Jewelry Designer Rona Pfeiffer Designs Exclusives For ‘Dark Shadows’
When jewelry designer Rona Pfeiffer got a call from Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood to talk about designing jewelry for a Tim Burton film, she called her Academy Award-nominated sister-in-law, Michelle Pfeiffer, naturally.
“I told my sister-in-law, ‘I have a 9 a.m. appointment with God!’” said Pfeiffer, referring to the much-celebrated Atwood.
The appointment with “God” apparently went swimmingly, as Pfeiffer’s jewelry makes an on-screen appearance in Burton’s new film Dark Shadows, premiering in theaters starting today.
The film, which is based on a vampire soap opera that aired on TV in the late ’60s, stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, a vampire resurrected in the glitzy disco age, and features sister-in-law Michelle, as Collins family matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.
Pfeiffer’s work is marked by her use of burnished metals, organic materials such as raw coral and lava rocks alongside raw rubies and rose-cut diamonds, which is how she caught the eye of friends and family, Michelle included.
But even with Hollywood connections, Pfeiffer was surprised when she was approached for Dark Shadows.
“Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood saw a few of my pieces on my sister-in-law,” said Pfeiffer. “Colleen and I spoke, and she showed me a costume for one of the characters, and I started creating. Meeting with Colleen, and showing her what I had created is something that I will never forget.”
But Jewelry wasn’t Pfeiffer’s first foray into the Hollywood scene: She started as an agent for film and television. But when daughter Audrey was working on a school project crafting key chains, Pfeiffer couldn’t resist getting involved. And of course, friends and family couldn’t get enough of her creations, prompting her to get shift her focus from films to jewelry.
“I really listen to my inner voice. My whole creativity comes from not being aware of trends. I love contradiction, extremes, and constant change,” said Pfieffer. “I always want to create what comes naturally, not what is already on the market or hinted at.”
With the expansion of her brand to include a special shop-in-shop in Elizabeth Charles’ New York flagship boutique and Rona’s burgeoning reputation as the jeweler du jour to Hollywood starlets and fashion mavens, she continues to expand her signature look.
Of the shop-in-shop, Pfeiffer said, “I really wanted it to feel as if you were in a little gallery in Paris. I love how it all came together.”
The one piece that Pfeiffer thinks everyone should have is her signature silhouette necklace, with a y-shape, inspired by the rosary (not vampire friendly). And though her display cases feature piles of bracelets and layers of necklaces, she makes every piece so that her customers can wear them alone. Pfeiffer is a proponent of eclecticism and sees the collection of jewelry as an organic process, not something that needs to be wrought out or complicated. For women who aren’t used to her maximalist leanings, she advises inching toward it.
“Start off slowly and pick what you are most comfortable wearing,” said Pfeiffer. “You will see how new additions become a little treasured collection in no time.”
As Pfeiffer continues to add heirloom-inspired pieces to her collection, she’s also keeping an eye out for possible collaborations with a clothing designer for a exclusive line. But for now, she’s looking to add a full men’s collection to her line. “My next line coming out will include jewelry for men,” said Pfeiffer. “I have special requests from a few cool guys. But now I am going to deliver a proper men’s line that is just a little bit wild.”
Rona Pfeiffer at Elizabeth Charles is located at 639 1/2 Hudson Street in New York City. For more information, visit www.ronapfeifferjewelry.com