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Pierre Hardy, Creative Director Of Hermès Jewelery On The New High Jewelery Collection

Pierre Hardy explores the complexities and intricacies of color in the new Hermès high jewelry collection.

Photo: Hermès

Hermès needs no introduction — synonymous with luxury and heritage, the brand has cultivated a cult-like following since the 1830s, when it was founded. Since then, the French Maison has become known for its luxe leather goods and bags, along with those vibrant scarves that have become a signature of the brand.

Most recently, Hermès celebrated a new launch in Paris, revealing a brand new high jewelry collection yesterday. Designed by French visionary Pierre Hardy, the line is described as one that reflects “the stages of an eclectic and radiant odyssey”, encompassing varying geometric shapes in radiant colors and precious stones including diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and many more.

Speaking about the collection, creative director of Hermès Jewelry, Pierre Hardy shared the intricacies behind the pieces in the chapters of the new Hermès haute bijouterie collection. “I wanted to find a way to express this fundamental phenomenon — of color, at Hermès — and build a strong, autonomous and independent identity,” he explained.

Photo: Hermès

Below, excerpts from his conversation.

What is the theme of this collection? 
Color! This collection asserts the goal of inventing a vocabulary that moves away from the house’s recognizable shapes. A vocabulary of emancipation that embraces a certain sense of freedom, and involves jumping over obstacles, to use an equestrian image. This collection expresses color in shapes. I wanted to find a way to express this fundamental phenomenon – of color, at Hermès – and build a strong, autonomous and independent identity.

Can you identify the origin of this experimentation with color?

I learned about the theories of color during my art degree, and I re-immersed myself in them with passion and method to develop this collection. This theoretical study develops a hierarchy of color (primary, secondary, tertiary), envisaging their relationships, their complementarities, their temperature, etc. Some pieces are based on these theories and lead to more narrative explorations. I like to start with something that is quite strict, defined and rigorous in structure, and then organize the diffraction from it. The combination of a color and a shape sets the mind thinking: if red is square, what is that square saying? If yellow is triangular, the mind could fleetingly visualize the symbol on a superhero’s outfit, for example, or it could be linked to other memories, such as of a work of art, an album cover, a piece of architecture, or a feeling.

Photo: Hermès

How does this complexity relate to the world of Hermès?

The house can create a whole variety of symbols, revisit its original shapes – the ring and bar clasp. the Chaîne d’ancre, the Kelly and Birkin bags – and open up other avenues. It’s precisely this eclecticism that defines the identity of the collection, in which the aim has been to consider the way in which color is applied to the body, a little like make-up, to explore the images of color ingrained in my mind, or to focus on the history of jewelry. I wanted to combine all this, to make it contemporary and “Hermes”, by seeking out as much of the wonder generated by color as possible – the kind of wonder tinged with astonishment we might feel, for example, when a black and white film is colorized.

Color at Hermès is not an isolated notion…

Color is very much in evidence at Hermès: there is even a color library for silk that contains almost 75,000 references. Paradoxically, this is the first time in the houses history that such a wide variety of stones has been used in haute bijouterie: we have emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds, ie. green, red, blue and white. Color is a natural resource on which we can draw infinitely, and I wanted to explore the whole spectrum! In addition to precious stones, we have also used semi-precious stones to give us a broader, more precise palette. High-quality jeweling and stone-setting then produced subtle color gradients. The work of the jeweler is an almost supernatural, magical transformation from one substance to another that involves organizing a series of shifts from one universe to another: from sketches on paper to objects in stone and metal, from the theoretical to the ornamental, from a two-dimensional representation to a three-dimensional piece.

Photo: Hermès

There’s an abundance of joyous pieces in this collection

I wanted to express a lot of ideas at the same time. It’s possible to want some quite different things all at once. However, I wasn’t trying to use color to unite a range of heterogeneous objects. Quite the opposite, in fact. The exploration of color has produced extremely rich and extraordinarily diverse results. Rather than stifling this diversity I wanted to pay tribute to it and give it every opportunity to resonate and flourish. I have not sought to restrict, but rather to allow.

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