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MARGO MANHATTAN

 
 

Coup de Coeur!

   

 

  

 

Jewelry designer Margo Manhattan allies a certain Gothic rock' n' roll sensibility with Upper East Side sophistication, marrying bold silver settings with an array of semi-precious jewels.  Bursts of color then like flowers against metal-gleam of silver  -- sky-blue of topaz, lovely deep purple of amethyst, ruby red of enamel...

Perhaps Manhattan's aesthetic sense was informed by evenings spent watching her mother Karin von Aroldingen, a principal dancer for George Balanchine, perform at the New York City Ballet.  The refined elegance of a simple relevé, the exciting whip of a speedy fouétté, the sensuous fluidity of an arabesque find themselves mirrored in the subtle pas de deux of silver on gem, gem against skin.

But Manhattan also pays homage to the cosmopolis whose name she took for her own -- her Metro Collection injects a hint of retro deco flair into a warm evening of Village jazz or a romantic carriage ride through Central Park, reflecting skyscraper and moonlight off gems contoured in shimmering sterling.  But, always with an edge, all her work is possessed of a certain barbaric chic….

Manhattan's most popular piece, the brash Desire Ring, unites two rows of facing hearts, a symbolic linking together, yin and yang, opposite but complementary forces that structure the universe.  Perhaps when the two bands of the desire ring are worn singly they become a memento of absent love, each half to be completed by the other.  The iconography of the heart goes back centuries, before Victorian and Catholic representations, to the Egyptian ib or 'heart soul' -- one of several souls in traditional Egyptian religion -- perhaps all the way back to the North African city-state of Cyrene where today's easily recognizable heart-shape may have first appeared in early coins.  The heart is reincarnated -- made flesh or symbolically alive again - in this ring from the Passion collection.  The tiny rounded hearts unite into one daring piece that injects a bit of funk into an otherwise saccharine conceit.  Alliances, hearts, links -- ancient themes for sure -- but updated and made more brazen, the perfect accessory for a sophisticated dinner dress or a piece of shiny upscale bling to accompany streetsmart rap threads.  Coup de Coeur!  

         

 

Links: margomanhattan.com

 

Tags:  jewelry 

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All design and illustration by Anita Itty