Jim Haag, director of Verdura jewelry, famous for designing works for Coco Chanel and Greta Garbo, gave a presentation about the jeweler and its history at the Phoenix art museum on Wednesday.
The presentation was hosted by the Arizona Costume Institute with the help of Neiman Marcus. The timing was perfect, just a week before the Oscars and the day before Valentine’s Day.
Haag has partnered with jeweler Harry Winston in the past to help celebrities accessorize for the Oscars.
Haag worked for Harry Winston for 10 years before getting hired as Verdura’s director. Haag said he is still amazed by the jewelry house’s history.
The founder of the company, Fulco di Verdura, was a Sicilian native and raised on the countryside in Palermo, Italy. According to Haag, Verdura hung out with American composer and songwriter, Cole Porter. Through him, he got to know Coco Chanel and later became her lead jewelry designer. His designs are highly recognizable, as Chanel’s custom Maltese brooches and cuffs.
Verdura is an iconic symbol and a highly prized possession among Hollywood socialites and royalty, Haag said. Verdura designs have been worn by Katherine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo.
Today, Verdura is notable on the red carpet through celebrities that embody the spirit of the classy ladies who made the bold choice and chose his designs. These women include Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz and Brooke Shields.
The event was made possible by the Arizona Costume Institute, whcih puts on events every second Wednesday of the month at the Phoenix Art Museum. The events are free with museum admission.
The next event will be “First Friday Opening Reception Fashion’s New Prints” on Friday, March 1 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event will feature a fashion exhibition of works focusing on digital printing technologies used by contemporary designers.
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