Ondulation is Chaumet's sixth and final chapter in the phased release of its Perspectives high jewellery offering for 2020. The previous five groups have been launched throughout the year and they share the common theme of modernity and innovation. Perspectives is a change from the more romantic motifs that the house is known for that include wheat sheaves and garlands of flowers as well as its prowess in creating tiaras. Ondulation looks to deconstructivist architecture, a design ethos that began in the 1980’s. Examples of deconstructivist architecture include the wave-like, non-linear forms of Frank Gehry’s work as seen in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Zaha Hadid’s bulging, sweeping and curvilinear constructions or Rem Koolhaas’ fragmented, topsy-turvy buildings.
Architecture is an interesting theme for a jeweller as the two disciplines have several elements in common. We often talk about the architecture of a jewel or its different planes and construction. It is not unknown for architects to become jewellers, bringing their appreciation for structure and perspective into a far smaller object.
In Ondulation Chaumet’s design team captures the freedom of movement that makes deconstructivist architecture so exciting. Meshes of gold ingots that look like little lustrous bricks form outsized planes that swoop around the body. Gemstones in in geometric cuts and flashes of enamel add to the feeling of strength and yet in dazzling contradiction, each piece is so supple and light that it drapes on the skin. The work of Pierre Sterlé for Chaumet in the 1970’s is evident in the masterful manipulation of metal and contrasting finishes seen in Ondulation.