Couture, Gardens Meet in Dior’s New High Jewelry Collection

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CERNOBBIO, Italy Christian Dior himself would have been proud of the brand’s new high jewelry collection, contended Delphine Arnault, hosting the event to unveil the latest designs.

At Cernobbio’s Villa Erba on Saturday evening, the newly minted chairman and chief executive officer of Dior presented the Les Jardins de la Couture collection created by Victoire de Castellane, creative director of Dior Joaillerie.

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De Castellane said in an earlier interview that she imagined an encounter between Christian Dior’s “two most dearly cherished universes, couture and gardens,” for the collection.

In fact, the backdrop for the event could not have been more beautiful and perfectly aligned with the theme, as the runway show to present the jewels was staged in the beautiful garden of the 19th-century villa, once home also to famed director Luchino Visconti. The show followed a gala dinner for 300 guests in the stunning frescoed rooms.

Dior’s <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:high jewelry;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">high jewelry</a> show.
Dior’s high jewelry show.

Attendees included Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh, Rosamunde Pike and Elizabeth Debicki, and clients from around the world, who arrived by boat at the pontoon set up by Dior on the villa’s private bank on Lake Como.

Maria Grazia Chiuri created 41 couture designs especially made for the show, gowns sparkling with embroidered and sequined flowers or all-white looks that further amplified the color of the precious gems. Fireworks over the lake closed the evening. “The jewels must be worn, seen on the models so that clients can picture themselves in them,” said de Castellane on the importance of holding a show.

Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh

“These events allow our clients to travel to romantic and evocative locations, happy places which either they never knew or maybe have known in different, other conditions,” said de Castellane of choosing Villa Erba in Cernobbio, a small town near Como. Last year Dior presented its high jewelry collection in Sicily, in Taormina.

In that lineup, the designer explored Dior’s couture universe, its techniques, motifs and the texture of fabrics. It followed a collection in 2021 dedicated to the founder’s favorite flower, the rose. Both were a springboard inspiration for this year’s collection.

“I like to explore and unfold the Dior themes in chapters that are never closed, with a rational logic behind the collections,” said de Castellane. “It is very important to project a consistent image of the Dior universe,” she underscored, and “each year the dream unfolds with stones that are more powerful.”

Dior’s high jewelry collection.
Dior’s high jewelry collection.

Four new stories are being written for this collection: the Galons Fleuris, where mesmerizing floral patterns are repeated; the Très Cher Dior, a fil rouge with the Cher Dior collection in 2013, where color is key, contributing to different effects of height and volume, and the Buissons Couture, a set of flourishing garlands where each stone forms a petal meticulously arranged on the jewel to create a lively asymmetry and disordered look found in nature.

“I imagined flower shrubs, foliage and flower beds, scattered randomly as in the balanced chaos of nature,” said de Castellane.

The fourth chapter is the “Mini Milly,” an imaginary garden seen through the eyes of a child, unveiling a Technicolor décor created by the saturated colors of the lacquer — de Castellane’s technical signature —  and the sequins. “The necklace scenery of a forest has a naive touch,” she remarked. Milly-la-Forêt was one of the gardens close to the heart of Christian Dior.

De Castellane paid tribute to the artisans and their craft, as they “assemble the flowers stone by stone as delicately as if they were petals,” she said. The designer also pointed to the outstanding gems in the collection, which comprises 170 pieces, including three secret watches.

The gems range from a 12.08-carat diamond and a 16.91-carat Colombian emerald to a 12.14-carat ruby from Mozambique and a 13.25-carat sapphire from Madagascar. Set at different levels, they add volume to the jewels and contrasting colors contribute to a bold interplay of reliefs.

The jewelry is transformable and some stones can be detached.

An imaginary décor sees flowers, butterflies and rainbows intertwined, but the motifs appear architectural, almost abstract, never too literal.

“We like to help people dream,” concluded de Castellane simply.

Dior’s high jewelry show.
Dior’s high jewelry show.

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