Star Power And More In Haute Joaillerie From Chanel, Dior, Van Cleef, Vuitton, And More
Couture week isn’t only about clothes—as any couture buyer knows/em>
“In the 1950′s, Christian Dior styled couture gowns with costume jewelry that looked real—I just did the opposite,” said Dior jewelry designer Victoire de Castellane of her latest haute outing, Dear Dior (left). “It’s an exercise in style without going literal.” For the mounts, she recast in gold various lace motifs culled from the couture archives; her particular favorite is the Broderie Grenade Irisée ring in a spectrum of precious stones with a rare Welo fire opal blazing at the center.
Now that it has a high-jewelry flagship on the Place Vendôme, Louis Vuitton is rocketing the Monogram flower toward new frontiers of time and space with Voyage dans le Temps. The house signature gets pixelized, extrapolated, and reconfigured, for example, on a large cuff in diamonds and grand feu enamel. The pièce de résistance: a lace Peter Pan collar reworked as a supple necklace with diamonds reprising the Monogram motif and a front closure inspired by the hasps on a Vuitton trunk (below).
Speaking of stars, the Chanel galaxy is expanding rapidly—this summer will see the opening of an in-house jewelry atelier on the Place Vendôme—and in that spirit, the house erected a sizable planetarium of jewels atop the Musée Branly. It included a mix of the old (a diamond star brooch from 1932, a recently unearthed film of the original 1932 couture jewelry collection, this collection’s namesake, below) and the new (a giant tactile screen table—touch a jewel, read the archives). And, of course, a dazzling constellation of 80 new jeweled pieces, set in the round beneath a starry dome.
Lucky charms from the world of flora and fauna, not least the four-leaf clover, are Van Cleef & Arpels‘ stock in trade. Elaborate pieces bearing the likenesses of terrestrial critters—carps, ladybugs, seahorses, frogs, stags, unicorns, strawberries, and, for the first time, bats—kept company with celestial ones, such as the Etoile Filante (shooting star, below) clip, which has a rotating head. More pieces, astral and otherwise, are on the horizon for fall: Come September, the house will host a major retrospective of over 400 creations at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
With her debut collection, L’Artisan du Rêve, Boucheron‘s freshly anointed director of creations, Claire Choisne, offers up a lighter aesthetic that mines the jeweler’s roots, reinterpreting elements as it goes along. Take, for example, diamonds set both on and within crystal, a recasting of the jeweled scarf in multicolored sapphires and diamonds, and the elaborately inlaid Perle au Trésor, a piece roughly the size of a tennis ball that breaks down into a cuff and two brooches; inside is a necklace of pearls, opals, and thinly sliced diamonds. The house favorite chameleon is back, too, in diamonds that appear to transform depending on the gem he holds.