Just a few months after the launch of the nature-inspired 2016 Blue Book, Tiffany unveiled its latest Masterpieces high jewellery collection in Paris during Couture Week. As is tradition, diamonds took centre stage, but Francesca Amfitheatrof, now fully immersed in her role as design director at Tiffany, has added her own je ne sais quoi to the collection. Despite being inspired by two icons from the past, it shows the kind of luxurious modernity that is quickly becoming her trademark.
Divided into two themes, Tiffany Prism and Tiffany Ribbons, the brand’s rich design heritage and legacy of sourcing rare gemstones is ever present. The Graphic Arts ring is a re-creation of a cocktail ring designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany, the bands of gold decorated with rows of baguette-cut diamonds, giving it a boldly architectural feel.
With the Audrey Hepburn-inspired Ribbons jewels, Amfitheatrof has taken diamonds, that most classic of gemstones, and draped them elegantly around the neck and wrist. The work of Tiffany’s master stonecutters and setters, these are major diamonds. But there is a playfulness to the way these swags of gems sit on the skin, not in regimented rows but casually intertwined, with each necklace designed to be worn in multiple ways – a very enticing prospect when you are investing in a highly valuable jewel.
In honour of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the first design director at Tiffany, the new Prism jewels show a pioneering use of colour. I had lots of fun trying on the long pendant necklaces, which reach all the way down to the navel, culminating in a spinning disco ball set with tsavorites and spessartites, pink, blue or yellow sapphires. Even the chains are gem-set, and achieving the perfect sphere of carefully graduated stones would have taken many hours of painstaking work, with each precious gem – held in place by a bezel setting rather than with prongs – joined to the next by a mere slither of gold.
“When I work with diamonds and gemstones, I’m constantly drawing from our rich heritage while exploring new ideas that have a timeless, yet modern appeal,” explains Amfitheatrof. “Tiffany Masterpieces, like all of our high jewellery collections, symbolise the height of design innovation and experimentation.” There is certainly plenty of innovation and experimentation to be seen in these new jewels, but what is most impressive is how Amfitheatrof has translated her chic, easygoing style into a collection of very wearable jewels that don’t shout their haute joaillerie credentials from the rooftops.