Power To The Pythons
Jack Vartanian hadn’t been thinking of snakes, per se, when he began working on his Spring ’11 jewelry collection, the designer explained last night at an unveiling dinner at Le Charlot on the Upper East Side. But when he happened on a Brazilian rock, striated with epidote, which he turned into a chunky, faceted cocktail ring (above left), the combination of colors got him thinking. The stone resembled nothing so much as an abstracted python skin, and from it, the 25-piece Python collection was born. (Only part of it was on display last night, due to a customs snafu—snakes on a plane, indeed.) The pieces pick up on the theme of serpents—they’re prevalent in his native Brazil, Vartanian explained, where they symbolize the cycle of nature, birth and rebirth—in sapphire, black quartz, and that epidote stone. Snake heads became rings twining around fingers (above right), cuffs, earrings, and pendants, and the faceted cocktail ring found expression as a pair of dangling earrings, too. They were met with a hiss of approval by dinner guests like Zani Gugelmann, Bettina Prentice, and co-hostess Kate Young. But Vartanian’s best spokesperson has always been his wife, the gorgeous Brazilian model Cassia Avila. She sparkled in the new collection, looking every bit the serpentine beauty herself.