Chaumet, the Place Vendôme jeweller, brings us a pretty new way to wear one of its most recognisable designs. The most recent Liens or 'ties' collection of jewels are light and graceful and sit delicately on the skin. Compared to some of the earlier styles, based on thicker bands of gold, this collection explores new ways of updating a classic design that is relevant to a new generation of jewellery lovers.
The new rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets are presented in white, yellow or pink gold with diamond highlights. The look is young and uncomplicated, which makes them ideal day jewels that are elegant enough to take you through into the night.
Like all good designs, the simple cross motif of Liens has endured. The intertwined 'X' cross has been seen in the work of Chaumet since 1907, but it came into its own in 1977 with the arrival of the first 'Les Liens' bijoux. This new interpretation focuses on the symbolism of the cross, which could be a meeting, friendship or, if you are very romantic, eternal, undying love.
The original lines of the Liens have been elongated and simplified. The emphasis is on the actual cross, which appears to quite literally bind the jewels together. Look at the smaller rings and you will see that the one continuous band of gold encircles the finger twice and is fastened securely in place by the diamond-set cross. It is a very simple and pleasingly effective design that works equally well in the bracelets and rings. The cross does in fact appear to have a functional role of keeping the jewel together in a tight embrace - or maybe even a hug - its importance highlighted by a generous sprinkling of diamonds.
The wider version of the ring literally stretches open the bands of the ring and ties the two sides together with a neat little cross - always set with diamonds. I particularly like the new cuff bracelet, called the Liens Croisés cuff, which is based on the same design but on a larger scale. The effect is bold and makes a big statement without resorting to large amounts of gold. Like the double tie ring, the two bands of gold make a very modern statement on the skin.
Whatever the 'Liens' cross symbolises to you, it is instantly recognisable. The language of design interpreted in gold and diamonds is understood around the world, which is why the Liens collection has been such a success for decades at Chaumet.