Art Deco Dominates the High Jewelry Season

PARIS – For fine jewelry, 2021 may be the start of a new era.

Although hardly any traditional couture show has been scheduled this week, a handful of houses in Place Vendôme – Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron among them – have scheduled visits to fine jewelry collections by appointment and in accordance with local health guidelines.

But others, like De Beers and Cartier, have mostly moved to the virtual realm. And a few, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Repossi and Chaumet, moved their collection debuts to March, after the fall 2021 ready-to-wear shows here.

It appears that many houses are abandoning their links to Couture Week and embracing their own timeline, as is fashion’s adaptation to months of lockdown and aloofness.

Will it continue in a post-pandemic world? Only time will tell.

One thing that has remained constant, however, is the appeal of Art Deco even 100 years later.

Inspired by their own archives of an era both opulent and radically simple, many jewelry houses have ditched rainbow hues to return to the graphic appeal of black and white, chiseled lines and stylized curves. , with a bold splash of color. Emeralds in particular were in the spotlight this season, as were yellow diamonds and adornments like lapis lazuli paired with white diamonds and colored gemstones in a mix of cuts. A mixture of metals enhanced the effects.

The interplay between past and present was perhaps most apparent in the Sous Les Étoiles collection of Van Cleef and Arpels. (The house said the 80 jewelry on display this week was about half of the planned total.)

Stargazing, drawn from mythology, science fiction and even NASA, has come together in pins studded with goddesses symbolizing planets and constellations, like Cassiopeia, and coins whose colors and forms were linked to popular science, including illustrations from the late 19th century. book “Popular Astronomy” and recent images from deep space of nebulae, cepheids and comets.

For example, 41P, a blue-green comet that can sometimes be seen with the naked eye, has been reinterpreted as Cloud of Emeralds, a hinged bib necklace made up of 96 baguette-cut Afghan emeralds weighing a total of 62. , 3 carats as well as sapphires and diamonds, all set in a radiant shape and reflecting the house’s vast Art Deco heritage.

In a more modernist spirit, precious stones have mingled with ornamental stones for the clip Mosaic of Stars (in lapis lazuli, sugilite, turquoise and diamonds) and the Solar Arch, a cuff bracelet in two purple sapphire buckles , coral and diamonds.

AT Boucheron, Claire Choisne, creative director of the house, drew on her archives from the 1920s – in 1925, the house won a grand prize for its exhibition at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts which marked the era – for a collection called Histoire de Style, Art Deco which emphasizes emeralds, white diamonds, onyx and rock crystal.

Ms. Choisne also used the house’s transformable jewelry tradition as a way to connect the past and the present. The 20s flapper met modern genre fluidity in a tie-style necklace with a Zambian emerald weighing just over eight carats that could be worn as a tie, necklace, pendant, or pin. (Boucheron’s video presentation also reflected the era: a model was shown wearing some of the pieces, most notably using the Diamond Ribbon ribbon as a belt.)

And a 1928 order – commissioned by the gem-loving Maharajah of Patiala – was picked up in a three-strand transformable necklace set with diamonds, onyx and more than 1,071 carats of Zambian emerald pearls as the house. said it took four years to come together.

Cartier also brought together emeralds, diamonds and onyxes in the spirit of archival pieces dating from the early 1900s. Presented as an extension of the [Sur]A natural collection unveiled in July, the new pieces included a stylized version of the peacock feather, with a pendant necklace of diamonds, onyx, emeralds and a fancy-cut 7.27-karat Ethiopian emerald. The pendant can be removed and worn as a fully hinged shield ring, covering most of the finger.

the Louis Vuitton The logo as it appears today – the L in italics under the dominant V – was designed by Gaston-Louis Vuitton in the Art Deco years. This V-shape defines Pure V, a collection of eight pieces from the house’s artistic watch and jewelry director, Francesca Amfitheatrof. Unveiled in March, the creations have an Art Deco spirit and openwork techniques, rendered in diamonds and onyx. (Vuitton also features a bespoke fine jewelry option.)

ChanelHigh jewelry collections often refer to Gabrielle Chanel. And this season, Venice – as she was able to experience it in the years 1920-1930 – was the starting point of Escale à Venise. But unlike the house’s first homage to Venice, a 2013 collection called Under the Sign of the Lion, this 70-piece grouping focuses on architectural and cultural details ranging from boater-style gondoliers’ hats to gelati.

For example, a Byzantine mosaic of the celestial vault, the backdrop of the Golden Lion of St. Mark above the entrance to the Basilica of Venice, appears on the Astral Constellation hinged bib necklace. Two layers of lapis lazuli were meshed, but looked like floating fragments – as if part of the basilica’s pediment had been broken off and set with diamonds and a 4.47 carat yellow Ceylon sapphire mounted in a stylized star .

For the most recent piece from its 15th anniversary collection, Cindy chao set rose-cut diamonds in a base sculpted to resemble a Diphylleia (commonly known as a skeleton flower), with a center of conch pearls, lacquered stamens and the illusion of moving petals. The brooch, ring and earrings with the design are presented digitally, as well as by appointment in the designer’s private salon, which opened in November in Shanghai.

On March 2, Dior intends to unveil RoseDior by Victoire de Castellane, artistic director of the house’s fine jewelry. The collection, a tribute to the queen of flowers and a nod to Christian Dior’s passion for gardening, consists of 54 pieces, all flowery with their glossy and matte textures. The RoseDior Jaune de Naples earrings in gold and white and yellow diamonds with openwork petals reminiscent of stained glass, angular frames, overlays and stones arranged in veins are an example. On March 18, the collection is scheduled to be presented in Shanghai.

The pandemic has made 2020 a year of transformation for every jewelry house, with some shifting their sales efforts further online – even for fine jewelry – and others welcoming new leadership.

Beers presented its first high jewelry collection under the direction of Céline Assimon, former Managing Director of de Grisogono who took first place in August. Called Reflections of Nature, the five sets – sets designed to be worn together – were named for places in Africa. Highlights include the Okavango Grace fringe set, which uses rough and polished diamonds in shades of white, green, gray and pink, and in a variety of settings. In early February, the collection will travel from the company’s London headquarters to Shanghai. (And last May, the house launched a website with the aim of enticing online shoppers for fine jewelry purchases, ranging from $ 15,000 to $ 100,000, or $ 18,170 to $ 121,145.)

This spring, Repossi is to present its first high jewelry collection coded by Gaia Repossi and the brand’s workshop director, Matthias Schneider. Inverted Setting was named for a new style of decor in which gemstones have a high position, as if they were sitting on waves. Eight pieces will be presented in Paris in March and via the brand’s new digital showroom.

In December, Graff – home to many of the world’s largest diamonds – has launched its online store, featuring image galleries of famous gemstones weighing over 100 carats, as well as one-of-a-kind solitaires and watches. Prices listed are up to 1.2 million pounds ($ 1.6 million) for a 10.32-carat cushion-cut diamond ring, which can be purchased on the site.

In the spring, Graff should launch a new collection of fine jewelry. And on February 15, it’s Tilda’s Bow, a collection of 30 pieces of pave, pear and baguette cut diamonds set in the shape of ribbon knots. Prices range from $ 12,000 to $ 400,000, and all parts will be available for purchase online.

Lorenz Baumer, one of the few independents who remained on Place Vendôme, presented the Nébuleuse bracelet, with a 32.29 carat violet tourmaline and multicolored sapphires set in white gold and finished in black rhodium. Mr Baumer, who has produced just two pieces this season, went into e-commerce last June in response to travel restrictions linked to the pandemic.

Its Parisian neighbors, including Boucheron and Repossi, also say they will step up e-commerce operations this spring.

Which means that in terms of a new era, 2021 may well be the year the world finds out exactly how much fine jewelry customers are willing to spend in the digital space.

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