style file, tom binns, first jeweler?

Social intelligence
Tom Binns: First Jeweler?

Photo: Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images

We wouldn’t go so far as to call the Governors Ball at the White House the East Coast equivalent to the Oscars (OK, before today we’d never heard of it), but Michelle Obama kind of took it there last night. First, there was her floor-length Peter Soronen dress—a sparkly success, in our opinion. And then there was the updo—very chic. But the piece that put the First Lady in solid red-carpet territory were her pearls. Those were Tom Binns’ Pearls in Perils, a multi-strand mass of covetable sea life. While Angie and Penélope were busy with their Lorraine Schwartz and Chopard (yawn), Mrs. Obama was rocking a guy who makes skull rings and diamond necklaces festooned with “Chaos” written in neon. Now that piece would send quite a message to visiting heads of state, don’t you think?
—Alison Baenen