Paloma Picasso releases her newest collection for the world-famous Tiffany & Co. — and pays tribute to her lifelong love affair with Italy’s City of Canals.Paloma Picasso’s career as a jewelry designer began 40 years ago with rhinestone necklaces made from flea market finds. People noticed, including fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, who tapped her to design accessories for him. Then, in 1980, Picasso, who is the youngest daughter of the artist Pablo Picasso and painter/writer Françoise Gilot, was asked to create a line for Tiffany & Co. The rest, as they say, is history. Last year, she celebrated her 30th anniversary designing for the renowned company famous for its little blue boxes (among other things).
Now, Picasso is introducing a new collection, Paloma’s Venezia, inspired by the Italian city of Venice, which she has frequented since she was a teen. Reflective of such details as ornate cast-iron gates outside of the grand palazzos, lanterns suspended from vaulted ceilings of Venetian landmarks and the city’s gondola mooring poles, the line, which offers more than 75 styles in four themes, is distinctly Paloma Picasso. Here, she shares her insights on her muse, the City of Canals.
American Way: What is your history with the city of Venice?
Paloma Picasso: I’ve been visiting Venice from the time I was a teenager. I developed a particular fascination for the city’s canals and bridges, palazzos and great public squares. Venice is a city I feel at home in, and I particularly love it at night, when I have it to myself.
AW: You also have a collection that was inspired by the city of Marrakech. Do you find any similarities between it and Venice?
PP: Venice and Marrakech have a magical atmosphere that draws you in and leads you to fall in love with them. Each city is, of course, revered for its rich history, culture and beauty, as well as for its most delicious cuisine.
AW: What are some of your favorite places in Venice?
PP: I’m humbled by the exquisite beauty of [its] many churches and cathedrals — the basilicas Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, San Marco and La Salute. I love the romance and movement that springs forth from the canals. I enjoy wandering through galleries and museums, especially the Guggenheim and Fortuny, and visiting the classical shipyards that still make wooden boats to take us around the enchanted Venetian islands.
AW: How did you choose Venice as the inspiration, or basis, for the new collection for Tiffany?
PP: The shapes, colors, textures and symbols that are found in the wonderful architecture and decorative objects around [the city].
It’s all In the Details
Paloma Picasso weighs in on the specific elements of Venice — from the city’s architecture to its flora, fauna and art — that inspired the design of her newest collection.
“Stella combines an eight-prong-star motif found on the lion sculptures at the Basilica San Marco with the arches of the balustrades, prominent in Venetian architecture. These elements are shaped into shining gold stars on a background of blue enamel, and bangles and earrings in precious metals are patterned after the elegant arches.”
“Luce celebrates the perpetual movement of the light on the laguna and the canals.”
“Goldoni is based on the ornate cast-iron gates that offer glimpses through the windows and into the courtyards of the city’s grand palazzos. These pieces capture the opulence of the gates and beyond with jewelry featuring an intricate scrollwork motif.”