Out With A Bling: Couture Closes with Haute Joaillerie-------
From Dior’s demure gowns to Maison Martin Margiela’s high-fashion denim, the Spring ’13 Haute Couture shows had a lot to offer. But when it comes to couture, no look is quite complete without some jewels to go with it. As the last collections walked the runways today, some of the biggest houses debuted their Haute Joaillerie collections in Paris. Tina Isaac reports back on the most opulent baubles from Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and more.
Snakes are already trending for 2013—but it’s worth remembering that Boucheron has been turning them out for well over a century. For Spring, the house has rifled the archives and polished up hallmark designs from its first Serpent collection of 1968, giving them a more contemporary spin. Serpent rings in sculpted gold, beading, and the house’s signature snow setting—an eye-catching pavé of studied randomness—come with one head or two, in three sizes; pendants with honeycomb backs can be worn as a necklace or mounted as brooches on gold safety pins.
For the first time, Chanel dedicated its entire high jewelry collection—all ninety-nine pieces—to a single theme: the camellia. The flower appeared rendered every which way: mounted into 3-D diamond swirls; flattened into graphic diamond pavé etched with a black spinel border; sculpted in onyx and white coral; fashioned into a diamond, gold and lacquer ring rendition of Mademoiselle’s celebrated Coromandel screens; or articulated in a big, colorful “origami” of pink sapphires and other stones.
As a prelude to the presentation of her new collection next July, Victoire de Castellane showed a curated selection of additions to existing collections. These included a trio of slimmer caned rings and bracelets in the My Dior collection, a Les Précieuses garden-inspired necklace anchored by a sizable emerald, a Toi et Moi rose-shaped ring in diamonds and emeralds, and a unique set of antique cameos mounted into earrings for the Coffret collection. Meanwhile, the house’s watch lines are expanding fast. Colored gems offset black or white ceramic settings in the Dior 8 line, russet feathers fan into the skirt-shaped oscillating weight on the new model of the Grand Bal watch, and a trio of Mini D watches feature zingy fuchsia, turquoise, or neon yellow bands.
The latest addition to the Place Vendôme continues its travel through time, expanding the Vuitton galaxy with new takes on classic motifs. For instance, Vuitton showed new iterations of its lacy, articulated “knife edge” settings on a collar necklace. There was also a Monogram Infini fractal mandala and delicate bracelets mounted with the house’s signature star and flower cut diamonds. If there’s anyone out there who didn’t know the house was a new installation (Vuitton opened its Vendôme boutique and workshop in 2012), they could easily be forgiven for mistaking the diamond chandelier earrings for pieces that emerged from a bygone era.