By Maria Doulton
Soie Dior, or Dior Silk, is the latest high jewellery collection by creative director Victoire de Castellane, which manages to capture the colour, suppleness and lightness of the most precious haute couture fabrics.
It takes the no-holds-barred insouciance of de Castellane to quite literally turn cold, hard coloured gemstones into silk ribbon, pleats, ruffles and braiding. A joyful playfulness and a sensitivity to the beauty of the unexpected, combined with some seriously valuable stones - all brought together with breathtaking skill - make for one of the most impressive high jewellery collections of the year.
Holding the Denoué Dior necklace in my hands was like catching a silk ribbon falling through the air, rippling and twirling as it slips off the seamstress’s table - entrapping a sizeable Ceylon sapphire on its way down. In de Castellane’s magical world, natural order is reversed and coloured gemstones pin down ruffles of pink sapphires, while Paraiba tourmalines and yellow diamonds are smocked into plump trills of colour, and diamonds and emeralds become light as gauze. Rubies and tourmalines bend to de Castellane’s will and meander round soft cushions of colour in this delightfully surreal world where the impossible becomes a precious reality.
Looking beyond the obvious grandeur of a full-blown haute couture gown, de Castellane sees beauty in the details; a slip of a ribbon or a little tuck of material become a hugely precious jewel. The delightful carefree vitality of this Dior high jewellery collection is the fruit of its creative director’s mind, which dares to go where others fear to tread.
See our list of best coloured gemstone jewellery