“. . . both love letter and ode to the brand, the man, the legend.”
In common parlance of the day . . . OMG! OMG! OMG! There have not been a lot of times when I’ve fervently wished a review could be accompanied by photographs, for words are inadequate in a discussion of jewelry of this caliber.
Harry Winston is both love letter and ode to the brand, the man, the legend. This flawlessly presented volume is filled with bon mots from Harry Winston as well as facts of his life and the enduring dreams surrounding his creativity.
Here’s a juicy bit of gossip about the jeweler. Harry Winston was forbidden by his insurer, Lloyds of London, to show his face in the press as they believed the exposure was dangerous for him—and his business.
He was a man whose passion—for gemstones in general and diamonds in particular—is so far unrivaled. His excruciatingly exquisite designs remain so distinctively Harry Winston that one can recognize even a new piece as belonging to the brand.
In its 80 years of existence, this eponymous brand has become the standard by which all others are measured. Another little known fact: His passion and fervor were not solely focused on the finished product of cut stones or completed designs; the man would get giddy with delight when he bought huge uncut diamonds, literally gambling as to whether or not they could be cut deftly enough to survive the initial split.
Mr. Winston was also, by all accounts, a superbly gifted businessman as well as an extraordinarily intuitive gemologist when it came to finding huge, uncut rocks.
Because of Mr. Winston’s social relationships with David Selznick, the Harry Winston brand was the first to loan diamonds for an Academy Awards presentation. As if anyone needs to be reminded of Marilyn Monroe cooing “Talk to me, Harry Winston,” indelibly etching the name in the minds of generations of moviegoers and aficionados. Talk about one of the greatest PR coups!
Aesthetically speaking, Harry Winston is a coffee table book extraordinaire. The information contained herein could not possibly be any more stimulating. My single reservation is that the foreword would have been far more potent and apropos if written by someone who actually owns pieces of the jewelry or has some real insight into it, rather than Mr. Talley, whose vapid words do little but advertise the brand in a very pedestrian fashion.
Finally, you ask if this book is a gift of note . . . the reply is simply . . . YES! and OMG!