By Maria Doulton
Like the first Cartier jewellery collection, the 28 new creations in the second installment of Paris Nouvelle Vague are inspired by references to the French capital, both large and small. From sweet, swirling Chantilly cream to the metal structure of the Eiffel Tower and the soaring dome of the Grand Palais, this eclectic selection of fine jewellery tells the story of a city in precious stones and metals.
The rippling water and bridges that span the Seine are the inspiration behind the latticed gold Cartier ring and bracelet, which are highly tactile, three-dimensional jewels. The insides are coated in red lacquer, adding a flash of colour among the golden waves. The contoured patterns of water on sand are exquisitely recreated in gold, black lacquer and diamonds in a large Cartier bracelet and matching ring.
Perhaps the most literal Parisian reference is the chain link mesh choker, which is randomly dotted with coloured gemstones - each a reminder of the tradition of lovers placing padlocks on the grills of the Pont Neuf bridge. The metalwork of the glass dome of the Grand Palais is interpreted in a Cartier ring and dramatic bracelet that resemble golden basketwork. Clusters of golden balls interspersed with diamonds jingle with every move, capturing the excitement of a night out in Paris.
But I have saved my favourite piece to last. Malachite tubes dotted with fire opals at the tips writhe and wiggle in a Cartier ring that brings all the fun and daring of Cartier bang into the 21th century.