While her last name conjures up memories of the famous cubist painter Pablo Picasso, who is her father, Paloma Picasso is an artist in her own right. Designing jewelry pieces for Tiffany & Co. for more than three decades now, Picasso managed to escape the shadow cast by her famous father and still remain in a tangible medium of creativity. Like any artist’s road to fame and fortune, her story features accidental discoveries and chance connections.
Picasso started out her career as a costume designer. Making necklaces out of flea market finds, her first foray into jewelry design was such a hit that even fashion critics lauded the pieces. While they were little more than used rhinestones, it was this encouragement that propelled Picasso to earnestly study jewelry design. Her next creations were for Yves Saint Laurent and Zolotas.
After a brief hiatus from the business, Tiffany sought her out in 1979. Picasso did not just stick to jewelry, however. She also became known for her perfumes, accessories, home goods and cosmetics. Her first Tiffany designs had a distinct graffiti theme in both shape and coloration. It was the combination of unusual shapes and bold colors that turned Picasso into a household name. In her earlier years, the artisan was a fashion icon and perfectly modeled the pieces she designed.
Society and the jewelry-buying public took their clues from her when it came to the latest in haute couture and avant-garde chic. Her most famous pieces include a 408.63-carat moonstone bracelet that is currently in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, IL. Another celebrated piece is the Paloma Dove, which she designed for Tiffany in 2010. Although critics could have been tempted to compare it to Pablo Picasso’s famous rendition of the bird, Paloma Picasso ensured that her design was so different that these critics were silenced before the first comparison was ever made.
At this time, she creates about two lines per year and makes sketches when the mood hits her. Due to her home’s location in Morocco, there are plenty of lattice works and some tassels in her designs. Her current collection is the Olive Leaf, which features sterling silver pendants and drop earrings in the classic design of the olive tree’s branches and leaves. She also used the motif in a band ring and as an amethyst setting.
The metals used include sterling silver and white as well as yellow gold. Diamonds and pearls offset beautifully colored gemstones. These creations come as necklaces, pendants, bracelets rings and earrings. While the sterling silver are among the most affordable pieces in Picasso’s Olive line, the 18-karat gold cuff and matching drop earrings with diamonds are for the exclusive jewelry buyer who does not have to ask what the items cost.
Peter Suchy Jewelers is located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut and we are experts in vintage and estate jewelry—we hope you’ll visit our showroom.