From Chanel to Dior, Paris’s most prestigious maisons showcased their sparkling new high jewellery during Haute Couture Fashion Week.
With two Haute Couture Seasons each year, and the Paris Biennale now an annual affair, the major jewellery houses have more than enough opportunities to show off their haute joaillerie to press and clients.
Often these high jewellery collections are so haute, incorporating diamonds and other precious stones of such enormous proportions, it’s a wonder the world hasn’t run out of them. And while January’s Haute Couture week has traditionally been the more low-key of the two insofar as new jewellery collections go, there were some notable exceptions this time around.
First to Chanel, who presented a high jewellery collection based entirely on the matelassé or quilted motif that is such a recognizable brand signature – hence its name, Signature de Chanel. But any gimmickry was entirely absent – this was an exquisite take on the sewing technique, where rock crystal, pearls and diamonds appeared to puff and recede like feather-filled duvets. One piece in a particular – a large cuff from the Signature Cocoon range – consisted of one solid piece of rock crystal embedded with diamond-paved feathers both under and over it – creating the impression that they were frozen in ice.
Another range within the collection saw beautiful cushion-cut sapphires playing solo against swathes of quilted diamond pieces – including one long sautoir necklace with a trompe l’oeil effect so that its tiny diamond squares appeared to go from tightly sewn together to loose and unstitched as they tumbled downwards.
Boucheron took the opportunity to show off its vast animal collection, with a handful of beautiful newcomers. A diamond and sapphire-set polar bear lumbered across a long rectangle of rock crystal ice in the form of a brooch, and Hans the Hedgehog came as a huge prickling cuff in pink gold with twinkling eyes of rubies and a black diamond nose.
At Dior, an entire new collection entitled Granville was drawing actual gasps. Named after Monsieur Dior’s childhood home of Granville, Normandy, the 12-piece collection was an ode to Dior’s childhood eyes, informed by the riotous colour of his family’s house and garden.
The colours were saturated – purplish-blue tanzanite, sky-blue aquamarine, lolly-pink rubellite and lime-green chrysoberyl – and the shapes a kaleidoscope of rounds, ovals, squares, tiny pavé stones, pears, teardrops and so many more, all mashed together in pieces that could have been assembled from a sweet-shop counter, under a master jeweller’s eye.
Chopard went in a similarly techni-coloured direction with a range of exuberantly colourful pieces utilising coloured gemstones and highly hued titanium. But the stand-out pieces were the additions to the opal flower rings range, a collection the maison is building on. Using opals from the same family-run Australian mine each time, the rings always delight, and this season a Chrysanthemum version was best in show, with its tubular petals wrought in tiny pave-work fingers set en tremblant to shiver and shake with a wriggle of the wrist.Every week we give you updated news from the World of Luxury Lifestyle. Jewellery is not out of the set, each week exclusive updated news.