Wendy Gell Media & Press
Through the years, Wendy’s handmade jewelry and gifts have been featured in many magazines, books and articles. Here are a few of Wendy’s favorites. You can see famous celebrities such as Cindy Crawford, Drew Barrymore, Andi MacDowell, Demi Moore, Brooke Shields and Oprah sporting Wendy’s fabulous jewels below. Wendy Gell jewelry has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Bazaar, Harpers and more.
A Look Inside The Artist
Catch a Glimpse Inside the Life of The Whimsical Wendy Gell
ARTICLE ABOUT WENDY FROM VINTAGEJEWELRYCOLLECT.COM
Wendy Gell, whose jewelry designs were seen on the wrists of the who’s who during the wild style of the eighties, has had an extraordinary career that most in the fashion industry can only dream of. Her pieces graced the covers of Vogue, famous movie stars, and her technique were copied by many who wished to emulate her creative style.
In 1976, as a taxi driver while trying to think of a birthday gift for a friend, Wendy came up with the concept of her now famous “Wristie.” It was at that moment that her future career as a respected jewelry designer was born. Her need to come up with an economical expression of a gift would later turn into a multi-million dollar contemporary jewelry company.
Her jewelry has a very distinctive style. It is bold, whimsical, and glitzy. As a jewelry designer, Wendy leaves no surface unadorned; each piece is a complete encrustation of jewels and other materials. The covering of all surfaces is analogous to creating a painting with jewels, which she successfully achieves through her medium. The materials she uses help form not only textual depth, but visual delight. As a contemporary designer, Wendy not only uses present-day materials such as rhinestones, pearls, beads etc., but also incorporates old findings into the work. It is not unlikely to find Indian carvings, netsukes and Eisenberg pins from the 30’s and 40’s as a center focal point in the designs. Her designs are greatly sought after in the collector’s market and her clients include Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Isabella Rossilini, and Cher. Wendy Gell jewelry can also be found in the private collections of Elizabeth Taylor, Elton John—designed sunglasses for him—Hillary Clinton, the late Andy Warhol and Princess Diana.
Wendy’s first true exposure came after writing to Vogue magazine 1982. The magazine featured a several page article of the upcoming designer’s creations. By 1986 Wendy Gell had 40 employees and her company was tripling each year. Her collection had more than 1,000 different earrings made in her workroom off of Fifth Avenue by skilled jewelry makers and young people just out of art school.
Early on in her career Wendy began designing for such fashion notables as Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass. In 1987 she designed shoe clips for the couture designer Charles Jordan, as well as having the honor in August that year of the Disney line debuting at Sak’s Fifth Avenue in a Wendy Gell Disney Boutique for which she was a licensee. Also included in the line she designed for Disney were scarves with the Disney characters in sophisticated floral designs. Her company maintained the Disney licensee privileges from 1985 to 1990 which were marketed by Wendy Gell Jewelry Inc. Later when Napier obtained the licensee privileges Wendy was hired by Napier as a consultant to design the license they then obtained from Disney.
Wendy’s success in the corporate world for licensee rights included the 1989 Wizard of Oz characters in celebration of the Oz’s 50th anniversary. The line included brooches done in gold plate and sterling as well as embroidered gloves and other collectibles.
In addition to the first Disney contract for her famous Mickey Mouse and other characters designs, the company later contacted Wendy to design the accessories for Roger Rabbit in the movie, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Ironically, in 1999 Wendy herself was searching for the collectible Jessica Rabbit brooch for her personal collection.
In the spring of 2000 Wendy received a call from the costume designer of Columbia Pictures stating they were looking to create the Wendy Gell look for the Mariah Carey character in the movie “Glitter.” Having already purchased vintage Gell pieces, they were thrilled to find and later hire her on to design the jewelry for the Mariah character. The movie poster features Mariah wearing a Gell piece.
Today Wendy enjoys the more tranquil life of an artist, making a name for herself in paintings as she captures the spirit of the beloved canine. Her paintings are less structured, yet magically they project the inner soul of the animal that seem to speak a message of deep connection between the artist and subject.
It’s a far cry from the fast pace glitz of the eighties, yet it is so Wendy….
~Vintage Jewelry Collection