Look out for the greats of fashion. The big couture houses create their designer jewellery with the same passion and attention to detail as they do their clothes. Read about the famous names like Louis Vuitton, Dior and Ralph Lauren who take their passion for fashion and distil it into their watch and jewellery collections.
Founded by the legendary Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel in 1909, the Parisian fashion house is a landmark designer of Haute Couture, with countless iconic products produced over its first century and since. Its style has become something of a cultural heritage; be it the camellia brooch or the quilted handbag, Chanel's fingerprint is unique in every design. Its mission statement has always remained the same: "Fashion passes, style remains", and it more than explains why Coco herself and those that have come after have constantly re-invented high jewellery, luxury watches, fragrances and more, by dispensing an uncomplicated worldwide luxury.
Founded in Paris in 1946 by Christian Dior, the House of Dior is a true purveyor of luxury, including fashion, high jewellery, fragrances, luxury watches and more. With Victoire de Castellaine at the helm of Dior jewellery and watches, we are drawn into a world of technicolour. Explosive coloured gemstones are her trademark, perfectly encapsulated in the recent Dear Dior and Cher Dior high jewellery collections. Jewellery has been an integral part of the House of Dior's aesthetic ever since Christian Dior added jewels to his 1947 couture collection. Still influencing today's unique jewellery designs, the Diorama Precieuse capsule collection took its inspiration from Monsieur Dior's 1951 haute couture Diorama dress. In addition, Dior's annual high jewellery collections include Archi Dior, which was inspired by the architectural approach employed by Christian Dior when designing vintage couture dresses - seeming almost as though the jewels have been sculpted, pleated or draped. Dior has also made a huge impact in the world of horology, with haute couture references continuing in some of the most memorable Dior watches, including the Dior VIII Grand Bal Fil de Soie models, on which the rotor is stitched with the same silk thread used in its gowns. Still producing bright, vibrant and immaculate designer jewellery and luxury watches, the House of Dior is as admired now as it always has been.
Famed as one of the greatest of the high fashion houses, Hermès was first established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès as maker of the finest quality saddles and harnesses in Paris. It has since grown to become a source of both luxury and ready-to-wear goods, all maintaining the same individual, sumptuously handcrafted, expertise. One of the delights of the company is Hermès' approach to each and every design - its watch and fine jewellery pieces markedly infused with a playful and very philosophically French twist, where practicality, form, and a healthy dose of indulgence remain in perfect synchronicity.
Established in 1921, the House of Gucci is a true icon of fashion and the world's biggest-selling Italian brand, with its luxury watches and high jewellery now also claiming an ever-greater presence. For nearly a century, Gucci has been imbued with the very essence of glamour and has become an idol for every successive generation since its founding by Guccio Gucci. Inspired by illustrious feminine beauty, it is no surprise that today it is still the choice of many of the world's most famous actresses, socialites and princesses. Celebrated for its Italian craftsmanship as much as its mystique, the House of Gucci continues to thrive as it nears its first 100 years.
The name Ralph Lauren carries with it a wealth of expectation: modern, American, and the height of luxury. The independent spirit with which he founded his eponymous brand carries through every product it produces, with its fine jewellery fearlessly mixing precious metals, jade, pearls, and onyx, as well as gorgeous leather goods. In 2009 the company debuted its very first timepieces that, although embodying the values of the man himself, the mechanical movements of these gorgeous luxury watches are Swiss made, making them a scintillating combination of Ralph Lauren luxury and Swiss-made precision.
Founded in 1854 with the introduction of ingeniously designed trunks for a new age of steamship travel, the Louis Vuitton of today continues to reflect the company's heritage. Louis Vuitton is renowned for being one of the greatest luxury brands of all time, and none more so than in its range of fine jewellery. One of the most recognisable Vuitton icons is the famous LV initials alternated with a star and flower motif. This enduring inspiration for Louis Vuitton jewellery designs is encapsulated perfectly in the Monogram Fusion fine jewellery collection and brought to life in a profusion of rare and unusual coloured gemstones in the Maison's annual high jewellery collections. Louis Vuitton has also been making waves in the world of luxury watches for more than a decade with original designs and complicated movements. The Escale Worldtime Minute Repeater, designed to indicate world time without using a single hand, is one of the most colourful - and most complicated - men's watches on the market. Like each piece of Louis Vuitton jewellery, every new Louis Vuitton watch is designed to mirror the prevailing mood at the Maison. For 2015, for example, Vuitton's ladies' watches echoed the colours and patterns that appeared in its designer Nicolas Ghesquière's ready-to-wear Summer collection.