3 posts tagged "Goossens"
Jewelry house Goossens has collaborated with all the most important designers of the past sixty-odd years. Its most enduring association, though, is its relationship with Gabrielle Chanel. Now a part of the Chanel mother ship, the house continues to revisit the kind of jewelry Mademoiselle favored, both in terms of spirit and technique (though, to be clear, Goossens does not produce Chanel’s fashion jewelry).
This fall, the brand’s managing director, Patrick Goossens, returns to some of the styles Mademoiselle loved most. For instance, he paired the largest freshwater pearls he could find with rose quartz and pink rock crystal on a sautoir from the Essentiels line. His ongoing fascination with Indian themes is reflected in an imposing Taj Mahal bracelet and earrings in smoky or blue poured glass. These wares offer a convincing imitation of Indian-cut diamonds and cabochons. (Fortunately, however, these are far lighter on the lobes and the wallet than they appear.)
Still, any heritage house must modernize for a new generation—and that is where fall’s headline comes in. With its new range of accessibly priced “mixed” jewelry designed to appeal to both men and women, Goossens is reaching out to a younger, edgier customer. Take, for example, slim gold-plated bangles and rings that snap closed with a top hinge; crystal pendants that rotate (an idea carried over from last season’s Rune collection); and twin bracelets that can be left to jangle on the arm or, thanks to a clever clip, be worn as one piece. That last detail actually caters to the noise-sensitive guys out there. “All men hate jangling,” Goossens admits. “I’m always telling my wife to stop.”
It’s a big move, but Goossens feels the time is right. “We’ve really gotten to the roots of fashion jewelry as I see it,” Goossens concludes. “The trick is to express a maximum of things with a minimum of elements, without losing sight of who we are.”
Goossens does a brisk business with its perennials—namely sautoirs, brooches, and cuffs much in the spirit of Gabrielle Chanel. That stands to reason, because Mme. Chanel worked with the jewelry brand’s founder, Robert Goossens, for years. (It’s worth pointing out, though, that while Chanel now owns the brand, Goossens does not make Chanel’s costume jewelry.)
For Spring, Goossens continues to expand on its heritage with what its president Patrick Goossens calls “a relaxed take on Indian jewelry.” The house offered bohemian maharini rings, hoop earrings, and stackable bangles. There’s also the geometric Baguette story, with Y necklaces made of tinted rock crystals and poured glass in soft-focus hues of peach, violet, gray, and blue. Some pieces, such as an asymmetrical necklace, can do double duty as a wraparound bracelet. And then there is the statement-making Alchemie collection. “My father worked a lot with Celtic symbols and nature-related esoterica, always with beneficial meanings,” explains Goossens. This brand history was reborn in a handful of runes in rock crystal and gilded bronze, and talismans that radiated an aura of mystery—not to mention androgynous allure.
Robert Goossens launched his jewelry house in 1950 and was quickly tapped to create couture fashion jewelry for Paris’ biggest houses. Cristobal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Yves Saint Laurent all enlisted Goossens’ talents, although his most famous works are easily the gilded bronze and rock crystal sautoirs, large Byzantine cuffs, and pearl brooches he created for Chanel. “The house was always a bit atypical. My father and Mademoiselle Chanel really created the concept of vrai/faux fashion jewelry together,” explained the house’s current creative director, Robert Goossens’ son, Patrick. (Patrick’s sister, Martine, is the hand behind the furniture and other decorative objects you see in Chanel’s flagship stores.) “The thing about [our approach to jewelry] is that it’s not a matter of price: you can go to the Place Vendome and see not-so-great expensive things, or you might find something fabulous at Monoprix,” he adds.
This season, Goossens has decided to reimagine some of its iconic styles (think braided metal belts, triple-strand necklaces with semiprecious stones, and chain-link chokers), and offer them at approachable prices (about $200 for a ring, up to about $1,300 for a heavy stone and pearl piece). “I want to make sure the Goossens signature is recognizable,” said Patrick. “Both for customers now, but also for customers’ granddaughters one day.”
Goossens’ Fall 2013 collection will be available at the house’s Paris flagship at 42 avenue George V, and online at www.goossens-paris.com.