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10 posts tagged "Victoire de Castellane"

Victoire de Castellane’s Bejeweled Garden, Now Growing at Gagosian Gallery


Victoire de Castellane

Last night, Dior’s head of haute joaillerie, the ever-fantastical, ever-inspired Victoire de Castellane, celebrated the opening of her independent show Precious Objects at Gagosian’s Madison Avenue gallery. The exhibition, she explained, looked to the limits of the natural and artificial. “The idea is to show the extreme two possibilities that I can create: the more extravagant and the more maybe classical—because I play with precious stones like emeralds, diamonds, sapphires,” said the Parisian, who has been incorporating sculpture into her fine-jeweled creations since 2007. “It’s a mix of my inspirations, so it’s a mix of nature, of the feminine universe, of romanticism, and how we live together and how we manage to succeed to live together.”

Victoire de Castellane

This wide-reaching set of influences came together in a series of bright flora- and fauna-referencing baubles—pulled from the animalvegetablemineral exhibition and 2011′s hallucinogenic-inspired Fleurs d’excès range—that rested on raw geode sculptures. A blooming acid pink and emerald green flower holds a gold-encrusted diamond in Crystal Shocking Pink Baby, while a glistening, teal-blue snake wraps around a sparkling iridescent lacquer in Lunae Lumen Holly Colorum. Thanks to their magnetic color palette and whimsical, girly names—Honey Florem Peach Frutti, Lunae Lumen Glitter Blue, etc. —the pieces feel like an artist’s reimagining of nature fused with yesteryear’s Lisa Frank. “They are like little treasures!” exclaimed De Castellane from the side of the gallery. “It’s important to wear them like treasures,” she added of her artful, magical, and undeniably wacky creations. “I also wanted to show what happens when you don’t wear the jewels. It’s a bit ‘How to Enjoy Your Jewels When You’re Not Wearing Them.’ [Jewelry] is a language for me, and I want to continue to create, to express myself.”

Precious Objects will be on view through April 5.

Victoire de Castellane, Amanita Satana Diabolus, 2010, Lacquered Silver, white gold, yellow gold, opals, colored sapphires, mandarin garnets, spinels, diamonds, petrified wood, 5 x 12 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches.
Victoire de Castellane, Cana Bisextem Now, 2010, Lacquered silver, yellow gold, white gold, diamonds, emeralds, garnets, cucumber jasper, 3 1/8 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches.
Victoire de Castellane, Vitam Industria Abstract Multi Candy [Earrings], 2013, White gold, multicolored sapphires, rubies, emeralds and fine stones, 3 15/16 x 4 5/16 x 4 5/16 inches.
Victoire de Castellane, Lunae Lumen Satine Baby Blue, 2013, White gold, sapphire, diamonds, colored lacquer, 2 3/8 x 1 9/16 x 1 9/16 inches.
Victoire de Castellane, Crystal Shocking Pink Baby, 2013, Yellow gold, diamonds, colored lacquer, 3 1/8 x 3 9/16 x 3 9/16 inches.
All images: Vito Flamminio / Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery New York

Ending Paris Fashion Week On A Dropped Beat


Over the past 25 years, A.P.C. chief Jean Touitou has built an empire on what he calls “boring” fashion: “It’s only clothes,” he says, “but that’s what it’s about.” Every Parisienne worth her A.P.C. trench would agree, starting with Vanessa Seward: In the designer’s first season at the company, she asked not for a paycheck but for clothes. “Working with Jean is like being at home; I always try on the whole collection. It’s totally utilitarian Rive Gauche,” said Seward as her husband, musician/composer/producer Bertrand Burgalat, took command of the turntables. “My dream is to be dressed in A.P.C. and Valentino, but as I can’t afford Valentino I buy their shoes and the rest is A.P.C. or vintage.” Her success in her current gig has been such that Touitou is considering expanding her purview from her capsule collection to the regular line in seasons ahead.

The crowd at the freshly redone, Laurent Deroo-designed label HQ in the sixth arrondissement to toast the anniversary was a cultural mash-up of photographers (von Unwerth), publishers, artists (Sophie Calle), fashion folk (two Le-Tans, André Saraiva, Victoire de Castellane, Inès de la Fressange, Caroline de Maigret, Lanvin’s Elie Top), and music-world tastemakers. A noted music lover, Touitou (pictured above, with revelers) got on board with rap early on; the A.P.C. site features 26 self-produced music compilations and the in-house recording studio is open to staff and friends. Hence the presence of Metronomy band members, Jarvis Cocker, and Kanye West. As he scanned the remarkably laid-back, hysteria-free crowd, Touitou remarked, “Nowhere else in Paris do you find this. This is A.P.C.”

Photo: Courtesy of A.P.C.

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, the accessories count, too. The haute joaillerie labels of the Place Vendôme opened their doors to debut their new high jewelry collections, as’s Tina Isaac reports.

“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. Continue Reading “Star Power And More In Haute Joaillerie From Chanel, Dior, Van Cleef, Vuitton, And More” »

Le-Tan’s Library


“I like being obsessed,” said Olympia Le-Tan on Thursday night as she welcomed visitors to the special project she had created for Pitti in Florence. And with an opening line like that, it was almost impossible to resist the web that Le-Tan had woven in the Museo Bellini, yet another of the jaw-droppingly beautiful Renaissance venues that seem to be ten-a-penny in Florence. When the Pitti organizers invited her to participate in this year’s event, it took Le-Tan mere minutes to decide that she would celebrate her favorite Italian films and books and, by extension, their directors and authors in the idiosyncratic medium that she has made her own—immaculately embroidered “books” that are actually handbags. The museum was draped in red silk curtains with the OLT logo, pink roses trailed over banisters, candles flared in the dusty air…atmosphere for days. Every shadowy room had vitrines displaying Le-Tan’s chosen 36 titles, precisely duplicated in thread as they would have appeared on the original book cover or movie poster. They covered a very comfortable waterfront from Visconti, Fellini, and Antonioni (her favorite of favorites) to Moravia, Machiavelli, and Pirandello.

But Le-Tan’s stroke of genius—as far as the Pitti exhibition went—was to persuade a game handful of friends to be photographed by Max Farago as a character from each of the 36. Olympia herself was the apogee of lush sensuality, posed as Silvana Mangano from a 1949 movie called Riso Amaro. Jennifer Eymere, editor of Jalouse magazine, made a very convincing Giulietta Masina from Fellini’s La Strada. Nightclub impresario André Saraiva was a plausibly penitent Jean-Louis Trintignant from The Conformist. As for Victoire de Castellane as Anita Ekberg in full clerical garb from La Dolce Vita? The success of that image was in inverse proportion to its unlikeliness. Poles apart were Hamish Bowles as Martin von Essenbeck, the cross-dressing Nazi from Visconti’s La Caduta Degli Dei (more familiar to English-speaking aficionados of early-seventies cinematic decadence as The Damned) and the ubiquitous Olivier Zahm, posed stark raving naked as a misbegotten extra from Pasolini’s terrifyingly transgressive Salò.

Later that same night, a handful of Le-Tan’s cast of characters regrouped on the Borgo San Jacopo to reflect on their re-conceptualisation of Italian culture. Most of them were French. You can imagine what they talked about.

Photos: Courtesy of Olympia Le-Tan

Victoire De Castellane’s Hallucinogenic Jewels Are Really “Little Women”


Tonight marks the opening of the first exhibition from Victoire de Castellane (left), the moonlighting debut of the Paris-based jeweler (who daylights, if you will, as the founding designer of Dior Haute Joaillerie). Her precious jewels-cum-decorative objects, Fleurs d’Excès (the “Flowers of Excess,” which have all the psychotropic vividness of Baudelaire’s famous Fleurs du Mal and are in fact inspired by altered states), will be on show at the new Gagosian Gallery Project Space in Paris through March 22nd. Here, de Castellane speaks to about luxury, lunacy, and the unexpected place you’ll find an LED light.

How did this project come about?
I have long wanted to do precious objects that can be worn, or not. The idea was to propose bijoux that you can place somewhere and they take on a life of their own. For me it’s a way of reworking the notion of a precious object, which to me had disappeared somewhat. I wanted to push a little further, to create something outside of traditional jewelry and express myself in a more intimate and extravagant way than I usually do. It’s the first time that I have signed things under my own name, each one is unique and I never once considered showing them anywhere else than in a gallery. They live better there.

What were your inspirations?
I started with women, because I have a really strong interest in women in general and the feminine universe is my first source of inspiration. These flower jewels are women, in fact—things happen to them, they each have their story and they live their lives on a stand, in full view, and I sculpted them in a certain way so that they would convey that sensation. It’s a little like the film Lola Montes by Max Ophüls, the 1955 romantic drama about a former courtesan who is part of a circus, whose life is retold through various tableaux. So I wanted to dramatize each of these pieces by making them tell a little story. Each “woman” has a story, a little scene that figures in her design. Continue Reading “Victoire De Castellane’s Hallucinogenic Jewels Are Really “Little Women”” »