While bright, look-at-me colours were bursting out from the display cases of virtually every jeweller I visited in Paris during Couture Week, Boucheron stood out as an exception. The cool, clear tones of white, white and more white, with a hint of nude pink or airy blue, sufficed to get across a very clear message: less is more.
The play of light and shadows that criss-cross the Boucheron boutique on the corner of Place Vendôme is the theme for the new Hotel de la Lumière collection of high jewels, interpreted in diamonds and rock crystal.
Creative Director Claire Choisne, who surprised last year with her bold debut collection L'Artisan du Rêve (read more here), has once again pulled the carpet from under our feet with an exciting new collection that takes designs from the house's rich archives and gives them a thoroughly modern twist.
The low-volume colour palette doesn't mean low impact as the look is futuristic, intriguing and slightly quirky. I was fascinated by the Perles d'Éclat jewels, which refers to the 'pearls of radiance' in champagne. The story goes that in the 17th century, Dom Pérignon wanted to rid his brew of bubbles. Fortunately, Dom realised the folly of his ways and let the nectar of the gods remain effervescent. Nineteen rock crystal bubbles have been hollowed out to form a necklace, with the front three remaining unfrosted. These orbs offer a view into a fascinating world: a galaxy of diamonds that appear to float inside their spherical universe. Between each rock crystal bubble is a slice of diamond in the shape of a disc, adding more flashes of fire to this highly unusual necklace. The same idea is interpreted in rings that float over the finger as light as soap bubbles.
Goutte de Lumière is another intriguing piece that is at once simple and minimalist with a hidden shimmer. The long necklace is made up of 80 drops of frosted rock crystal. With the slightest movement, the briolette rock crystal drop that forms the pendant on the necklace comes alive with the shimmering of dozens of diamonds set into the stone. The drop is in fact made up of two crystal halves in which the diamonds are embedded, totally free from any metal claws or settings, for a light-as-air effect that is amplified by the lens effect of the curved crystal.
But the showstopper of this unusual collection is the Soleil Radiant diamond necklace, which was inspired by the sun motifs found on the balustrades of the Place, which commemorate the military victories of Louis XIV, the Sun King. The necklace sits like a radiant halo around the neck thanks to a variety of cuts, including baguette, princess and round cut diamonds, held lightly together by the most supple of metalwork. Wearing it must feel like shards of sunlight streaming onto the skin.