French-Spanish • 1949
Owner of one of the most famous names in the world, Paloma Picasso brought her bold, graphic, colour-block style to Tiffany & Co in 1980, at the start of the post-feminist decade of power-dressing and statement jewels. The daughter of two artists, Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot, Paloma Picasso spent her childhood in Paris and the South of France, surrounded by artists and immersed in the intellectual zeitgeist. She was brought into the Tiffany fold by design director John Loring, who had known her since she was l6, when he met her at Peggy Guggenheim’s house in Venice. he had kept a close eye on her development as a designer. He first invited Ms. Picasso to present a table setting at a Tiffany exhibition and later that year she was announced as the next and newest Tiffany named designer.
Paloma studied design at the Université de Paris in Nanterre and designed jewelled theatrical costumes, and worked for the Greek jeweller Zolotas in Athens, as well as for Yves Saint Laurent in Paris for whom she created fashion jewels. By the time she joined Tiffany, her own style was well defined: graphic, spontaneous, emulating the sketches she had made since childhood, and revelling in material: in warm, ‘cocooning’ yellow gold, and monumental, powerful coloured gems. She tells how her innate artist’s sense of colour and light was stimulated by Tiffany’s vast array of coloured stones, which she first encountered on a gem-laden boardroom table, at one of her early meetings. She was also fashion-oriented, her personal look highly stylised, strong, chic, bold, distinctive, and uncompromising At a time when New York’s ever-present, ever-escalating graffiti was labelled as vandalism, Picasso’s themes were inspired by its energy and spontaneity, by hand-written messages and their meanings: the “X” for love and kisses, scribbles, doodles, lightning-like zigzags.