The high jewelry showcases got off to a sparkling start this past couture week. Boucheron, Cartier, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Buccellati all featured colored gems with baubles the size of wide eyes. Boucheron looked to the late Queen Elizabeth II for inspiration. Her majesty had received a Boucheron Art Deco acquamarine and diamond double clip brooch for her 18th birthday from her family. This piece of jewelry joined the British Royal Family on July 31, 1937 through Prince George, Duke of Kent, who purchased it from the Boucheron boutique in London. Queen Elizabeth wore the piece for the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee on June 5, 2012 ; on May 8, 2020, for the 75th anniversary of the speech by George VI announcing the end of World War II ; and on the 70th anniversary of her coronation on February 6, 2022. From this archive piece, creative director Claire Choisne took inspiration and designed 18 contemporary pieces that form the collection Histoire du style, Like a Queen.
“The severity and geometry of the Art Deco design, tempered by the softness and light blue hue of the aquamarines, always fascinated me. I was touched by the sentimental value of this double clip, which Queen Elizabeth II wore at pivotal moments in her reign,” says Choisne. Each new piece of the collection reflects the unique spirit of the two cerulean clips. “On certain jewelry sets, we broke down the original geometry of the design. On others, we took the opposite approach: we compacted the Art Deco design. And elsewhere, we brought in another dimension by playing on the colors of the gemstones,” she adds.
At the Ritz Paris, Cartier unveiled the final chapter of its Beautés du monde collection. “Seeing the beauty of the world, preserving it, and above all, enriching it, is a passion that has continuously influenced the maison’s philosophy,” stated the notes. The Spelendens necklace, featured above, replicates the undulating fins of a fighting fish and features a cascade of spinel beads selected for their harmony of colors and increasing size. Each bead is held within a type of invisible cap by a tiny nail whose surface plays with the light “like water would over the scales of a fish,” explained the house. The supple bib necklace is lined with nine oval and pear spinels totaling 27.79 carats and is studded with square- and lozenge-shaped diamonds.
The Cartier Obi necklace draws inspiration from Japanese fabrics decorated with the rising sun motif. The Obi necklace pays tribute to the culture of Japan with this rare piece composed of eight cabochon-cut emeralds, including a 12.53-carat specimen from Zambia; the pendant motif can be detached and worn as a brooch. The roundness of the cabochons contrasts with the motif’s geometry, which is punctuated by small calibrated rubies and delicate, custom-cut onyx inserts. Green, red, and black hues are a signature chromatic harmony for Cartier; the maison has created unprecedented color combinations since the start of the 20th century. In keeping with Cartier’s tradition of transformable pieces, the pendant motif detaches to be worn as a brooch.
At its Place Vendôme boutique, Gucci added a selection of new pieces to its Hortus Deliciarum high jewelry collection. Meaning ‘Garden of Delights’ in Latin, Hortus Deliciarum is a blend of Gucci’s heritatge of Italian craftsmanship and creativity. The third chapter since the collection’s launch in 2019 takes inspiration from the world of travel. Multicolored stones are inspired by the concept of prismatic beauty and specifically designed to catch the light. The above gold bracelet showcases a diamond-embellished chevron pattern and an oval-shaped 16 carat rubellite tourmaline, offering a geometric interplay of straight lines and smooth curves. This piece takes 200 hours to produce.
Gucci purchases gold and platinum from suppliers who respect the values of social and environmental responsibility at any stage during the jewelry supply chain. Gold is from conflict-free sources and the maison buys diamonds from suppliers who give guarantees to be conflict-free, in compliance with the Kimberley Process. The Kering Gold Fund has contributed to the reforestation of an area of 116 hectares of the Amazonian rainforest in French Guyana, planting 214,780 trees. In collaboration with the NGO Solidaridad, the Fund supported a project dedicated to the empowerment of women who live near the gold mines in Ghana.
The Louis Vuitton Spirit high jewelry collection, unveiled last year, features its final chapter with 30 unique pieces designed by Francesca Amfitheatrof, the house’s artistic director for watches and jewelry. Featuring graphic shapes and the codes of the maison, liberty, destiny, fantasy, and radiance, the pieces are made exclusively in the Parisian ateliers. “I don’t think anything else in the world has the power to hold the spirit of the person so much as jewelry does,” comments Amfitheatrof of jewelry’s powerful effect.
Amfitheatrof imagines her creations “as jewels of armor, a protection that shields the woman’s identity, and soul, as she is emboldened to courageously go forth. The above flexible, two-strand necklace of interlaced Vs and chevrons feature two star-cut diamonds that ascend the necklace.This five-strand cuff bracelet and ear cuffs feature Spessarite garnets placed in a geometry of pyramids, triangles, and diamond paved V signatures.
Arnaud Chastaingt, Director of the Chanel watchmaking creation studio, was inspired by Mademoiselle Chanel’s atelier to create this new collection. On rue Cambon, Chanel always kept two tools to hand: a pair of scissors suspended from a ribbon worn round her neck like a sautoir, and on her wrist, a seamstress’s pincushion. Now, he has borrowed this tool to create the Mademoiselle Privé Pique-Aiguilles watch. “I like the image of this functional piece of jewelry that adorns the wrists of seamstresses,” he notes. The dressmaking accoutrement takes shape as pin-cushion watches. He audaciously imagines five tableaux for this collection: a lacework of camellias, a composition of iconic bags, jewels strewn on black tweed, a diamond embroidery, and a jacket at the pattern stage. “I am fascinated by the design of objects whose architecture is the product of a practical need. In terms of style, the pincushion commands authority on the wrist, with presence and impact,” comments Chastaingt. “Its outsize format does not detract from its comfort in any way, and it adapts to all wrists. I love the random design of needles on the surface of the cushion. Organized or disorganized, the pinheads pricked into the fabric dome create a decorative effect that evolves with the progress of the seamstress’s work. I have adopted the spirit of this tool to create a watch. While its architecture has the boldness of simplicity, its oversized dial flirts with excess and offers an incredible space for expression.”
Buccellati showcased its new Macri Color collection during Paris couture week. The collection features button or pendant earrings, rings, and cuff bracelets. Conceived by Gianmaria Buccellati, second generation of the Buccellati family, this noble collection is inspired by the femininity of his daughter MariaCristina. Buccellati took the first syllables of her two names, calling the new design in “Macri,” a stalwart of the house for 40 years.
Buccellati’s “rigato” engravings, savoir-faire hailing from the Italian renaissance era, see gold shimmer like silk. Buccellati features rare stones with exceptional colors, mixed with white and yellow gold, carved like silk and lace. “The Buccellati jewels stand out for their design and for the techniques used to create them, such as the hand-engraving technique, dating back to the ancient goldsmithing traditions of the Italian “bottega” during the Renaissance times. The shapes of the collections are inspired by the historical archive drawings and by the very first creations of the founder, Mario Buccellati.