By Maria Doulton
From Louis Vuitton's seemingly infinite Monogram universe comes a new constellation of fine jewellery, which adds another playful twist to the Maison's famous logo-inspired jewels.
The light-filled new Louis Vuitton Sun and Star collection is once again inspired by the flowers of the iconic LV Monogram print, as seen on leather goods, trunks and fabrics for more than a century. If you recall, the Monogram motif is made up of three simple geometric shapes: one is a round-petal quatrefoil flower inside a circle; another a simple four-armed star-shaped flower; while the third is the same shape in negative, inside a diamond with tapered points.
Playing with these simple yet versatile shapes, the Vuitton design atelier in Paris brings new life to these enduring motifs. The Sun jewels in white and yellow gold, and the Star gems in white or rose gold, have been treated to a shimmering of diamonds and the moonlight iridescence of mother-of-pearl.
It is interesting to note that this is the first time Louis Vuitton jewellery has featured mother-of-pearl in its Monogram collection. But since Vuitton prides itself on doing things its own way, the mother-of-pearl is facetted into a gently rounded cabochon shape, which adds extra depth and a luxurious play of nacre to these delicate fine jewellery pieces. The soft sheen of mother-of-pearl is the perfect companion to the brilliance of diamonds and highly polished gold.
The Sun jewels radiate warmth thanks to the use of summer-bright white gold or hazy warm yellow gold. The gold circle around each of the motifs is either fluted to create a mirage of light, or set with diamonds to dazzle with their fire.
The Star jewels are distinguishable by their generous diamond settings as well as the openwork gold, which allows for sizeable proportions without the weight of solid cast gold.
Strung on dainty chains, dangling from pendants or set on simple gold bands as a ring, the Sun and Star jewels have a resolutely contemporary feel, even if the original Monogram pattern has its roots in the Victorian era. The long chains and earrings are designed to be worn every day, thanks to the Maison's delightfully informal sense of luxury.
Forever innovating, the Louis Vuitton Monogram collection, first seen 15 years ago, now consists of the Sun, Star, Idylle, Fusion and Dentelle collections. Testimony to the creative force of Vuitton's design team, these fine jewellery pieces remain fresh and distinctive. Using a range of materials and differing levels of opulence, the perennial Monogram pattern proves that good design lives on and on.
I wonder what Louis Vuitton, who devised the original Monogram motif in 1896 to protect his steamer trunks from counterfeits, would make of the lifecycle of his famous geometric design?