At Paris’ Haute Joaillerie Outings, a Twinkling Taste of What’s to Come-------
This year, the January high jewelry presentations were but a prelude to the July Haute Couture season, which itself will be just a preview of what’s to come at the year’s biggest jewelry event: Paris’ twenty-seventh Biennale des Antiquaires in September. But even though most houses just offered a shimmering taste, indie brands and established houses alike gave us lots to lust for. Here, a roundup of the season’s most compelling gems.
Aurélie Bidermann: Aurélie Bidermann’s quintessentially boho-chic personal style reflects the various places she’s lived since childhood—Paris, London, New York, and especially South America, with a nod to India for good measure. This multicolored sapphire and gold cuff with a tsavorite scarab detail headlines her debut foray into precious pieces. The designer’s much-anticipated collection spans colorful critter-shaped charms, a heavy elephant pendant, woven gold bracelets with diamond-lined edges, bangles that jingle, and medieval-inspired rings. We’re looking forward to seeing what fine-jewelry jungle the designer comes up with next.
Boucheron: Believe it or not, it’s been a decade since Boucheron first launched its covetable Quatre rings. Now, offspring include an all-diamond variation and cuff bracelets. The Radiant iteration comes in gold with a row of diamonds, and sober, all-gold Monochromes were on offer for those with subtler tastes. Other options include summery renditions with white ceramic “clous” (so named after the calibrated square cobblestones of the Place Vendôme). Mix-and-match stackables and solitaires round out the story.
Bulgari:In the months since Carla Bruni-Sarkozy debuted the original “summer” Diva necklace—she sported 108 carats of fancy-cut emeralds—Bulgari has been crafting a one-of-a-kind Diva for every season. The autumnal variation comes in 116 carats of moghul-cut rubellites, plus diamonds, amethysts, and mandarin garnets, while the winter version’s leaves are frosted over entirely with more than 40 carats of diamonds. Spring is still in the workshop, but it is set to be green, with mint tourmalines and peridots offset by amethysts and diamonds. Meanwhile, graphic, seventies-inflected pieces in diamonds and onyx join the Intarsio line.
Chanel: Gabrielle Chanel loved pearls—real, faux, by day, by night, for sport, you name it. But there is nothing faux, or workout-appropriate, in the brand’s latest high jewelry collection. About three-quarters of the eighty-seven pieces in Perles de Chanel—the first collection in eight years to focus on the house staple—was on display in the Chanel salon this week. And the decadent wares hit all the high notes in the Chanel lexicon: ribbons, lions, camellias, and Coromandel swallows, with pearls ranging from seed-size to gumball (mostly the latter). The colorful one-off necklace strung with five sizable Australian baroque pearls and seven varieties of precious and semiprecious stones is just one of many showstoppers.
Dauphin: Charlotte Dauphin de la Rochefoucauld, who chose her maiden name to headline her maison, makes her first foray into high jewelry this season, and her debut collection is nothing if not impressive. With a little help from friends like Paolo Roversi and Saskia de Brauw, the designer showcased a short line of “strong but light” pieces inspired by architecture—her gold and diamond rings and earrings could be the blueprints of the Eiffel Tower. Another cuff and matching necklace are an exercise in bone structure.
Louis Vuitton: Louis Vuitton is the most recent arrival on the Place Vendôme, and as a nod to its history, the house spun elements of its beloved trunks—their colors, shapes, and hardware—into a jewelry collection called Emprise. The term translates to “under the influence.” Seventies-leaning rings and tasseled pendants cluster nine gems—amethyst, lemon quartz, smoked quartz, or precious stones—into chunky styles with graphic gold edging. The range’s watches subtly reprise clever details, including a trunk’s corner pieces on the case and the quilted relief of its padding on the dial.
Maison Martin Margiela Maison Martin Margiela turns tradition on its ear with Heritage, a collection that deconstructs, bisects, and otherwise toys with the notion of family jewels. In MMM’s world, the familiar marguerite style of Lady Diana’s sapphire engagement ring is popped out into a dual necklace, stretched into a double-finger ring, or neatly split in two (well, almost—it’s not really one gem halved, rather it’s two half-moon-cut stones set at close remove). Elsewhere there’s the “noncommittal” series of snipped bands—call them placeholders—a fair bid for a whole new jewelry category that could just as easily be dubbed “it’s complicated.”
Alexandre Reza: Olivier Reza, who sits on what is possibly the most important stash of unset precious stones anywhere, has been quietly building a bridge between his father’s distinctive style and his own more modern aesthetic. In other words, “still haute but not so big.” Among his latest designs: half-moon creoles that sweep forward from behind the lobe and are set with diamond discs; modernist sapphire and diamond loops; a new take on the Toi & Moi ring that boasts a pink diamond and an emerald; and a nontraditional setting for a 10-carat pear-shaped diamond. The stone seems to just perch on a branch, free of prongs or a closed bezel setting.
Wilfredo Rosado: A Hollywood favorite—Julia Roberts sported his free-form, Giacometti-inspired earrings at the Golden Globes earlier this month—Wilfredo Rosado is fond of taking risks, like giving jewelry the feather, leather, or burnt mahogany treatment. Of late, he’s been tinkering with nano-ceramic finishes on black gold. This brings a futuristic appeal to the Metropolis line, which features tension-set gems such as diamonds, rubies, and pink and yellow sapphires.