August 29 2014

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3 posts tagged "Haute Joaillerie"

To The Cosmos And Back At The Haute Joaillerie Collections


Coco Chanel launched her house’s fine jewelry collection in 1932, holding an exposition de bijoux de diamants for two weeks in November on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. (The diamond Franges necklace above was in the original collection.) “Reason prompted me, initially, to create faux jewelry because I find it free of arrogance in an era of facile luxury,” Chanel explained. “This consideration vanishes in a period of financial crisis, when there arises an instinctive desire for authenticity in all things, which brings amusing junk back to its rightful place.”

You don’t have to look far for amusing junk—or a financial crisis—in our own day and age. As part of Paris’ haute couture week, the fine jewelry houses, including Chanel, Dior, and Van Cleef & Arpels, offered some very authentic options to discerning buyers, in new collections referencing past glories.’s Tina Isaac reports.

Coco Chanel loved a good talisman, and she decked her private apartment with an array of lucky frogs, sheaves of wheat, and special-order double-Cs and 5s for her chandelier overhead. But she was especially proud of being a Leo. And so for the first time, a lion jewel is set to appear chez Chanel as part of 1932, an 80-piece collection marking 80 years since the house entered the world of high jewelry.

In the meantime, the house previewed a selection of jewels based on iconic Chanel symbols, including a new rendition of the Comète necklace in titanium, white gold, and 85 carats of diamonds, as well as shooting star rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Among the standouts: the stunning Céleste brooch, a rendering of the cosmos anchored by a 79-carat baroque gray pearl.

Dior Joaillerie will launch an iconic new jewelry line during the Paris collections to accompany a lush compendium published by Rizzoli, so consider this display an aperitif: Incroyables et Merveilleuse earrings rendered as pendants, a Rose Dior Bagatelle ring in rubies and diamonds, and rose quartz renditions of the Pré Catelan ring and necklace.

A favorite of Wallis and Jackie, Van Cleef & Arpels is a doyenne of the Place Vendôme—and it’s got a major retrospective in the works at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs set for September. By way of a prelude, the house displayed a handful of birds of various sizes and colors, dating from the 1920′s to the 1960′s, the forebears of the brightly plumed Birds of Paradise, 2012 vintage. More abstract now than in the past, the new jewelry collection is informed by sweeping arabesques on necklaces and a number of colorful between-the-finger rings, such as a Bird of Paradise circling a ruby. “Mismatched” earrings with different colored stones in each ear, and a cascading necklace of turquoise beads culminating in a gem-encrusted parrot swinging on his perch, rounded out the new collection.

CLICK HERE FOR A SLIDESHOW of some of the key looks from the current haute joaillerie collections, as well as key archival pieces that inspired the new lines.

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

All That Glitters Is Gold—And Diamonds, Usually—At Paris’ Haute Joaillerie Day


Couture wrapped up in Paris this week, but before the buyers and editors bid adieu to the season, the jewelers got to have their say. At the annual haute joaillerie day, several of the largest houses showed their fine jewelry collections. Below, the brightest and most extravagant baubles from Chanel, Dior, Van Cleef & Arpels, and more.

After her lover Boy Capel’s death, Coco Chanel traveled to Venice for a change of scene. The trip to the great port city opened the door to a new love story—one with exotic cultures (and their jewelry), from Istanbul to Russia and points East. Chanel’s haute jewelers channeled the visit with a colorful array of rubies, emeralds, and pink sapphires worked into an articulated necklace for the Mosaique suite and the Persian cuff (pictured). The house’s signature Camellia takes a lacy turn with delicate arabesques in white gold, diamonds and pearls, a creation that required untold hours of painstaking laser design.

Chez Dior Joaillerie, the setting, too, is a gem. When Peter Marino refurbished the house’s hôtel particulier on the Place Vendome, he complemented the jewels by incorporating exceptional pieces of art from the LVMH collection, like a gray butterfly relief by Damian Hirst and one-off lamps by Véronique Rivemal. It made a fitting home for Dior’s Crystal Vendome watches, and new additions to the Coffret de Victoire collection, like the bejeweled poissons combattants—or as we’d call them in English, Siamese fighting fish (pictured). Continue Reading “All That Glitters Is Gold—And Diamonds, Usually—At Paris’ Haute Joaillerie Day” »

Couture Jewelry’s Birds Of A Feather


Couture week closed out in a blaze of multicolored carats that had editors scurrying from the Place Vendôme to Avenue Montaigne and back again. Not only does the new haute joaillerie day extend the ever-shrinking week by a day, it provided the big houses with a forum to preview their lavish creations for the 25th Biennale des Antiquaires, opening in Paris mid-September. This season, flora and fauna ran rampant.

Chanel dove into its archives and surfaced with a feather theme, anchored by the articulated brooch Diane Kruger wore in her hair at Cannes (pictured); it’s an exact replica of one created by Mlle. Chanel in 1932. An articulated cuff of pavé diamond feathers was trimmed in black diamonds and set with a hidden closure. The feathery wisps were echoed elsewhere, too, as with the Comet necklace, which drapes diamonds around the nape of the neck.

Boucheron took the feather theme literally for one of its unique suites, called Pretty Puff, in which multicolored diamonds were sprinkled over a puffball of white swan feathers. And since versatility is a coveted attribute in haute jewelry (necklace, with or without heavily jeweled brooch, for example), the house pushed the concept to the extreme with the Curlicue five-in-one concept that by turns could be a necklace, two bracelets, a diamond hair clip, or a brooch.

At Dior, a panorama of jewels spanned the classically beautiful—significant Les Précieuses engagement rings and the new Rose Dior Bagatelle rings covered with rubies or pink sapphires—to the more far-out, with one-of-a-kind items from Victoire de Castellane’s wild Coffret de Victoire. One cuff sets a pink tourmaline rabbit in a garden of fire-opal pumpkins; on another, a burnished silver monkey can be lifted from his bejeweled perch. Bollywood earrings, twined with serpents, hang over the ear, as they’re worn in India.

Van Cleef & Arpels drew inspiration from Jules Verne for its Les Voyages Extraordinaires collection, shown at a presentation staged by Argentinean theater director Alfredo Arias. The travels spanned oceans and terra firma. Over here, diamond-encrusted polar bears and penguins swanned on hefty tourmaline glaciers; there, an elephant head paved in gray and white diamonds, dangling a 41-carat topaz, stood in for the African leg of the jaunt. Several pieces were customizable: A whale brooch could spout a jet of diamonds, thanks to integrated springs—now you see it, now you don’t. And if, after all the creatures, you didn’t care for the menagerie, well, there were always the classical constellations—Calliope and Andromeda, re-created to scale.

Click here for a slideshow of haute joaillerie‘s key pieces.

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel