Having made a name for herself as an esteemed fashion curator, Michelle Finamore has now teamed up with renowned jewelry collector Tiina Smith to launch a brand-new exhibition. Held at Tiina Smith Jewelry’s Boston gallery, Jewelry as Fashion as Jewelry traces the evolving relationship between 20th-century fashion and rare vintage jewels, and examines how the two continue to work in tandem in the present day.
Michelle Finamore has delved into the historic depths of Tiina Smith’s extensive collection to curate an exhibition of high fashion couture and accompanying jewelry, that embodies the eclectic nature of the 20th century. The exhibition will feature rare vintage pieces from a collection of esteemed fashion houses and jewelers including Chanel, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Tiffany & Co.
As celebrated in the exhibition, Coco Chanel was a pioneering figure in this artful blurring between clothing and jewelry, having been famously quoted as saying “I want to cover women in constellations” in 1932 in relation to her Bijoux des Diamant collection of the same year. Of course, Chanel was not the only fashion house to delve into the world of jewelry, with Dior and Schiaparelli also enlisting the help of jewelers to develop new collections.
Swarovksi embellished gloves; Van Kleef & Arpels diamond earrings and Chanel Cosmos diamond ring / ©Joel Benjamin
Michelle Finamore has delved into the historic depths of Tiina Smith’s extensive collection to curate an exhibition of high fashion couture and accompanying jewels / ©Tiina Smith Jewelry
Unlike museum exhibitions where jewelry must be viewed at a removed distance behind restrictive glass casing, many of the pieces in Jewelry as Fashion as Jewelry are displayed on full-length mannequins, inviting visitors to inspect every angle. This level of intimacy allows the jewels to comes to life; rather than appearing stationary and one dimensional, it’s possible to imagine how they would have looked when originally worn.
Jewelry as Fashion as Jewelry is the first exhibition Michelle Finamore has curated since leaving Boston Museum of Fine Art, where she worked as the Penny Vinik curator of fashion arts. Here, she elevated the museum’s international profile through groundbreaking exhibitions such as Gender Bending Fashion, which examined how fashion has challenged the gender binary throughout the last century.
With Covid-19 continuing to limit in-person events and gallery viewings, Tiina Smith Jewelry has ensured the exhibition is available to jewelry enthusiasts across the world with virtual viewing opportunities available online.
Jewelry as Fashion as Jewelry is on display until November 30th 2020 at Tiina Smith Jewelry, 121 Newbury Street, Boston MA 02116.