Merging the thin line between haute couture and high fashion
The best collaborations often take place when creators reach beyond the boundaries of their art forms. Chopard and Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei’s Silk Road collection is one of those. But more than a convergence of jewellery and couture, it is a merger between two cultures and aesthetic visions.
The collection stems from a chance meeting between Guo and Chopard Co-President and Creative Director Caroline Scheufele in Cannes in 2015. The two discovered a reciprocal admiration for the other’s work. In September that year, Guo visited the Chopard High Jewellery workshops in Geneva, and the idea of a collaboration was thus formed.
Being regularly invited to exhibit its creations during the Paris Couture Week, Chopard is no stranger to high fashion. But this time, instead of complementing an outfit, the new Silk Road collection offers a wardrobe, with jewellery paired with evening gowns. Apparel techniques, such as embroidery, beading and lacework, are reflected in the pieces, too.
One of the most striking pieces is the Peter Pan collar necklace, which uses diamond lacework and comes with a detachable central emerald. Another piece is an open necklace in blackened silver, white gold and rubies, designed to be supple. A necklace and earring set made of aluminium, rose gold and gems is perfectly paired with a wedding dress designed by Guo.
Beyond sharing industry techniques, Scheufele and Guo are connected by a strong sense of tradition and the ability to adapt this to modern times. In Guo’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection — 33 works of haute couture created to match the high jewellery of Silk Road — this is exemplified in metallic fabrics and classic ball gown silhouettes. Chopard achieves the same effect through the combination of vivid colours, the use of jade, and the depiction of forms like sparrows, which are considered lucky in Chinese.
In July this year, Chopard and Guo unveiled Silk Road in a joint runway show at Hotel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris. Like the famous route it was named for, the collection epitomises the meeting of worlds, and the empowering result of working with people beyond your own artistic expertise.