RSVIP: Jewelry Scion Evan Yurman Shines at Glittering Sloan-Kettering Gala
America may find the vacuous catfights between Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City" entertaining, but meanwhile, the true socials of New York quietly continue fund-raising for worthy causes such as The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. On May 18, in the ballroom at the Pierre Hotel, they did so with great style, brightened by considerable gems.In fact, the hosts of this third annual gala, designer Tory Burch and her close pal Jamie Tisch, proved so popular that the event sold out before invitations were posted in the mail. Wearing chunky, rosy-red Rubellite chandelier earrings, sunny blonde co-chair Shelley Carr spoke of Yurman's support. "He started as a sculptor, and now his son Evan just helped to open a fabulous townhouse store on Madison," she offered. "I told them I was wearing blue, so they wanted to go with pink Rubellite earrings and ring and bracelets from Yurman's new lattice series."
Evan Yurman, who loaned the statement jewelry, acted like a star magnet in the ballroom. "I studied Italian Renaissance literature and photography," said Yurman's strapping son, also trained as a blacksmith, filling in for Dad that night. The artisan with reddish facial scruff, a skinny straight black tie, and unruly natural curls, told Luxist, "I love analyzing the historic apparel of decadent eras, the wants of jewelry patrons. Rubellite can come from the U.S., Nigeria, and Afghanistan, depending on the different colors of pink that you're looking for . . . [designing with them] can be like painting."
According to young Yurman, co-chair Heather Leeds had on "Prasiolite drop earrings. . . part of our couture collection." Leeds kept her hair up that night to reveal the luminous stones. "I was trying to pick jewelry created with our spring ball colors, either green or purple," she said. "And there were so many beautiful choices."
Mary J. Blige, who performed at the event, wore her golden hair freshly snipped into a honey-striped bob. According to Evan, Blige had on a Yurman's signature Albion ring that matched her hair. "She owns that one," he said of the ring. "She's one of our greatest clients."
"I have a lot of David Yurman chains and rings that I bought at Neiman Marcus," added Blige. And she enjoys mixing in the work of other jewelers; she also had on large cuff with a flower created in sparkling stones, by her friend Lorraine Schwartz.
The lone gent in gems at the gala was Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 who wore two dark stud earrings. "They are black diamonds that I got from XIV Karats [LTD] in Beverly Hills," indicated his wife, Marisol. And cash-register heiress Marjorie Gubelmann wore a meaty necklace by the Italian aristocrat Fulco di Verdura, an Italian duke who was Coco de Chanel's favorite jewelry designer. But Gubelmann also sang Yurman's praises. "He makes jewelry that can go from day to night," she said. "And he has borne the test of time."
Still other guests wore other designers. "Yes, I'm a fan of Yurman," said Law and Order actor Chris Meloni's wife, Sherman, "but Chris got me this bracelet from Lorenz Baumer in Paris. It has my name and the names of all of our kids with the word 'love' in between each name in gold and pavé."
Tamara Mellon, who founded Jimmy Choo shoes, had on a sexy, low-cut red dress by Valentino with earrings by Lorraine Schwartz tucked into her tresses. Meanwhile, coiffeur to the stars Frederic Fekkai's wife, Shirin von Wulfen, wore head-to-toe Dolce and Gabbana, including the dangling earrings. "I was inspired by Madonna's Brazilian ad campaign," she said.
In keeping with the bright gems, the ballroom at the Pierre had been transformed by fete designer Bronson Van Wyck, who said that the colorful paper butterflies "on strings swarming over the tables" were meant to suggest "spring and rebirth."
Mary J. Blige, who mentioned that she is learning French to play Nina Simone in an upcoming film, later belted out an emotional "No More Drama" and "Stairway to Heaven." The chanteuse lauded Yurman for supporting cause: "Anything that's going to save lives means a lot to me."