The Academy Awards don’t take place until Feb. 22 in Los Angeles, but the “Academy Awards of the jewelry industry” have come and gone! Jewelers of America presented its GEM Awards — honoring “the achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility of fine jewelry and watches” — last Friday at Cipriani in New York
I went to schmooze and drink Bellinis with Monica Stephenson of idazzle and Barbara Palumbo of Adornmentality, two of my Vegas Gems — the wimmin I hang out with at the big JCK trade show that takes place in Las Vegas in the summer. I wore a Zang Toi gown in Pantone’s 2015 color, Marsala.
What Wendy Wore
Dress: Zang Toi (acquired 2010)
Shoes: Prada (2010. They look like gold spots near the bottom of the gown.)
Jewelry: My own designs, of course!
Hair: Julie Matos of Warren-Tricomi at the Plaza
Makeup: Josie Torres
When I sent this photo to Zang, he told me the gown was from his Fall 2005 collection. I got it years later at one of his sample sales and wore it to my 2010 New Year’s Eve party.
I had no idea I was wearing this dress so close to its 10th birthday, and I love it! Especially because I recently wore a Versace dress and a Donald Brooks dress on the 10th anniversaries of my first outings in them. Check out those dresses and this one. They’re all very distinctive. I’m telling you, you don’t have to confine yourself to basics and black to wear something forever!
Anyway, as you can see from the photo below, I was delighted to find my Marsala match at the GEM awards in the form of velvet-jacketed Dallas Selsey, who is best described by Barbara in a must-read paragraph here. Seriously, go read that.
I didn’t think it was possible, but he looks even more stunning trying on my turquoise and ruby skull ring, does he not?
In addition to the skull ring, I wore a single Empress Wu dragon earring, which is a little obscured by my hair here.
On the other side, I wore one of the new studs I made to go with my FitzRoy the Cat earring jackets. This one is January’s birthstone, garnet, which goes well with “Marsala.”
By the way, if you’re a January baby — or need to buy a gift for one — I have one pair of beautifully colored garnet studs left. They’re set in 18K gold and if you’re interested in the price, holla at me at info at wendybrandes dot com. They’re not on the website as a stand-alone design yet.
An evening out with the Vegas Gems isn’t complete unless Barbara and I take a duckface selfie. I think this is our best effort so far!
Congrats to the GEM Award winners: Stephen Webster for design; supercool Detroit-based Shinola for marketing and communications; Claudia Mata of W Magazine for media excellence; and Larry Pelzel of Neiman Marcus for lifetime achievement. I’m looking forward to next year’s festivities already!