By Åse Anderson
Paris Couture Week is always a feast for the eyes as the big jewellery houses unveil their most wondrous high jewellery creations in front of a captivated audience.
Each handcrafted, one-of-a-kind jewel is an intricate work of art that represents the very pinnacle of creativity, style and quality, so selecting our favourite three standout jewels was no easy task. But it was the references to the animal kingdom this season that appealed to me most, be it a peacock's plumage, a lion's majestic mane or a snake coiling its way around a neck or wrist.
Taking pride of place in our top three are the jaw-dropping Chopard earrings adorned with peacocks from the Animal World collection. A colourful rhapsody of precious stones, including sapphires, tsavorites, amethysts, tourmalines and diamonds, this latest pair of Chopard earrings formed part of an impressive high jewellery display that marked Chopard's first appearance on the Paris Couture schedule.
The snake has been synonymous with Bulgari for more than seven decades and its gilded, coiled form is a familiar motif in the Italian luxury house's jewellery collections. The iconic serpent, whether in watch or jewel form, has been worn by Bulgari devotee Elizabeth Taylor, fashion legend Diana Vreeland and, more recently, Australian actress Naomi Watts, who wore a diamond-encrusted Serpenti necklace to the 2015 Golden Globes. The spectacular Bulgari necklace on show at Paris Couture Week features the serpent decked out in round and pear-shaped emeralds, and marquise brilliant-cut diamonds.
My final standout jewel is a Chanel ring featuring two of Gabrielle Chanel's iconic motifs. Born under the sign of Leo, with a fascination for all things celestial, it is no wonder that stars and lions were so symbolic to her. Both of them feature in this unique Chanel ring from the new Les Intemporels high jewellery collection, on which a regal lion, either covered in diamonds or carved out of onyx, guards a sparkling star.