By Ase Anderson in London
The rose has been an integral element of Piaget's jewels for over half a century, and the brand's latest collection is a magnificent tribute to the 'Queen of Flowers' but with an unexpected tropical and colourful twist. Bold, contemporary and glamorous, the new Piaget Rose Passion high jewellery collection comprises an astonishing 75 pieces of jewellery and 25 watches that echo Yves Piaget's love of roses.
The delicate rose flower has graced Piaget's collections with its diamond-set petals since the 1960s, when scion of the watchmaking house, Yves Piaget, created the trophy for the Geneva International New Rose competition in 1979, and there is even a rose named after him.
Since then the rose has been a constant motif in Piaget's jewellery, and now we see it take on exotic forms in vibrant colours that reflect the Caribbean childhood of Joséphine de Beauharnais , Empress of France and wife of Napoléon Bonaparte. Born in Martinique, Joséphine was brought up surrounded by the colours and exuberant flowers of the Caribbean that are reflected in this new collection. Later in life, Joséphine dedicated many years to the cultivation of one of the largest collections of roses in the gardens of her Château de Malmaison near Paris.
Made entirely in Piaget's jewellery workshops, with a luminous choice of precious stones, the Rose Passion collection features pieces that can be worn in many different ways, from combs and tiaras to the brand's iconic cuff-watches. At a cocktail party to celebrate the launch, supermodel and friend of the brand, Bar Refaeli, wore the white gold Rose Passion necklace set with 676 brilliant-cut diamonds, a white gold and diamond Rose ring, and the white gold Rose Passion earrings set with 281 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Reflecting the colour of the rose, pink stones are predominant throughout the collection, with green gems adding a fresh flourish. Laurel branches, with their leaves daintily represented by a marquise-cut diamond, are reminiscent of the embroidered dresses worn by the Empress.
Keeping history alive and as a tribute to the elegant rose that has pervaded so much of its history, Piaget has taken on a project to restore the Château's iconic rose garden to its former glory. While this botanical treasure was damaged over the years and little remains of the original garden, with Piaget's support the museum at Malmaison is planting 750 old roses to revive the legacy of an extraordinary woman.