Every girl who loves jewelry needs her Elizabeth Taylor moment. This photo shoot was mine.
Screen icon Elizabeth Taylor was known for her love of fine jewelry, and her knowledge about precious stones. She collected big, exotic stones and the histories that accompanied them. In preparation for the January launch of one of my new ventures, TCH Collection – Lush Decadence Couture Jewelry at Galerie Vauclair in Paris, photographer Susan Ollmann captured me in Galerie Vauclair. The Paris collection features my own jewelry designs as well as pedigreed vintage pieces from Ara. But we’re not just in Paris… we’re in London, Dubai, Bangkok, Amsterdam, High Point and beyond!
When planning the photo shoot I conceptualized a tantalizing environment that illustrates the essence of my life…. naturally I called upon my friends at Fromental to help make that vision a reality. #WatchThisSpace to see pics of how they along with my colleague Chiara Zanella took the design inspiration that was in my mind and transformed Galerie Vauclair into my reality.
At times my life can seem one step beyond reality – this photo shoot is my invitation for you to join me in this world I inhabit – Lush Decadence.
Our Paris pop-up shop at Galerie Vauclair debuts the TCH Collection during Paris Design Week and Paris Couture Fashion Week. Lounging on a red chaise longue surrounded by an exotic and tropical setting I felt like more than a Diva, I felt like Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra!
My jewelry collection is inspired by my travels and love of antiques. I incorporate aspects of nature in my pieces. All of this combined to make Galerie Vauclair the ideal setting to officially launch the TCH Collection in a Paris pop-up shop. Laurence and Denis Vauclair-Rouquette, the founder of Galerie Vauclair, have developed a reputation for being at the epicenter of artistic life in Paris; their exhibitions offer a blend of originality, fantasy and glamour – the very qualities I want the Lush Decadence to bring to the women and men who collect it.
The TCH Collection offers one-of-a-kind, bespoke semi-precious and precious couture jewelry. All pieces in the collection are handmade and personally designed by me and my business partner, May Au of Madame Siam. Our studio accepts personalizations to pieces in the collection and custom designs, which we translate into wearable art.
I admit it: I’m a jewelry addict, and my first collection features rings:
“Rings are my favorite accessory. They are the thing I wear for myself. When I wear a ring I see it all day long, typing on my computer, driving my car or enjoying a cocktail.
Just 10 years ago De Beers launched an advertising campaign, ‘Women of the World Raise your Right Hand’. The promotion signified power and independence, and encouraged women to buy jewelry for themselves.
Naming each ring is an important part of my design process – two of my personal favorites in the collection are I Believe I Can Fly and The Diva Knuckle Buster. I want to continue that message of personal empowerment — at a price that is affordable luxury.”
The TCH Collection Paris pop-up show will debut during Paris Design Week in January 2018, with a series of launch events at Galerie Vauclair:
TCH Collection – Lush Decadence
Couture Jewelry by Toma Clark Haines
PARIS • LONDON • AMSTERDAM • VENICE • DUBAI • BANGKOK • NEW YORK
Lush Decadence: A Conversation with Vogue Contributing Editor Lynn Yaeger
6 – 8pm January 17, 2018
Afternoon Tea with Toma Clark Haines & Laurence Vauclair
2 – 4pm, January 18, 2018
Vernissage: Une Américain à Paris
6 – 8 pm January 19, 2018
TCH Collection Pop-Up Shop:
January 17 – March 18, 2018
24 rue de Beaune
75007 Paris France
Galleries carrying the TCH Collection include:
- London at Scarab Antiques
- Amsterdam at Mariska Meijers
- Dubai at Siimoodi Jewellery
- Bangkok at Paul’s Antiques
- High Point, NC – HPADC by Donnie Grissom Collection
Negotiations are underway for distributors in New York City, Miami/Key West, Dallas and San Francisco. To become a distributor contact me: toma@TCHcollection.com.
To view select pieces and to learn more about the TCH Collection – Lush Decadence Couture Jewelry by Toma Clark Haines read the press release, or follow us:
Toma – #JewelryAddict
Toma Clark Haines wearing I Believe I Can Fly: Signature Piece of the TCH Collection
Photo Credit Susanna Ollmann, Ollmann Creative
I have a secret. It’s my super power. I can fly. Or at least I believe I can fly. As a child my parents always encouraged me. You can do whatever you set your mind to. They gave me roots and they gave me wings. And because they believed in me, I believed in me.
I sometimes think I must not have been like other kids. When a school teacher asked us to draw where we were going to live when grew up – my classmates drew pictures of white A-frame houses with 2 windows and a door. I drew a palazzo with neo-gothic windows and a gondola parked out front. And when my teacher said… “But Toma no one really lives in Venice…” Little 6 year old me said, “Don’t be ridiculous… of course, they do.”
Incidentally, as an adult two of my Diva Guides Chiara and Orseola live in Venice (and yes… Dear Kindergarten Teacher… the city has a population of 40,000 residents). Now I travel to Venice 6 or 7 times a year for work and pleasure (because really work in Venice is actually pleasure) and through my job as CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co I travel the world – Venice and beyond.
As a child that was my fantasy. To be a traveler. I would sit on the floor behind my fathers LazyBoy perusing a stack of National Geographics. I didn’t just study the far away places – but the clothes people wore, their accessories. I still remember the Long Neck Susans, that tribe in Thailand with elongated necks stacked high with necklace after necklaces. And fabulous chunky ethnic necklaces dangling on midnight black skin between bare breasts as a child suckled somewhere in the Congo. I snuck in the room to watch Dallas with my mother and didn’t just love the high fashion (and hair) but also the giant rocks and baubles. A diamond is forever, even if JR isn’t.
In university I studied abroad in London – I realized I couldn’t buy all the big pieces I wanted to commemorate my travels… but I could buy jewelry. It was small. Perfectly packable. Later when I would be complimented on my accessories, I would say “Thank you. I bought it in London.” Jewelry became a way of talking about my travels. The diva version of the souvenir t-shirt… And it also became an expression of me.
I love earrings and necklaces – the bigger the better. But once I put them on… I never see them again. I wear them for other people to see. But when I wear rings, I personally am able to enjoy them. All day long, whether I’m driving in my car, taking notes at a meeting, working on my laptop, or simply lingering at the end of the day over a cocktail… I see my hands.
I wear rings for me.
As many of you know I’m in a time of transition in my personal life… A time when some unexpected things have happened that I didn’t plan and I am learning how to respond and adapt to changing life circumstances. One of the things I’ve taken time to reflect on is what do I really want out of life. I love my job at The Antiques Diva & Co – and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. But somehow I want something more. Sometimes perhaps I’ve felt lost behind The Antiques Diva. The Antiques Diva is a persona, based very clearly on me and my most exaggerated traits – but The Diva is ultimately a brand. I am Toma Clark Haines.
Since I was a child I’ve wanted to be a jewelry designer. Pre-Pinterest I’ve torn images from magazines that inspired me. I’ve sketched designs on napkins when I’m sitting in a cafe and see a broach on the woman at the table next to me. Or have imagined drawer pulls as earrings. And I’ve bought vintage pieces and pondered how I could adapt necklaces to be the perfect length. This January 2018 I will be officially launching a new business in conjunction with The Antiques Diva & Co – the TCH COLLECTION – my very own jewelry line based upon years of being a traveling fashionista. Working with some of our favorite antique dealers, interior design showrooms and concept stores selling our line of jewelry cross promoting with our current following in the antique arena.
Jewelry Photography by José Manuel Alorda
In taking the decision to launch a second business I am taking a chance –– a gamble – on something new. The one thing I have learned as CEO of my core company – The Antiques Diva & Co – is that there is only one secret to success. In order to be successful you simply have to keep on doing whatever it is you do. Success comes to those who are willing to first take a step forward. Success stays with those who keep stepping forward every day.
If you’re shopping Antiques for Everyone in England this week – stop by and see the collection first hand. (pun intended).
ANTIQUES FOR EVERYONE
Antiques for Everyone is the largest and most established vetted art, interiors and antiques fair outside of London. Buy with confidence from an inspiring array of eclectic categories of beautiful, unusual and rare objects from antiquity to the present day.
The Summer Antiques for Everyone Fair is taking place Thursday 20 – Sunday 23 July 2017
Dear Diva Readers,
Christie’s is offering a special ONLINE ONLY sale December 3 – 17, 2011. More than 2,000 items, estimated between $100 and $10,000, are up for grabs in the online sale. The only real question is what to choose? When Taylor was asked what she would tell someone to buy if they could only own three pieces of jewelry, she said: “Start with a glamorous ring and earrings, I’d say. They are the basics for me. A pair of long, drippy chandelier earrings…diamond, of course. A beautiful pin is an add-on…or a necklace. Oh God, I also love bracelets!”’m starting to hyperventilate… breathing is becoming difficult and I feel all sweaty. In just a few short days the Elizabeth Taylor collection is coming up at auction!
Since 2006, Christie’s has offered its clients the convenience of bidding online in real-time in all of its auctions worldwide, but the upcoming sales mark the first time that the storied auction house will host an exclusively online addition to a private collection.
The online sale complements four days of back-to-back live auctions of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor that begin on December 13 with the film star’s most iconic jewels, and continues through December 16 with additional auctions of fine jewelry, fashion, accessories, decorative arts and film memorabilia.
Given the incredible depth of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection – dubbed “The Crown Jewels of Hollywood” – Christie’s has hand-selected over 500 pieces of fine and costume jewelry for the online-only sale, including exceptional Art Deco-era jewelry, and an array of signed jewels by Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, and Ruser, among others. This vast selection is reflective of Elizabeth Taylor’s lifelong love affair with jewelry in all its forms. Her most iconic of jewels will be featured in the live auctions on December 13 and 14 and the online sale will be comprised her many cherished “everyday” adornments of designer and costume earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, and brooches.
Of course, what Elizabeth Taylor considered everyday might be a little different than what you and I deem “day wear”! Did you know Elizabeth Taylor swam in a vintage diamond tiara? Legend has it that 3 months into her marriage to Michael Todd, the producer came home to the villa they’d rented outside Monte Carlo to discover Elizabeth swimming laps while wearing a tiara her third husband had given saying, “You’re my queen”.
And if the thought of having access to Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry is not enough… fashion will also be for sale!
More than 400 pieces from the houses of Chanel, Dior, Halston, Hermès, Oscar de la Renta, Tiziani, Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent will be available. Fashionistas and fans alike will be delighted by the scores of meticulously-maintained designer handbags, including 22 spectacular bags by Dior and Valentino and a range of luxury accessories by Cartier, Christian Louboutin, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Manolo Blahnik and Prada, among others.
Enough writing about the sale, I’m off to browse the Christie’s websites for their Online Elizabeth Taylor Sale!
The Antiques Diva®
THE CONTESSA WRITES:
Pop Quiz……What do Limoges, Gucci, Carpodiamonte, Lenox and Wedgewood all have in common? The answer is twofold….1) They are top notch brands of luxury items and 2) They are all items that I have bought at rummage sales!
Rummage sales as they are known in the USA (jumble sales in the UK) are usually held by churches or civic organizations to raise money for a particular project. The members of the group donate all sorts of items that are then laid out for sale, usually in a church hall. Now, here’s the ticket….a lot of people who do not know the value of things or who are elderly and wanting to downsize donate marvelous goods. You can find incredible items for a song! Most of the time the sale is just a one day affair and at the end of the day, the people running the sale just want the stuff gone. This is a great time to make trip number 2 of the day to the sale.
Let me explain. Always, always go to a rummage sale when they first open and scope out the entire sale (I usually skip clothing but you can pick up some designer duds if you are a popular size). If you find something that catches your eye, pick it up and carry it around with you. There is nothing worse than coming back for an item you were considering only to find it gone. If you change your mind you can always put it back. I always first head for the jewelry. A few years ago, I got a beautiful sterling silver brooch with semi-precious stones handmade in Israel for $2. I still to this day have it and I love to tell the tale of where I got it. I then check out all the house wares and miscellaneous goods. That is where I have found the most treasures. Recently I picked up a Limoges tea pot for $3, a sterling silver candy dish for ten cents and a Gucci tote bag for $2. I finish up with purses and books. I rarely come out empty handed and on more occasions than not, have found something really special.
Now about the second return to the sale – a lot of times they will have a bag sale. That’s where you buy a bag for a dollar and everything you can stuff in that bag is yours. One church recently had a sale where if you bought two bags, they gave you a third. Luckily, I was the first one there that morning and completely wiped out the jewelry section in one bag. I love taking it all home and then going through it piece by piece to determine which goes in my jewelry box, which goes in the trash and which can be re-sold at one of my sales. Another bag held about 6 pieces of luster ware, not something to my taste but very collectible none-the-less and there is
a market for it. Bag sales rock!
And while we’re on the subject of rummage sales, don’t over look thrift stores either! Here in upstate New York where I’m from, we have several really good ones. One of my favorites has a half price sale every Wednesday. Everything in the store is half of what it’s marked. Yes, there are days that turn up nothing but it’s fun to look none-the-less. The Goodwill stores here in upstate NY have a dollar sale every Sunday. Clothing that has been there more than a week is tagged with a special tag and it’s only $1. I’m an odd size so I don’t make out good on this one but I know one man who walked out with a Giorgio Armani suit for $1. Bargains like that cannot and should not be passed up! I find the fun is in the searching and then discovering a treasure.
But enough of that for now….. I have to go and clean the Wedgewood I just brought home that I paid a dollar for!
– In Salt Lake City…..Deseret Industries
– In Lancaster Co, PA. …..Jubilee (run by the Mennonites)
– In Troy, NY……The Salvation Army
– In Bennington, VT…..The Goodwill Center
– In Cape Cod….during the tourist season, you are likely to find a yard sale on every street!
* Many of the photos in today’s blog come from Bowling Trophy – a blog devoted to answering the question “Trash or Treasure?” Check out: bowlingtrophy.wordpress.com.