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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Dancing Jewels

Damiani designs are inspired by the movement of ballet

15 Декабря 2014

Mikhail Baryshnikov and actress Kim Cattrall © DAMIANI
Mikhail Baryshnikov and actress Kim Cattrall © DAMIANI

The silvered bodies slid like liquid mercury across the backdrop, while beside the photograph of dancers in movement, swirls of diamonds appeared in dynamically designed jewellery.

Bangle featuring rough- and polished-gold contrasted with 346 baguette-cut diamonds © DAMIANI
Bangle featuring rough- and polished-gold contrasted with 346 baguette-cut diamonds © DAMIANI
 
Could ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov really be in a pas de deux with Italian jeweller Damiani?

Untitled #22 (2008), by Mikhail Baryshnikov © Mikhail Baryshnikov  ContiniArtUK
Untitled #22 (2008), by Mikhail Baryshnikov © Mikhail Baryshnikov ContiniArtUK
 
Dancing Away, the photographic works by the Latvian-born dancer, created an energetic face-off to examples of the 18 Diamonds International Awards Damiani has garnered over the years.

Blue Moon earrings in diamond and yellow and white gold © DAMIANI
Blue Moon earrings in diamond and yellow and white gold © DAMIANI
 
“It’s our birthday — and who better to partner with than a great dancer who is also a great photographer,” said vice president Silvia Damiani at a night of celebration in London last month.

Untitled #6 (2008),  by Mikhail Baryshnikov © Baryshnikov  ContiniArtUK
Untitled #6 (2008), by Mikhail Baryshnikov © Baryshnikov ContiniArtUK
 
She was referring to her family company, which was celebrating 90 years since its foundation in 1924.

Untitled #21 (2008), by Mikhail Baryshnikov © Baryshnikov  ContiniArtUK
Untitled #21 (2008), by Mikhail Baryshnikov © Baryshnikov ContiniArtUK
 
Baryshnikov’s works of art — a joyous collection of bodies from Brazilian dancers to modern ballet figures from Merce Cunningham’s studio — are on display at the Contini Art UK gallery on London’s Bond Street (until January 31, 2015).

Untitled #20 (2008), by Mikhail Baryshnikov © Baryshnikov  ContiniArtUK
Untitled #20 (2008), by Mikhail Baryshnikov © Baryshnikov ContiniArtUK
 
The Damiani jewels were there for one night only, but a shop full of their streamlined designs can be found in London at 11 Old Bond Street, as well as in stores from Milan, Rome and Venice, Paris and Moscow to the Far East – Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Osaka.

From left: Riccarda Contini, gallery director Stefano Contini, Silvia Damiani, artist Mikhail Baryshnikov and gallery director Christian Contini at the Dancing Away photographic exhibition by Mikhail Baryshnikov © DAMIANI
From left: Riccarda Contini, gallery director Stefano Contini, Silvia Damiani, artist Mikhail Baryshnikov and gallery director Christian Contini at the Dancing Away photographic exhibition by Mikhail Baryshnikov © DAMIANI
 
The Italian jewellers were modernists from the outset. A dedication to sculpted work with the dynamism of that era of “streamlining” is seen in many Damiani pieces. The energy is expressed in movement, while silver, white gold and diamonds add to the feeling of vibrant, contemporary modernism.

Actor Stanley Tucci and vice president Silvia Damiani © DAMIANI
Actor Stanley Tucci and vice president Silvia Damiani © DAMIANI
 
Like the energetic photographic images, the jewellery seems to be frozen in motion.

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Bianca Jagger © DAMIANI
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Bianca Jagger © DAMIANI
 
Baryshnikov ‘s photography is not his only current passion — he is still faithful to his balletic past.

An armlet crafted in platinum and yellow gold with white and jonquille pavé diamonds © DAMIANI
An armlet crafted in platinum and yellow gold with white and jonquille pavé diamonds © DAMIANI
 
A decade ago, the dancer and ballet director opened the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), in New York, his current home. He offers studio space to young ballerinas and shows contemporary, innovative work across the world.
www.damiani.com
www.continiartuk.com

Bloody Mary – a Mary Tudor-inspired necklace in yellow gold with 1,121 brilliant- and baguette-cut diamonds © DAMIANI
Bloody Mary – a Mary Tudor-inspired necklace in yellow gold with 1,121 brilliant- and baguette-cut diamonds © DAMIANI

The Eden bracelet took about 800 hours to make and features white gold with brilliant-cut diamonds © DAMIANI
The Eden bracelet took about 800 hours to make and features white gold with brilliant-cut diamonds © DAMIANI

Yellow-gold and platinum armlet with 958 diamonds © DAMIANI
Yellow-gold and platinum armlet with 958 diamonds © DAMIANI

Yellow-gold-plate bangle featuring complicated blue enamel with yellow- and white-gold stars and 659 diamonds © DAMIANI
Yellow-gold-plate bangle featuring complicated blue enamel with yellow- and white-gold stars and 659 diamonds © DAMIANI

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