Velvet Slipper Divine founder Vivian Wise opened her River Oaks home over the weekend to showcase the jewelry designs of her good friend, Peter Martino Jr., who displayed his one-of-a-kind creations for guests to try on and purchase. The collection includes earrings with detachable and interchangeable rare stones, gold "ragged edge" rings, rare estate jewelry pieces and lustrous pearl necklaces fashioned in unique ways.
"I like pearls, specifically because they come from nature. It's something very unique and it always works. There's never a time when it's not appropriate and fun," Martino said. "Depending on what you do with it, you can make it look contemporary or traditional."
Martino also featured hand-crafted pieces from a number of designers, including Houstonian Cathy Borlenghi, whose Mrs B Collection showcases baroque handcrafted pearl designs created with Antonella Aquilino.
Among those admiring the jewels were Sandra Porter, Gigi Huang, Hallie Vanderhider, Hank and Maya Fasthoff, Fady Armanious, Shannon Hall, Charlene Floyd, Kunal Syngal, Elizabeth Peterson, Sergio Morales and Houston fashion designer Jonathan Blake. Wise wore a two-piece Chanel ensemble, accented with a pearl necklace and large ring designed by Martino.
Martino will continue to showcase his collection this week at the St. Regis Hotel. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Texas Legacy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Heart of Fashion, a series of runway fashion events that Wise, the former president of Fashion Houston, will present in November.