Beauty And Beyond
Belle Magazine Australia|June - July 2021
Model, muse, esteemed jewellery designer and passionate human rights advocate Elsa Peretti lived a rich life that was filled to the brim with mastery and meaning.
Jean Wright

THE NAME ELSA PERETTI is indelibly linked to Tiffany & Co. and the organic, sculptural pieces of jewellery she created for the brand. What you might not know, though, is that she was also a dedicated and steadfast humanitarian. Elsa’s sudden death in her sleep this March, at the age of 80, has left a void for her many friends and colleagues, as well as the design and artistic world more broadly.

She was born into wealth in 1940 (her father founded a major oil company), educated in Rome and Switzerland, and worked as an interior designer in Milan. At 21 she moved to Barcelona, where she began her modelling career, sitting for Dalí and mixing with his artistic coterie. In 1968 she headed to New York, where she navigated her way through the excesses of the late 1960s and 70s as a muse and model for fashion designer Halston, before branching out into jewellery design.

Being tall, exotic and sophisticated meant Elsa soon became a firm favourite of top photographers such as Helmut Newton (his image of Elsa in Halston’s bunny costume is nothing short of iconic). Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol were among her friends, she was a VIP at Studio 54 and a regular at parties in Halston’s hyper-elegant Paul Rudolph-designed townhouse.

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