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The Best & Brightest High Jewelry Collections from Paris Couture Week
Every July, the great jewelry houses preview their most creative and coveted designs of the year for press and VIP clients during Paris Haute Couture Week. This year, instead of the usual elaborate installations and elegant salon previews, the jewelers had to reveal their magnificent gems and jewels virtually. Missing were the guards, white gloves, and champagne, but the enthusiasm remained— and the jewels didn’t disappoint. Even on screen, the gems sparkle and shine. Here is a look at some of the best new jewelry collections of the year.
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Van Cleef & Arpels
The French jewelry house reimagined some of its exceptional treasures from the past that were worn by iconic women and devoted clients. One piece, for example, is inspired by Marlene Dietrich’s Jarretière ruby and diamond bracelet, which the actress wore to the 1951 Oscars. This Merveille d’émeraudes necklace was inspired by a stunning emerald collaret necklace that dates back to 1929 and was acquired by Princess Faiza of Egypt in 1947. It's set with five spectacular pear-shaped Colombian emeralds with a total weight of 70.40 carats, and like Faiza’s necklace, has a dazzling diamond train suspended down the back.
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Exploding with color, texture and volume, Cartier’s imaginative new [Sur]Naturel high jewelry collection is an escape from reality–and conventional jewels. Combining the figurative with the abstract, the French maison’s familiar codes, such as the panther, are expressed in contemporary conceptual pieces that mix precious faceted gems and diamonds with chunks of opal, coral, and lapis lazuli. A stunning 71.8-carat pinkish-purple kunzite is the centerpiece of the Hemis necklace. It's surrounded by organic-shaped black opals assembled like pebbles in a stream, all without a trace of visible metal. Echoing the ripples of water, the Sinopé necklace features ribbons of lapis lazuli outlining diamond waves with five floating cornflower blue sapphires.
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Lucia Silvestri, the Italian house’s celebrated creative director, used Rome as a starting point for the Barocko collection. Inspired by her city’s Baroque architecture and decorative arts, Silvestri combined exuberant gems in bold designs, infusing them with a sense of movement and elegance. A sensational 60.7-carat pear-shaped rubellite hangs from a graceful pearl, amethyst, rubellite, and diamond bead necklace that's finished with a pearl tassel. Another colorful necklace showcases a rainbow of cabochon-cut gems on a collar of diamonds and stones.
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True to its Milanese heritage, Pomellato’s first high jewelry collection, La Gioia, features its signature styles in unrestrained bold color combinations and streamlined, voluptuous shapes. Oversized, softly round links are paved in diamonds and colored stones, and one-of-a-kind Nudo rings play with color, light and scale. The Nudo Collier Plastron necklace drapes layers of rose-gold chain with a kaleidoscope of blue topaz, peridot, amethyst, lemon quartz, Mandarin garnet, rhodolite, tourmaline, and diamonds.
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Boucheron captures the fleeting beauty of the natural world with its new Contemplation collection: Floating clouds, a quivering dandelion, and grass rippling in the wind are expressed in remarkably light, supple, and graceful designs. The house’s visionary creative director, Claire Choisne, continues to push the boundaries in high jewels with ground-breaking techniques and unconventional materials which this year include Aerogel, a lightweight synthetic matter commonly used by NASA to insulate spacesuits. Choisne created the first Aerogel precious jewel, forged into a transparent pendant and set in rock crystal with diamonds. It may sound gimmicky but that’s never the case with Choisne. Each design is seamlessly executed and references the codes of the great French house, but in a contemporary and distinctly feminine style. The ethereal Avant Le Frisson diamond necklace replicates a dandelion blowing in the wind with titanium threads no thicker than a hair that have a spring effect which creates natural movement. The Miroirs Infinis necklace in diamonds, rock crystal, and white jade creates the illusion of passing clouds.
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Valérie Messika turned up the volume on her high jewelry collection, Voltage, with innovative designs that are heavy on the diamonds but still light and airy. Her extreme minimalism is exemplified in the Double Ring, which is set with a 7.7-carat emerald-cut diamond and a 7.6-carat pear shape diamond that appear suspended in space. A singular linear earring, on the other hand, is defined with a line of baguette-cut stones and anchored with a 10.3-carat pear shape diamond. Because sometimes one is all you need to make a statement.
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Jewelry artist Cindy Chao held on to a pair of exceptional 90-carat pear-shaped vivid green Colombian emeralds for over a decade, waiting for inspiration. This year, it finally came. She set the stones in the Green Plumule earrings and unveiled them during couture week. Each stone is surrounded by tsavorites, alexandrites, and color-changing garnets. Even with 2,291 stones, the earrings retain graceful flexibility and lightness. Another pair of rare conch pearls are featured in the Cameron Falls earrings, which are set in titanium with streams of pink sapphires, purple garnets, and rose-cut colorless and fancy colored diamonds.
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In a tribute to architecture, Chaumet reinterpreted the influential movements that shaped our cities, an idea that has influenced the 240-year-old French house’s design themes from the start. The Perspectives collection uses metal, stones, and space to give the impression of light, elevation, and volume. The Labyrinthe series layers gold and color in strong geometric structures with sharp angles. A ring is tiered with calibrated agate, onyx, diamonds, and a Zambian emerald, while a necklace showcases a 34.30 Burmese sapphire in a grid of gold, sapphires, and diamonds.
Saint Laurent has acquired Olivier Châtenet’s complete collection of vintage YSL clothes, consisting of 4,000 pieces dating from 1966 to 1985.
Gemist is definitely not you average jewelry maker. The brand was born when its founder, Madeline Fraser, was trying to design a custom ring for herself. She found the experience to be outdated and daunting, so the tech start-up pro decided to solve the problem by creating Gemist. So how does it work? The site currently offers tons of ring and earring options to choose from. If you don't even know where to start, you can connect with a Gemist stylist . If you're more of a shop-on-your-own type of person, that's cool too. Either way, you choose the piece that's right for you and design it exactly how you want. You also get to choose a price point - Gemist offers both gemstones and natural diamonds, as well as plenty of different metals, so you pick what you're comfortable with. It's so streamlined and modern, we can't believe jewelry designing wasn't this simple all along. If you want to see the jewelry in person before buying it and get the sizing just right, Gemist can send you three rings to try on in the comfort of your home. You get to keep them for as long as two weeks while you decide what's right for you. Once you're finished, you send them back and order which design you love the most. It's so streamlined and modern, we can't believe jewelry designing wasn't this simple all along. Ahead, we curated a shopping guide of options to get you inspired. Play around with your preferences and invest in something special that's perfect for you. We already know we'll be sending these out for holidays and birthdays. Who doesn't love some sparkle? Related: I Shop For a Living, and These Are the 15 Must Haves I'm Excited to Buy For August
- In The Know
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