The best high-jewelry of July in Paris

This season, jewelers have surpassed themselves. I covered the high jewelry day on Thursday, right after couture week and it was the busiest day I ever had. Ten major houses were presenting to the press their exceptional savoir-faire.

Talisman Room
Talisman Room

My day started with Van Cleef and Arpels. It was certainly the most breathtaking collection of the day with so much creativity and daring elegance. Stones were absolutely hypnotic, and some of the pieces were even made out of white coral which is so rare nowadays. I thought the collections were this time very poetic in general, this one especially, inspired by the oceans and the seas of the world. The interpretation into gems of soft colors was so transporting into another universe, where seahorses and mermaids are living in a blue sapphire sea. It was a much easier-to-wear collection than previous ones, with many more simple cocktail rings and cute brooches and figurines which built the name of the House.

VCA is also known for its innovations, and the new Cadenas watches are the perfect examples of such an avant-garde spirit, embraced by the Duchess of Windsor. The new versions are complementing the traditional watch, bringing modern lines to the Art Deco structure.

The journey continues now set on the land of Italy. Italy and its famous sculpted gardens. It was obvious for the House of Bvlgari to pay a tribute to its Italian heritage and get inspired by these feminine arabesques. 100 unique pieces married themselves through generous volumes and forms, still structured by geometrical cuts and symmetry. As a subtle dialogue between art and nature, this collection however did not convince me that much: in every House stands its essence, its soul. For Bvlgari, it’s color stones. But I had this feeling of deja-vu, something that I already saw, something that did not surprise me. It was by no way innovative or new.

Well, I then headed towards India at Boucheron. We know the strong link that ties the House with this civilization. Delicate, floral patterns designed for modern Maharanis mixed with audacious sets of white marble which seemed as light as feathers. There also was a necklace which had two faces and was reversible. Once again, the craftsmanship here was unbelievable. The overall allied modern trends and traditional motifs.

A journey that definitely is a major source of inspiration for jewelers. Louis Vuitton presented its sixth high jewelry collection as an invitation to escape. Very Art Deco, this collection was very special, and in no way comparable to others. It allied strong sides to super feminine and eye-catching stones, like the opal (which is my favorite). When looking at this 30-carat Australian opal, it’s like a deep dive  into the Pacific Ocean. Full of wonder.

In terms of opals, I was overwhelmed when discovering the Chopard rings. WOW. Magical. Magic? Indeed, it’s another trend for this season. Chanel and De Beers competed on the same level, both of them showing a collection under the sign of the talisman. Chanel’s ones are much more baroque, more flamboyant but both have a common ground: inspired by Nordic traditions and style. Chanel designed around the Christian pattern called Quatrefoil (and which is quite Chanel indeed as she spent her young years in a Covent).

De Beers chose to play on the rough side of the stone, when the diamond is not cut yet, when it is still strong and natural. It transported us to our deep roots, back in History, when the jewel was a protector, a talisman. They also designed two pieces for interior design use only like this “Wondrous Sphere”. Let’s hope the power of diamonds will protect us!!

The Chaumet collection was not breathtaking. It was simple, feminine, but not very high-jewelry like. Josephine, Empress of France, Napoleon’s wife was at the center of this collection, very royal. The “Aigrette Imperiale” rings caught my attention though, very refined and still sophisticated.

And to close this great day, I had a private tour at the Messika Headquarters in Paris. Valerie Messika is definitely a woman of taste, and it is shown through her ateliers and private salons. The rose scent we breathe all over the rooms, the clean and light design charmed me, and everyone was so happy to introduce their work and passion. It was one of the best experiences of this week. They do such an amazing work every day, and the result for each piece is so stunning.  I particularly loved the refined method they use and which creates movement between the stones so the jewel is perfectly fitting with the body curves.

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