslava Duma, Tavi Gevinson and Shala Monroque. Miroslava Duma is currently Russia’s “it girl.” As the former editor of the Russian edition of Harper’s Bazaar, a freelance writer, an influential media figure and a point figure in Russia’s “fashion pack,” Miroslava sported cameo jewelry back in 2012.
Tavi Gevinson, an American writer, magazine editor, actress and singer, wrote her first fashion blog at 12 and never looked back. As the founder and editor-in-chief of the online Rookie Magazine, she is another influential media figure. In both 2011 and 2012, she appeared on the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media list.
Married to renowned art dealer Larry Gagosian, Shala Monroque is the “it” girl for those with the fashion sense to know such fashion-forward beauties long before everyone else. She’s a “front row fixture” at the fashion industry’s most important events and has an incredible sense of self-styling. And, she’s the “official muse” for Prada, according to a Town & Country blog announcing Shala’s cover shoot for the famed magazine’s January 2013 issue.