On the back of the big frocks of haute couture are the big stones. For one day the Maisons de Haute Joaillerie celebrate the new fine jewellery collections in the Place Vendôme, Paris: a dazzling world of glittering baubles referencing luck, nature, myth and heritage.
Chanel’s latest collection celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Bijoux de Diamants collection, originally created by Gabrielle Chanel. The collection shows constellations of diamonds and prominent blue and pink sapphires.
Chanel fact: Sapphire is the birthstone for September. They are often associated with loyalty and dignity and are a favorite gemstone for royalty.
"Dior's Victoire de Castellane pulled on her memories of visiting the Dior store as a child with her mother, remembering the boutique and the women she encountered"
The new Fine Jewellery collection from Dior echoes the shapes and construction of architectural furniture. This can be seen in the Napoleonic grey pearl of a brooch or the intricate ornamental cutwork of a stone, which were inspired by the chairs used in the first Dior Couture show. Using digital technology, lace has been reduced to a miniscule intricacy to complete the back of each jewelled brooch. Victoire de Castellane pulled on her memories of visiting the Dior store as a child with her mother, remembering the boutique and the women she encountered.
Dior fact: Victoire De Castellane credits her grandma for her interest in jewellery: “She wore jewels matching her outfits and could change them up to three times a day… she wasn’t a grandmother in the classic sense of the term. She was a bit like a Hollywood heroine.
Chaumet embraced the multi-functionality of their pieces, allowing their famed opal-studded tiaras to be delicately turned into necklaces and pendants. The collection also featured an intricate shoulder harness of diamonds.
Chaumet fact: Chaumet have produced nearly 3,000 headpieces since they first began serving the French aristocracy in 1780.
Van Cleef & Arpels revealed their Palais de la Chance collection, which focuses on luck and its motifs around the world. From a seahorse, to a unicorn, to a bat, each piece is given a spiritual quality as well as a subtle tale of metamorphosis. Many are fitted with mechanisms allowing the jewellery to alter shape and form. The Lucky Star brooch, with its pear-shaped and rose-cut diamonds, can be turned 360 degrees.
Van Cleef & Arpels fact: In China a bat is considered to bring good fortune. The international symbol of luck in Germany is a ladybird.
Boucheron creates its own mystical mythical zoo this season, featuring opalescent serpents which writher beside butterflies and chameleons of bright opals and diamonds. They nestle in a world of tiaras and a scarf of 400 diamonds, to keep you warm on a cold Parisian night.
Boucheron fact: Opals have been considered unlucky since the 1800s, following Sir Walter Scott’s novel Anne of Geierstein, in which an opal evilly infuences the book’s heroine.
Text by Mhairi Graham