Today my dear friend Jeanne Chan is guest writing a post for me. Some of you may recognize Jeanne from the blog and she recently had the opportunity to lunch with Ippolita Rostagno at the Stanford Neiman Marcus. Ippolita creates gorgeous jewelry that has a cult following, especially in the Bay Area. Jeanne has been a longtime customer and was personally invited to meet her and see her latest collection. She graciously agreed to write about this cool event for us...Photos and text by Jeanne..
“Neiman Marcus invites you to meet jewelry designer IPPOLITA for a private luncheon…” Wow sign me up! I did not need to think twice when I received this invitation in the mail.
In an intimate setting at the Stanford Neiman Marcus, two tables were beautifully set with champagne, filet mignon salad and beautiful chocolate desserts. We enjoyed hearing Ippolita talk about her background and her dedication to learning everything about how to create her beautiful jewelry. She is hands-on with her craft. Building on her education in sculpture, she went on to study metals, melted and poured into body sculpted wax molds that became bangles and links for her necklaces. Ippolita traveled to Thailand to study with master stone-cutters so she could incorporate gemstones in her designs. I so admire her commitment to learning her craft and creating her unique, timeless and beautiful designs.
Jeanne second from left with Ippolita.
Jewelry designer Ippolita Rostagno was born and raised in the hills above Florence, Italy. She is the daughter of an American artist mother and an Italian father who spent her childhood surrounded by Renaissance art and architecture, seeing first hand the meaning of true craftsmanship. Earning her Baccalaureate in sculpture from the Istituto D’Arte in Florence, Ippolita’s commitment to the craftsmanship of design pieces is reflected in her stunning jewelry pieces.
Each of Ippolita’s designs is unique, with an organic quality. They’re smooth and flowing, each necklace, bangle and ring feeling as if it were made just for you. The sculptural quality of her jewelry comes from the fact that each piece is made by hand, hand cast from original wax sculptures; formed and soldered by hand. Each gemstone is hand-cut, with facets that are pleasing to the eye and touch rather than in cookie cutter uniformity.
When I wear my Ippolita jewelry, I know I’m wearing a piece of quality, crafted art. I love Ippolita’s design philosophy: “Cool enough to be coveted, classic enough to be kept.” And it shows! Every piece Ippolita crafts has to be in harmony with her design philosophy or she says she will not create it. The long gold necklace Ippolita wore to the luncheon is a piece she has worn for over 20 years. The jewelry itself is very much a reflection of Ippolita the artist. Ahh, perhaps that’s the reason I love her jewelry so much… let me wear my bangles, necklaces and rings, and I’m instantly cool and classic!
Thanks Jeanne for letting us peak into the world of Ippolita! The more I know about the materials and how they are shaped by human hands they are even more lovely to me. They seem like pieces you'd have forever and I like that. Just shopping the NM site there is so many beautiful items from the collection to fall in love with.
A few of my favorites:
Ippolita's collection is primarily 18k gold with some sterling and rose gold sterling, like the ring above. Impolite jewels can be found at Neiman's at Stanford and also online at their Ippolita page.
There is also a fun little clip of Ippolita at home on the Neimans' site.
Do any of you own Ippolita jewelry? I know many are fans of her special brand of style.