February 25, 2024

Higher and Higher

The schedule of Paris haute couture week consists not only of fashion shows, but also presentations of high jewelry from the great fashion houses, located on Place Vendôme in the French capital.   Jewelers try to surpass themselves with each new collection, exploring the archives of brands, inspired by travel, people, crafts and nature.  By creating single pieces of jewelry which are often by the time of their presentation, are already sold out, and we can only admire their beauty.  Today, many people complain that there are no love stories left in the world, like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, when incredible jewelry was given for love, for show and maybe for no reason at all (simply because today is Tuesday).

At the beginning of the last century, in an era of quiet luxury, such jewelry would have been an investment or an expression of love.  Then, jewelers adhered to the philosophy: “The larger the diamond, the more serious the intentions of the person buying it is in love with you.” Perhaps this thought is still relevant today.

Louis Vuitton’s Deep Time High Jewelry collection continues its epic journey through the millennia, spanning the birth of the planet to the beginning of life.

Myriad is an embodiment of perpetual movement, where futuristic, hypnotic jewels take their cue from sinuous DNA and double-helix forms, touched with nods to key codes of the Maison.   Echoing the brilliant white gold from Chapter I, the collection features a supple necklace and matching cuff fashioned from individual bejeweled nails that culminate in a spiraling, sensual wave, curving into a subtle V shape.  A bejeweled rope entwines and cinches both pieces, adding femininity and fluidity while resembling the sturdy ropes that were historically used to transport the Maison’s trunks. 

Deep Time enters its second Chapter, amplifying this rich tale of geological legacy, transformational beauty, and the interconnectedness of life.  This is the fifth High Jewelry collection designed by Francesca Amfitheatrof, Artistic Director for Watches and Jewelry, and Chapter II welcomes 50 new one-of-a-kind pieces that are set across 10 themes of new interpretations and complementary designs – all narrated through the most extraordinary gemstones.  “With this second Chapter of Deep Time, we continue the story of this most beautiful, poetic collection that symbolises a vast and incredible storyline,” says Amfitheatrof.

Claire Choisne, Creative Director of Maison Boucheron, revisits the couture heritage of Frédéric Boucheron, taking inspiration from ceremonial attire.  She takes a new approach to the concept of ceremonial ornaments, metamorphosing them through the ingenious application of rock crystals and diamonds.

The Tricot necklace is designed like a rock crystal knit, reinterpreting the chevron pattern of knitwear, reflecting the couture heritage of Boucheron. To achieve this, the texture of each material was individually sand-blasted and linked on nitinol cables (a nickel and titanium alloy) to form a five-strand choker.  Interspersed with diamond-set links, this choker appears to have been knit in rock crystals and is decorated with a button paved with a baguette of diamonds, round diamonds, and rock crystals.  It is adorned with a round DVVS2 diamond of 2.01 carats.  A complemental cuff bracelet set with a round DVVS1 diamond of 1.02 carats completes the ensemble.  Number of labor hours: 1,070.

Due to their quest for beauty and boundless cultivation of new designs, Cartier creations are limitless. Cartier designers and artisans approach creation with perpetual momentum. What guides them? Their proficiency based on curiosity allows them to research their creative journey to the heart of Cartier’s initial style and to approach the fundamentals of the House from a new angle. “Work on lines, volumes, color palette, inspiration from nature and diverse cultures of the world, to name a few.”

The many territories that they explore, allows them to push the borders of creativity to discover new horizons.  Like a journey restarted again and again, this collection Le Voyage Recommence takes us to the inexhaustible sources of Cartier’s inspiration, says Jacqueline Karachi, Creative director of Cartier high jewelry.

The Lerro necklace brings together three octagonal Colombian emeralds totaling 5.62 carats.  Their intense green shade is accentuated by the multilayered structured collar of white diamonds bursting with light.  The design unfolds from these three gems in a series of intersecting, fluid and graphic lines. By mastering the right balance of gems, the openwork accentuates the impression of movement.  In small touches, tapered diamonds bring tension and structure to the piece.

Occupying a place between earth and sky, the new High Jewellery capsule Un Air de Chaumet writes a new unique chapter in the story woven between Chaumet and nature for over 240 years.  With inherent lightness, transformable hair ornaments can be worn in a multitude of ways to correspond to a diverse wardrobe, while brooches and earrings illuminate an allure aligning modern poetry and freedom.

Featuring brushed rose gold feathers alternating with diamond-set white gold, a first parure rethinks the signature Chaumet tiara. Worn as a panache in the hair, the complete motif is a testament to contemporary femininity. Captured in shimmering momentum, the bird of paradise provides a fascinating display in an asymmetrical brooch and earrings. These marry Chaumet-specific boldness and movement to emphasize the modernity of the effect.  Ear studs and ornaments are designed to be worn singly or in combination around the face illuminated by feathers punctuated with bead-set diamonds in white gold and diamonds scale-set in rose gold guilloché engraved by hand. Inspired by the firebird, the plumage unfurls its flamboyance into a brooch that is as spectacular as it is elegant.

Applying the principles of haute couture to jewelry by celebrating and reinterpreting heritage of Dior, in a profusion of stones of varied sizes and colors, such is the ambition of Victoire de Castellane, who deploys her singular aesthetic at the heart of a unique collection entitled Dior Délicate.

A dreamlike Odyssey where the pieces mimic the delicacy of the embroidery. Like the little hands of the Ateliers cutting the fabric, the Artistic Director of Dior Joaillerie combines the motifs of the Gallons Dior line with the elegance of Dearest Dior and enhances each element differently, to give life to new exceptional creations. Combined endlessly, they follow and enhance the curves of the body and, like couture clothing, intersect, entangle, rub shoulders, combine and separate.

In a captivating play of geometry and asymmetry, the jewelry perfectly matches the contours of the hand, wrist, and neck, as if placed directly on the skin. A plural ode to the heritage of the House and the virtuosity of the artisans, translated through 79 models. These objects of desire, magnified by gems in vibrant hues, invite numerous combinations. So many expressions of a multifaceted femininity, both fragile and powerful, graceful and assertive.

author Aleksey Nilov collages Maryna Piddubniak