The exhibit opens on June 25, 2013 (see link below for details) and officially runs through Sept. 22, but it's reported that a portion of the collection will remain on display through Jan. 11, 2014. And while it features only a fraction of Berger’s vast collection, most of those 450 of the pieces slated for the display are real beauties sure to please not only fellow collectors, but those who appreciate adornment, fashion, artistry and design. For those who can’t make it to New York to see the demi-collection personally, a new book also provides a glimpse into Berger’s collecting world filled with equal parts of elegance and whimsy.
About the Book Accompanying the Exhibit
Although the photos expertly shot by Pablo Esteva definitely play a major part of the appeal here, the text accompanying the illustrations provides insight into the heart of a collector drawn to beautiful things. The forward from Iris Apfel, a fashion icon and revered personality in her own right, imparts true excitement about Berger’s friendship and the jewelry being shared with others through these projects.
Berger’s own words take you deeper into the psyche of a woman who has been surrounded by diamonds her entire life, and expounds on her choice to purchase costume jewelry and build those acquisitions into a enviable collection. She also shares some of her "personal jewelry rules" including the wisdom of mixing fine jewelry with costume, and the directive to always wear earrings or risk being under-dressed. She also encourages making a bold statement by wearing jewelry with confidence rather than allowing it to wear you.
Jewelry Information Included in the Book
Those perusing the book with a penchant for artistry and design won’t be disappointed in the photography. Many of the photos were, in fact, created with an artistic eye. But, from the collector’s viewpoint, some of the images leave you longing to see the entire piece rather than an artsy glimpse. This is, perhaps, is an invitation to see the collection in all its glory, but just a tad disappointing for the true costume jewelry enthusiast none-the-less.
The section on Chanel offers rarely seen selections and jewelry made by Maison Gripoix is an excellent accompaniment, since Gripoix is well known for providing glass elements to Chanel. We also learn in her intro that Berger’s obsession with costume jewelry began when she was merely 13 after purchasing a pair of Chanel earrings at a Parisian flea market.
One of the highlights for researchers is a pictorial back-of-the-book thumbnail index referencing every piece shown in the manuscript. This will come in very handy for anyone lucky enough to find a piece thought to be depicted in the book, or even a similar example, especially if it’s an unmarked piece. No more leafing through hundreds of pages, just refer to the handy illustrated index.
All in all, whether you’re a devoted collector or have a related interest in adornment, this book is like taking a bus tour of Hollywood mansions. You probably won’t ever have the opportunity to own pieces similar to those cataloged here, but you can still enjoy the view. And if you can’t make it to the New York showing of the collection, it’s true that photos are the next best thing to being there.