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Shiny Happy People

Jewelry genius David Yurman’s new collection continues to sate the human instinct for adornment.

David Yurman

Wearing gem-­studded rings and dramatic gold necklaces won’t keep you warm in the winter or shade your face in the summer sun. But according to jewelry designer David Yurman, humans may be hardwired in their desire to deck themselves with baubles. “I think everyone, particularly women, has it in their DNA to gravitate toward adornment,” says Yurman, who boasts eponymous boutiques in both Tysons Galleria and CityCenterDC. “Since cave people used chalk on walls to tell a story, women have been wearing amulets and charms.”

Yurman, who was in town recently to showcase a new line, Solari, got his start as a metal sculptor in the 1960s and 1970s. He now turns out rings, cuffs and other shapely bling that modern goddesses (and a few gods) crave. Perhaps most iconic among them are his Cable bracelets, which connect a swirl of elegantly twisted metal with cabochons, intricate clasps or diamonds. The look is at once timeless and contemporary. “I’m tied to classics—the myths, images and emotions linked to objects of beauty,” he says. Yurman’s colorful pieces are rooted in longtime traditions: Albion cocktail rings that look like contemporary iterations of ancient Roman baubles, and men’s silver cufflinks embossed with bees.

But Yurman, despite being in business since 1980, is always looking forward, as evidenced by his latest collection. Think his quintessential elements—spiraling cables, dramatic jewel accents—stripped down and lightened up to just round dots of color (pearls, round-­cut turquoise, lapis, etc.) and thinner twists of wire. “The idea is modern and simple, yet very playful,” says Yurman, pointing out a pendant with a sliding orb charm in gold and swingy earrings in a bright carnelian on gold. Central to the line: A new flexible cable, done in what Yurman calls a “high-­tech way,” meaning it’s bendable yet holds its shape—sort of like the brilliant design mind of its creator. 2001 International Dr., McLean, Va., 703.245.3515; 924 Palmer Alley NW, 202.682.0260 

Solari bead bracelets with pearl and chrysoprase in 18K gold, $950