ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: DIAMOND SCRIPT
SOURCES: APTN/VNR COURTESY DE BEERS
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Title: Diamond fashion show
Date: January 18th 2000
In our ever more global, increasingly frenetic world, it's perhaps reassuring that the time-worn phrase, "diamonds are a girl's best friend" is still something many women consider to be an eternal truth. Unfortunately, but for the incredibly rich (or the famous with influence), very few women actually have the means to indulge their diamond fantasies. The long-established DE BEERS diamond company has created the perfect forum for an eye-watering collection of the very best in contemporary diamond design.
Held in Paris on January 18th underneath the jewel-like glass pyramid of the Louvre Museum, the DE BEERS DIAMONDS-INTERNATIONAL AWARDS honoured the most original and influential designs in fine diamond jewellery and featured the work of 29 designers from all over the world. Attending the truly glittering ceremony was French actress and "The World Is Not Enough" star, SOPHIE MARCEAU.
The winning designs were selected by an independent panel of judges including ANDRE LEON TALLEY (Editor-at-Large Vogue USA) and renowned American photographer, ALBERT WATSON.
Sixteen countries were represented in the awards from Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil and Mexico to France, the United Arab Emirates and the U.K. Japanese designers featured especially heavily with five award-winning designs, followed by Italy, Brazil and India with three and France and South Africa with two.
Contestants were asked to create special pieces for the new millennium and rose to the challenge, using a massive 47,000 diamonds weighing a total of 2,000 carats. The diamond creations were beautifully showcased in a catwalk show which featured French model cum actress, LAETITIA CASTA, of "Asterix and Obelix" fame and the current "Marianne" of France.
All 29 designers were flown in for the occasion ; among them, the South African winner, KEVIN FRIEDMAN, who based his brightly coloured choker necklace on the geometric designs of the Ndebele women.
Encouraged by his father (also a jeweller), to experiment with the craft, Friedman was doing cuttlefish casting from the age of seven and window display and jewellery design from the age of fourteen.
He holds a diploma from the Gemmological Institute of America and has been a full time designer and director of the jewellery company, Frankli Wild since 1990.
In 1993, Friedman started working with the Ndebele women, inspired by the bright colours in their lives and their warm personalities, and has set up a sustainable economic association with them, in which they are empowered rather than exploited.
Combining the essence of Africa with design ability, Kevin's creations are marketed in twenty-two countries. His award-winning choker is a mixture of bead work (done by the Ndebele women) and intricate diamond work. The price tag? A mere $US200,000...
Also basking in the glow of his own, rather large diamond creation was Canadian designer, DIETER HUEBNER. Inspired by the sight of stellar galaxies and twinkling spider webs, Huebner's winning piece was designed to depict a diamond, cloth-like neck wrap, much like a loosely folded scarf wrapped about the neck.
A master Gold and Silversmith, he graduated from the Jewellery Arts Program at George Brown College in Toronto and went onto become an apprentice to Keller & Co in Germany where he earned his Master Goldsmith Diploma. Returning to Canada in 1976, Dieter became Teaching Master at Humber College and taught Metal Arts, Gold and Silversmithing. He is currently working as a freelance designer for Brinkhaus Jewellers, one of Canada's finest jewellers.
All of the contestants were able to design and make their creations thanks to generous sponsorship from various individuals and jewellery companies.
Now that the big night is over, the collection will tour the sixteen countries from whence the designers hail before being offered for sale.
De Beers, which has been at the forefront of the diamond industry since 1888, founded the Diamonds-International Awards competition in 1953 to stimulate creativity and innovation. The winning pieces act for the jewellery industry as the Haute Couture works for the fashion world, and influence the market place for years to come.
For more information please contact De Beer's Diamond Information Centre in London on 0044.(0)20.7404.4444 or fax 00.44.(0) 20.7430.3166.
SHOTLIST: WS PYRAMID, PARIS AT NIGHT ; PULL DOWN FROM SIGN FOR SHOW TO WS ARENA ; ARRIVAL SOPHIE MARCEAU ; CA PRESS ; SOT MARCEAU ; B-ROLL ANTHONY OPPENHEIMER (PRESIDENT OF DEBEERS CENTRAL SELLING ORGANISATION) WITH JAPANESE TV PERSONALITY ; SOT ANTHONY OPPENHEIMER ; EXTRACT FROM FASHION SHOW ; SOT DIETER HUEBNER, CANADIAN DESIGNER ; CU CANADIAN WORK ; EXTRACT FROM SHOW ; CU SOUTH AFRICAN DESIGN ; B-ROLL ARTISTS AND HOUSE IN SOUTH AFRICA ; DESIGNER MAKING JEWELLERY CU JEWELLERY ; SOT KEVIN FRIEDMAN (DESIGNER) ; CU NECKLACE ;SOT KEVIN FRIEDMAN ; FILE FOOTAGE MISS UNIVERSE (FROM BOTSWANA) ; LAETITIA CASTA ON CATWALK ; VS MODELS ON CATWALK.?