Paris is one of the to-go-to destinations when talking of fashion and high jewellery. And if you are a jewellery lover then what better time to visit than in July, when most of the high jewellery brands launch their new collections during the Paris Haute Couture Week. This year too saw many unique collections being unveiled that left us mesmerisied. So, here I share my latest story published in the Aug-Sep 2017 issue of Indian Jeweller magazine, sharing four of my favourite collections unveiled by Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, Buccellati and De Beers.
The Best of High Jewellery at Paris Haute Couture Week 2017
One of the four international fashion week destinations, Paris is where the first fashion week began, soon to be followed by New York, London and Milan; together forming the ‘Big Four’ of the fashion circuit. Being the fashion capital of the world, Paris also enjoys hosting the exclusive Haute Couture shows, making the city’s Fashion Week the most sought after. High jewellery plays a significant role at the Paris Haute Couture shows as new jewellery collections are launched throughout the week- on runways, at the Place Vendôme boutiques and even in the suites of the prestigious Ritz Carlton. Preeta agarwal explores the Spring Summer edition of this year’s Paris Fashion Week that saw many High Jewellery brands pushing creativity to its peak.
‘Le Secret’ by Van Cleef & Arpels
Known for their beautiful and colourful jewellery ideas, Van Cleef & Arpels has taken the level of their ingenuity several notches higher. Their latest ‘Le Secret’ is full of hidden mysteries, riddles and their answers, compelling the on-looker
to look beyond the usual. Building on the concept of multi-wearable jewellery, each piece either has hidden elements that once revealed, changes the look of the jewellery or have completely new jewellery pieces that can be detached or be converted into.
Exploring secrets in ingenious ways, the collection boasts of necklaces that can be worn in different ways and lengths, brooches that have messages written at the back and even rings that when tapped change shape, size and even designs. Revealing treasures and surprises, pieces like the Pétale de papillon clip has a completely hidden butterfly brooch inside the diamond and gemstone encrusted flower, only to be spotted by a sharp observer.
One of the favourites is the Sous Son Aile clip that combines the Lovebirds theme with the style of the Mystery Set poppies. Using a simple mechanism, the wing of the parrot opens to reveal a little bird snuggled against its mother, in a delicate harmony of pink sapphires, coral and diamonds.
Adding to their ever-lasting collection of brooches, Le Secret also houses many innovative brooches, where one can spot a black and red spinel ladybird hidden amongst diamond leaves as well a princess brooch that metamorphoses into a swan in a dazzling poetic theater.
Drawing on cherished sources of inspiration such as nature and symbols of love and luck, over one hundred pieces evoke a stroll through a secret garden, where the visible and invisible meet. Expressed through the language of colourful gemstones and diamonds, the collection builds a wide palette of emotions. A team of talented minds and hands that showed immense patience and precision, have developed these mechanics, striving to offer something so unique that has surprised the entire jewellery world.
‘Hiver imperial’ by Boucheron
Renewing their historical bonds with Russia, the French jeweller Boucheron has launched their ‘Hiver Imperial’ collection as a tribute to the vast stretches of snow covered lands of the Far East. Categorised under three main themes from these regions – Nature, Couture and Architecture – each sub collection is distinct in a new way, adding a little chill to the bone.
The first story ‘Lumière de Nuit’ depicts the ideal aesthetic of the North’s stunningly unique brilliant white polar landscape capturing its force in a huge snowflake necklace set – Flocon Impérial. Highlighting the perfect geometrical symmetry and details of the tiny snowflake, the Flocon Impérial clubs the natural clarity of rock crystal along with diamonds set on the inside, enlarging the snowflake to the size of jewellery. Following the tradition of multi-wearable jewellery, using links and clasps, Flocon Impérial has seven detachable parts resulting in a 5.20-carat diamond ring, a pair of earrings, a brooch and hair accessories. Accompanying the snowflake concept are little furry creature rings, bracelets and watches with snow animals like Foxy the fox, Oulu the owl, Ladoga the raccoon and Lyncas the lynx.
The second story, Femmes Boréales celebrates high couture of the Imperial time with lavishly embellished jewellery in pearls, diamonds and gemstones. Paying a tribute to the strength and beauty of women in wintry climates, contemporary empresses and queens, the collection brings a modern finesse to timeless concepts.
One of the most talked about necklace from this story is the Baikal necklace that was also worn by Salma Hayek at the Cannes Film Festival 2017. Imitating a full bodice, the necklace is a result of over 2000 Akoya pearls strung on multiple rows with a huge 78.33-carat oval Santa Maria aquamarine floating like blue Baikal islands representing the icy, pure and crystalline waters of the lake.
The last story L’Anneau d’Or (The Golden Ring) completes the Boucheron’s winter wonderland and is an ode to
the imperial cities of Russia where the rooftops, cupolas and onion domes transform into a kaleidoscope of medallions. The collection showcases ultra- graphic necklaces, rings and earrings in colours inspired by the northern light on a winter’s day and the crystal-clear night.
Paris Presentation by Buccellati
During the Paris Fashion Week, Buccellati displayed new iconic designs at their Paris boutique. Cuffs and bracelets, signature pieces of the brand, were reimagined in different widths and were enhanced by rubies, sapphires and diamonds, and by precious engravings making gold silky and soft to the touch.
With unexpected shapes and colour combinations, Buccellati also enriched its collections of cocktail rings and earrings, evoking emotions and a desire to impress.
Highlighting the brand’s goldsmithing techniques, the collection showcases a range of elegant and delicate necklaces along with brooches that easily turn into pendants.
The Paris presentation culminates with the celebration of the comeback of the tiara, conceived for a princely bride, but properly equipped to turn into a necklace and therefore to be used more than just once in a lifetime. The “Carlotta” tiara is a perfect combination of romantic future expectations with an innovative creative engineering allowing a dual use and various stylistic ways of wearing it. The tiara is composed of diamond set in rhomboidal motifs, leaves running after each other, shiny beads in white gold and a drop shaped pendant to hang on the forehead.
Highlighting lace with a pavé set dial, the Carlotta jewelled watch complete with white gold openwork elements, brightens up with yellow gold sections. These spectacular new High Jewellery creations by Buccellati are all unique and one- of-a-kind pieces, resulting from an inexhaustible and passionate research for technique and design by the jewellery house.
Lotus by De Beers
Inspired by the serene beauty of the lotus flower, the Lotus collection by De Beers captures the extraordinary life cycle of this symbolic bloom in pristine diamond form, symbolic of the larger role that De Beers plays in the industry.
A total of five stages have been brought to life in beautiful designs named awakening, blooming, flourishing, radiating and soothing lotus, each telling a story through an evocative blend of fancy shaped diamonds along with De Beers’ signature use of rough diamonds. Each rough diamond is artfully placed among polished diamonds to recreate the hues of water, or the vision of hundreds of lily pads decorating the surface of a pond.
The Awakening Lotus story begins when its petals emerge above the water line depicting the innocent young flower, leaving a ripple in the water. The necklace draws the eye along rippling lines of round and marquise-cut diamonds to a magnificent 18.79-carat rough bluish green macle. The petals fan out in the Blooming Lotus set and unfurl for the first time. The unique necklace set is centred on a three-dimensional diamond flower motif made with pears, marquise and baguette-cut diamonds, and can be detached and worn as a brooch.
Following the midday sun, the lotus flourishes and radiates leaving inspiration for the next two necklace sets that comprise of a symmetrical medallion necklace and a fan-like fluid radiating necklace. The finale of the Lotus series is the Soothing lotus where harmoniously arranged multi coloured rough and polished diamonds illustrate a painted the serene peacefulness of a pond draped with lotus flowers and lily pads.
Showing the prowess of De Beers, this unique presentation includes a 296-carat rough yellow diamond, a 117-carat rough brown diamond and a 58-carat rough white diamond.