By Rachel Garrahan in Los Angeles
The first piece that French-Mexican designer Colette created for her new collection, Blue Drift, was a diamond-encrusted, winged ear cuff that dramatically follows the line of the ear.
Not surprisingly, the statement piece - available in all white diamonds or with a dash of blue, green or black diamonds - garnered a lot of attention when it was unveiled at the Couture Show recently. Not that ear cuffs are anything new for the Los Angeles-based designer. She was bringing them to Las Vegas long before they became fashionable.
The designer's feminine but edgy, fashion-forward jewellery belies her poetic approach to design. Blue Drift features delicate, bejewelled birds of Colette's own creation that signify both the creative freedom and the time for quiet reflection that she craves.
The collection began to take form in Colette's mind during a summer holiday in Turkey last year, where birds were often the only thing to be seen or heard during the quiet month of Ramadan. Her summer vacation each year is an essential part of her creative process: "I need time off to be a designer," she says. This summer, the designer is off to the south of France.
Birds also have happy childhood memories for Colette. In her studio in Beverly Hills, tears appear in her eyes as she recalls feeding the winged creatures in her beloved grandmother's Mexican garden as a child. It is perhaps for this reason she says "this is the collection that's closest to my heart".
As with all Colette's collections, a wide range of complementary pieces followed the ear cuff, giving her customers a choice of pieces, large and small, from the tiniest earring to a bold and beautiful across-the-hand ring that features birds flying freely in all directions, and a striking necklace with birds seductively in flight across the front and down the wearer's back.
Colette also launched Entwined In You in Las Vegas, a collection inspired by the notion that everything in life is connected. The delicate but dramatic white gold mesh glove is given a softer edge with floral embellishments and is the statement piece of this collection. Like modern-day chain mail, I can picture Rihanna rocking it on the red carpet. A beautiful woven lariat with diamond accents, meanwhile, designed to be worn in a number of ways, is both glamorous and versatile.
Colette's jewellery is handmade in Los Angeles and Paris, and is available at many stores, including Montaigne Market in Paris, and Maxfield and Broken English in LA.