A selection of the innovative best, direct from Paris Haute Couture Week
Earlier in July, Place Vendôme Paris – the nucleus of high jewellery – turned into a media fiesta for journalists and bloggers. A recurring phenomenon twice a year, Paris Haute Couture Week is now as important a platform for high jewellery as it has been for fashion. Jewellery houses and designers from across the globe unveiled their latest creations in Paris, amidst extravagant displays and a captivating ambience.
This year’s Couture Week not only saw the introduction of many new collections, but also the establishment of various trends, foray of fashion icons into the world of jewellery, the use of unusual gemstones, and display of exceptional manufacturing skills. For this issue, we have selected four brands that exhibited exceptional talent, elegance, and bravado.
As part of their ongoing centenary celebrations, Buccellati unveiled newer pieces in their ‘Opera’ high jewellery collections that plays on the brand’s logo while incorporating rubies, tourmalines, and diamonds amidst Buccellati’s iconic gold techniques. Also on display were newer creations showcasing their tulle workmanship, subtly hinting at the return of yellow gold.
Apart from use of exceptional gemstones and skilled craftsmanship, the best aspect of most of these jewels was the newly introduced ‘Buccellati Cut’ diamond, a realization of Andrea Buccellati’s drawing to honour the family brand’s anniversary. Shaped like an elongated four petal flower, the cut has 57 perfectly mirrored facets that fit like a missing puzzle piece.
The birth of this new cut came with years of research and study, all in collaboration with Antwerp-based Taché Diamonds. Exuding romance and elegance with its very presence, the Buccellati cut is set with four elongated curved prongs, each literally holding one of the four petals of the flower.
The Russian power couple, Nataliya and Viktor Bondarenko, who have made quite a name for themselves in high fashion and accessories under the label Rubeus Milano have now ventured into the realm of high jewellery. Taking inspiration from the Russian Empire and gemstones native to their country, the first collection under the new vertical is titled ‘Rubeus Imperial Alexandrite Collection’.
Designed by the mastermind Frédéric Mané and sculpted to life by jewellery artist Jothi-Seroj, the collection revolves around the dynamic colour-changing personality of the Alexandrite gemstone and can be transformed into various looks and pieces. Divided into two ranges – the Imperial Set and the Eternal Set – they are the very first collection in the history of jewellery making that features Russian Alexandrite as the hero gem.
The Imperial Set, made in white gold and black titanium, centres around the largest Alexandrite (69.37 carats) and is accented by rose cut diamonds along with hot pink and grey spinels. The Eternal Set has a more feminine approach with a central rock crystal rose that is paired with diamonds, sapphires, and tanzanites.
Renowned fashion brand Gucci now moves into the space of high jewellery with its first ever collection ‘Hortus Deliciarum’, which is housed in a shiny new jewellery boutique at Place Vendôme. Inspired by the poetic, kaleidoscopic world of Alessandro Michele, the 200-piece collection is highly eclectic due to its use of a variety of coloured gemstones, ranging from subtle sapphires to luscious black opals.
The collection is divided into three “chapters”, paying homage to the mythical Garden of Eden, Aracadia, and Xanadu. The first chapter symbolizes eternal love with vivid, colourful imagery like hearts, plume-tipped cupid arrows, and en tremblant movement. The next chapter brings forth the importance of the animal kingdom with lion, tiger, and serpent motifs.
The final chapter brings forth striking solitaires with a maximalist allure. Overall, the collection portrays immense historic symbolism and showcases Michele’s incomparable vision.
As a finishing touch to the recently renovated family house of Boucheron, their latest collection, ‘Paris Vu Du 26’, takes inspiration from Paris, Place Vendôme, and their number 26V boutique.
From ornate inspirations like the iconic Grand Palais, architectural marvel Column Vendôme, as well as motifs like acanthus leaves, the intricate details of cobblestones, ornate ceilings of the family house, pet cat Wladimir, and the view from 26V’s balcony, each tangible and intangible feel has been transformed into design marvels and encrusted with diamonds and gemstones.
The various perspectives from the city of love have been interpreted with the use of intricate and unusual techniques, resulting in trendsetting jewellery, few of which can also been worn in multiple avatars. The entire collection, although very elegant, has a very venturesome overtone as if paying tribute to the visionary and daring founder, Frédéric Boucheron.