Haute Couture Week Spring 2017, Paris––the perfect occasion for the screening of Chopard’s 50-minute, drama-filled documentary, charting the discovery and creation of the Queen of Kalahari collection. It marked a moment in fine jewelry history that sees a 342 carat mother diamond transform into 23 D-color, type 11a flawless diamonds in an assembly of various classical cuts; from the 50-carat round brilliant and 25-carat pear to the 21-carat emerald cut, all representing a different flower.
Chopard’s fine jewelry features regularly on the décolletages of the A-list and effortlessly framing the faces of the likes of Kate Moss, Jennifer Lawrence, and Julia Roberts, to name but a few. The long-standing, family-run maison has added to its pioneering history with a next-level, customizable offering. Chopard’s co-president Caroline Scheufele believes the Queen of Kalahari––named after the desert of its discovery––to be the purest large rough found in the Botswana mine. The high jewelry house echoes its design signature of diamond lace settings from its Precious Chopard in this landmark collection, available for private purchase after more than a year in the making. “I hope it finds someone who appreciates the quality; not only the diamonds, but the whole story behind it,” adds Scheufele.
Vogue Arabia speaks to Scheufele––the fine jewelry designer who pioneered the fragrance and jewelry lines at the maison––to uncover more about the most discussed diamonds at Haute Couture Week Spring 2017.
What have been your favourite career-defining moments so far?
There have been a few dates that mark my creations: starting the jewelry at Chopard; Cashmir, the fragrance; the Happy Sport, one of our bestsellers; the Animal World collection for the 150th anniversary; and now, the Queen of Kalahari.
When did you know that the Queen of Kalahari had to be acquired by Chopard?
The first time I had the rock in my hand. [It’s like holding] something very powerful. It’s not the biggest rough rock I’ve [held], but it was the purest. I immediately imagined what I could do with it. I wanted all the different shapes of classic diamonds.
How long did it take for you to arrive at a creative conclusion of the designs?
At the beginning of December, I was at home; we have this line called Precious Couture in high jewelry, which is a bit like lace. I thought it would be nice to highlight [that collection], and to use those distinctive settings.
What music did you listen to when drawing the sketches?
Diamonds are Forever by Shirley Bassey. (N.B. Bassey wears the collection at the end of the documentary, singing that very song.)
When did you first see the results?
April 2015. It’s a journey that you follow from A to Z, from the mine to the cutting. It was a very exciting project for me. [The Queen of Kalahari diamonds] are so pure. When I saw the box with of the 23 [cut diamonds], I was speechless.
What are the most treasured pieces in your wardrobe?
I love Elie Saab, I think he is amazing for evening dresses. I like Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana, too.
Which fashion designers do you look to for inspiration?
[Gustav] Fabergé was an incredibly creative person.
Vogue Arabia is….
…a big step. This part of the world was missing its Vogue.
Watch the teaser movie for The Queen of Kalahari:
The Queen of Kalahari fine jewelry collection is available for private sale.