The Best of Paris’s High-Jewelry Collections, From Cartier to Dior
Despite its steely skies and icy wind, Paris sparkles in January, as the city’s prestigious maisons present their latest high jewelry offerings. A sense of geometric restraint pervaded many of this year’s designs, allowing the mind-bogglingly precious materials to shine: from gargantuan diamonds to mouthwatering rubies and rare gemstones that were snapped up by collectors in an instant. These were the highlights from the City of Light.
Graff High Jewelry
For Paris Haute Couture Week, British house Graff unveiled its latest humdinger: a 50-carat, D-Flawless oval diamond. The egg-sized pool of pure brilliance seems to float at the center of a jaw-dropping necklace, amid a supporting cast of diamonds totaling another 100 carats. Every stone was cut and polished to fit the tribal-inspired design to perfection. The house also unveiled an array of chandelier earrings, sumptuous bib necklaces and cocktail rings showcasing yellow diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires, indicative of the one-of-a-kind treasures that are produced in its Mayfair workshop and disappear into the hands of collectors with astonishing speed.
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De Beers Metamorphosis
De Beers honed in on the details of expert goldsmithing with Metamorphosis, the first chapter of which was revealed in Paris. Nine pieces combine yellow, white and rose gold, with a medley of diamond colors and setting techniques to represent the four seasons. Transformability abounds: the hero piece is a swaggering necklace in which four diamond-set strands hang between two intricate clips, all of which can be rejigged to give a multitude of different styling options. There’s a youthful, almost casual air to the range, with a ring jacket that surrounds a 3.06ct diamond, and an earcuff in which the strands are tipped with brightly colored removable titanium chrysalises: a hint at the metamorphosis to be seen in the next chapter.
Chaumet Liens Inséparables
Chaumet began 2023 with a palate cleanser, adding nine new high jewelry pieces to its minimalistic Liens collection. The Liens Inséparables range sees slender strands of diamond-set white gold elegantly intertwined across necklaces, earrings and cocktail rings. While one parure is composed entirely of white diamonds, another features a ribbon of channel-set blue sapphires weaving gracefully around the pavé-set stones, emphasizing the fluidity of the designs. The simple silhouettes are expertly articulated; made to meld to the body. Crowning the range is a delicate diamond headpiece: a modern, minimalistic take on the majestic tiaras for which the house is known.
Dior Dearest Dior
Ten years after the launch of Dear Dior, a high jewelry collection inspired by Dior’s lace archives, and five years since the couture-inspired follow-up, Victoire de Castellane returned to the theme for Dearest Dior, a 77-piece collection dedicated to the fragile beauty of lace. Gold becomes almost unrecognizable in fantastically intricate, openwork designs that place a profusion of diamonds and gemstones as close to the skin as possible. Mismatching earrings suspend hot pink or yellow sapphires from billowing diamond petticoats, while an 11-carat blue sapphire is the centerpiece of an airy necklace of diamond-set mesh. De Castellane’s riotous approach to color is evident in bejeweled floral bouquets that appear as though freshly clasped by the most avant-garde florist.
David Morris Skylines
A 43-carat Australian black opal sits at the center of the Amunet choker, David Morris’ ode to the symbolism of the stars in Ancient Egypt. Surrounded by white diamonds, pink spinels, emeralds and Paraiba tourmaline on a necklace of lapis lazuli beads, it’s one highlight of a 20-piece collection inspired by both the night skies and London’s ever-changing skyline. CEO and Creative Director Jeremy Morris’ love of geometry is apparent in architecturally conceived designs such as the Capola necklace, with its rock-crystal and diamond chevrons, and the angular Glaziale necklace, featuring over 55 carats of triangular and fancy-cut diamonds. Sophisticated designs are matched by the quality of the stones: Paraiba tourmalines, velvety Sri Lankan sapphires and sunset-hued tourmalines appear alongside rare pink and blue diamonds.
Cindy Chao Black Label
Taiwanese jewelry artist Cindy Chao follows Gaudi’s maxim that there are no straight lines in nature. Her three-dimensional, organic sculptures immortalize fleeting moments in nature with hundreds of carats of precious gems. In Paris she presented two new Black Label Masterpieces: a pair of sprouted cardamom pods, their freshly unfurled titanium bodies glistening with yellow and brown diamonds, garnets, alexandrites and sapphires, revealing fat seeds of cabochon Colombian emerald and rose-cut diamonds. Her celebration of nature’s imperfections continues in her White Label pieces: a dragonfly with diamond and sapphire wings and an ox-horn body, and brooches and earrings in which gemstones become petals, stamens and leaves, every joint delicately articulated so they quiver with life.
Louis Vuitton Spirit
Louis Vuitton launched the second chapter of its biggest-ever high jewelry collection, Spirit, continuing the abstract themes of liberty, destiny, fantasy and radiance, with a focus on bold, geometric pieces that combine rare gemstones with recognizable LV house codes. The versatile Fantasy necklace wraps the neck with yellow-gold and diamond-set chevrons, adorned with two diamonds cut in the shape of the house’s Monogram Star. The same cut appears at the center of the Destiny bib, amid an extraordinary layout of 37 color-matched rubies. And a new version of the Radiance necklace with its armor-like glossy gold scales is complemented by a pair of earcuffs in which a flourish of diamond-set Vs sits high on the ear, emanating from fiery Spessartite garnets like the scales of a dragon.
Boucheron Like a Queen
Boucheron creative director Claire Choisne paid homage to the 1937 aquamarine and diamond clips that the late Queen Elizabeth II received on her 18th birthday with the Like a Queen collection, comprising 18 contemporary interpretations of the quintessentially Art Deco design. The designs span brooches, cocktail rings, bracelets, earrings and transformable necklaces, as Choisne encourages clients to wear their high jewelry in evermore daring ways. An aquamarine and diamond bracelet is modernized with electric-blue lacquer, while the Winter Green earrings see each half of the motif strung with a pear-cut emerald. In the Snow White suite, the brooches can be worn classically on the lapel, pinned in the hair, or used to fasten a necklace of Akoya pearls, in tribute to the Queen’s signature style.
Chopard High Jewelry
Chopard saves its huge high jewelry collection for the Cannes Film Festival in May – so for now, the house has revealed a preview of the exceptional stones that will soon grace the red carpet. A pair of stonking oval yellow sapphires from Sri Lanka; a 26.70-carat royal blue sapphire; a 10-carat ruby and pink and green diamonds were on show, alongside a preview of recently completed high jewelry designs, including a necklace set with a whopping 100-carat fancy intense yellow diamond, with a 30-carat yellow diamond ring to match.
Cartier Beautés du Monde
Celebrating beauty wherever it is found is the ethos behind Cartier’s Beautés du Monde collection, and one needn’t look far to discover the beauty in the third and final chapter of the range. Inspirations drawn from flora and fauna are abstracted into geometric motifs with an exotic, unmistakably Cartier flavor. Showstopping necklaces are a particular forte, whether set with a cascade of spinel beads to evoke the undulating fins of a pair of Siamese fighting fish, or adorned with 42.44 carats of cabochon emeralds in homage to a bird’s plumage. Cartier’s signature palette of green, black and red finds new expression in the kimono-inspired Obi necklace, while other designs explore new, more muted color schemes. The house’s panther makes an appearance, of course, in abstract form as onyx spots on the Panthere Exotique earrings, as well as lurking amongst a painterly array of lavender jade and yellow sapphires in the Panthere Urbaine necklace, a wild cat in an urban jungle.
Gucci Hortus Deliciarum
Forty-two new additions to the third installment of Hortus Deliciarum, Gucci’s high jewelry range which debuted in 2019, continue the fusion of antique inspirations with a fantastical, futuristic aesthetic. Fairytale-like cascades of white diamonds are topped with billowing bows and shooting stars, and long Seventies-style pendants are strung with gobstopper-sized cabochon gems. Masculine chunky chains are adorned with the house’s signature tiger head, and Gucci’s chimeric tiger-snake wraps around the wrist, crowned with a yellow sapphire. Clashing colors and unusual gemstones abound: a series of signet rings feature heart-shaped and hexagonal colored gemstones and opals, their fiery brilliance tempered by a backdrop of baguette-cut diamonds.
Repossi La Ligne
Now majority owned by LVMH, Repossi presented La Ligne, the house’s first high jewelry range since 2019, and with 15 pieces, its biggest yet. Conceived around the simple concept of a plumb line, the pieces play with the house’s signature use of negative space, with typical restraint. Pear-cut diamonds appear to float alongside straight lines of precise pavé-set diamonds or mirror-polished white gold. An architectural cuff sees the line extend the length of the upper arm, while a torque-style collar necklace drips diamonds vertically between the collarbones. With every piece wrought in white cold, it’s a cool, considered return to high jewelry from Gaia Repossi, the queen of understated rebellion.
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