The Must-See Jewels From Paris’s Outstanding High Jewelry Season
Every January during Paris Couture Week, the world’s best high-jewelry houses unveil their latest masterpieces. Houses including Van Cleef & Arpels, De Beers, Boucheron, and Buccellati debuted full collections of unique pieces, focusing their designs on Art Deco, outer space, magnificent landscapes, or the pure beauty of gemstones. Due to the pandemic, several major houses postponed their collections until July, while others, including Louis Vuitton and Chopard, debuted more focused collections, exploring the brilliance of diamonds in sleek silhouettes.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
Nicolas Bos, CEO & Creative Director of Van Cleef & Arpels, is one of the most creative minds in jewelry design today. His thematic high-jewelry collections have explored the depths of the ocean, revisited the romantic tale of Romeo and Juliet, and transformed childhood fairytales into wearable works of art. Now, he looks to the heavens in Sous les Étoiles (Beneath the Stars). The Ison bracelet, set in 18-karat rose gold and white gold, is named for a comet that passed too close to the sun and disintegrated. Its fiery tail is set with the maison’s iconic Mystery Set rubies and dotted with 18-karat rose gold stars. The Galaxy clips, set in 18-karat rose gold, are a beautiful and romantic rendition of space. At the center of swirling diamonds, mauve and pink sapphires, and rubies, there are gorgeous fancy-colored sapphires. One features a 6.06-carat pink sapphire and the other a 7.24-carat mauve sapphire.
Francesca Amfitheatrof, Artistic Director for Watches and Jewellery at Louis Vuitton, takes a bold, minimalist approach to the house’s latest high-jewelry collection, Pure V. True to its name, the pieces are designed around a V inspired by an Art Deco-era Louis Vuitton signature. The sleek jewelry is designed in a black and white color palette using white gold, diamonds, and onyx. The pieces play with open spaces and light, letting the skin peek through bars of diamonds or onyx. The full collection of eight pieces will be unveiled in March, and it will include a marvelous necklace fully set with diamonds, including a two-carat pear-cut diamond in the V.
Merging haute couture with haute joiallerie, Chopard transforms delicate lace into diamonds in the Precious Lace collection set in 18-karat rose gold or white gold. This collection was designed to be worn every day, making high jewelry accessible, but still adhering to the codes of high-jewelry craftsmanship. The pieces are light and airy thanks to their open settings, where pear-shaped diamonds set within curved borders that recall delicate lace patterns. The collection includes four motifs: Mini-Froufrou, Wave, Heart, and Cloud.
Chanel transports us to Venice in its Escale à Venise (Stopover in Venice) high-jewelry collection. Each of the 70 pieces is inspired by a different iconic element of the Venetian spirit and Byzantine architecture. The stunning Eblouissante necklace, set in 18-karat pink gold and platinum, mixes pink and white gold with diamonds, recalling the mosaics that decorate the city’s palaces. At the center of the necklace is an incredible 10.41-carat Asscher-cut flawless D diamond, and two more Asscher-cut diamonds, each over five carats — hang from the geometric motif.
Fancy-colored diamonds come to life in De Beers’ Reflections of Nature collection. The different colors evoke landscapes as diverse as Botswana’s flourishing Okavanga Delta, represented in shades of green diamonds, and the towering sand dunes in the Namibian desert, rendered in sunny yellow diamonds. The absolutely spectacular Motlatse Marvel suite is inspired by the Motlatse Canyon in South Africa. It’s one of the world’s largest canyons. Here, the 18-karat rose gold, white gold and yellow gold necklace in red, brown, orange, and yellow diamonds, while white and pink diamonds recall the shade of the location’s sunset and sunrise. In total, the necklace includes 158 diamonds weighing nearly 27 carats.
Boucheron’s gender-bending collection, Histoire de Style (History of Style), showcases high jewelry that both men and women will love wearing. Every piece in the collection is unisex, and the chic, Art Deco-inspired designs stick to black and white, with gorgeous green emeralds adding a pop of color. Many pieces in the collection are transformable, including the Lavallière necklace. The necklace, set in 18-karat white gold, is inspired by a cravat—the chicest one we have ever seen— and the “tie” is removable and can be worn as a brooch.
Buccellati focuses on its signature techniques — engraving and the honeycomb motif — in its newest high-jewelry collection set in 18-karat yellow gold. Its artisans hand-engrave each piece using six varying techniques. Rigato transforms shiny metal into a silky texture by engraving minute parallel lines into the gold. Two pieces, the Honey-Heart cuff and the Monte Bianco ring, are gorgeous examples of this métier. In the center of the Honey-Heart cuff, artisans carefully drill away the gold to create three open honeycomb rosettes surrounded by a diamond-set floral motif. The Monte Bianco ring features the same engraving alongside geometric ribbons of diamonds. It’s topped with a lustrous 24.36-carat pearl.
written by Kristen Shirley