VERDURA THE THEODORA CUFF REVIEW
My first encounter with the Theodora Cuff by Duke Fulco di Verdura was in NYC in my favourite store, Bergdorf Goodman. I was attending the Gemological Institute of America at the time and was immersed in the world of gemstones. When I set eyes on the Theodora Cuff, it was love at first sight. The shape, the history, and the unusual combination of black enamel with multi-coloured gemstones made my heart sing. One day, I said to myself, one day this cuff will take pride of place in my jewellery box.Value for money Showstopper Durability Craftsmanship Investment GEMOLOGUE SCORE
Inspired by the Byzantine mosaic of Queen Theodora at the Italian basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Fulco designed a pair of these beautiful cuffs for Coco Chanel. They became part of her personal style and she wore them day and night. Now, to mark the 75th anniversary of Verdura, the Theodora Cuff has been recreated in this beautiful and iconic limited edition masterpiece. It truly is a groundbreaking design with its colourful collection of gemstones in all cuts and sizes.
When Fulco designed these cuffs for Chanel in the 1930s, he went against convention and broke the mold for jewellery design. This stylish pair, working together in Paris and traveling the world for inspiration, opened up new avenues for jewellery designers to explore.
Chanel was the most chic woman I ever met and the first person to ever take me seriously – Fulco
The exquisite setting of each of these gemstones is an example of true craftsmanship of a unique style. From Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo to Joan Fontaine and Joan Crawford, it’s no wonder Fulco caught the eye of every woman in Hollywood. Just like he caught the eye of this aspiring gemologist that day in Bergdorf Goodman. I’ll never forget that day.
Now that I have the rare opportunity to review this spectacular piece of Verdura fine jewellery up close, let me tell you, I feel like a celebrity, perhaps even like Queen Theodora herself! This modern cuff remains true to the original in size and shape, and frames the wrist exquisitely. The hefty weight of the enamel and the smooth feel of gold against my skin send shivers down my spine. It’s like slipping into a silk glove. I feel immediately transported back to 1930s Paris, and can envision Fulco in the upstairs room of Chanel’s atelier where it all began.
An investment piece, the Theodora Cuff is a limited series of 200, signed and numbered – truly a collector’s piece. The three centre gemstones – sapphire, emerald and amethyst – are surrounded by 31 gems of every shape and colour, including rubies, diamonds, aquamarines, garnets, citrines and periodots. The cuff body is black enamel over 18-karat gold fired at 1400 degrees for a durable and modern finish.
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and art direction by Liza Urla. All photos and videos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
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