Codes of the house

Coinciding with the haute couture shows, the high jewellery presentations have become a platform for creators to reconnect with fashion and their heritage.

The Power of Couture with Noeud, Boutons, Aiguillette by Boucheron

Twice a year the grand maisons of Place Vendome unveil dazzling high jewellery collections to beguile their clients while they are in Paris shopping their haute couture wardrobe. In June the high jewellery creators are given carte blanche to design what they like, whereas the sparkling gemstones unveiled in January are the collections where creators are increasingly embracing the remarkable heritage and essence of their brands. Amongst the diamonds and coloured gemstones therefore are many references to the illustrious history and codes of their houses. 

Tapping into their DNA are:


Delicat Diamond necklace by Dior
Dior Delicat garlands of braids in different cuts of diamonds and featuring the Bee-shaped setting.

Creative director Victoire de Castellane is endlessly inspired by founder Christian Dior and the beautiful workmanship of the couture atelier. Exquisite embroideries, braids, lace and complex weaves replicated in a profusion of colourful jewels are the inspiration for the Dior Delicat collection. Different cuts of diamonds and a new bee-shaped setting (two marquise with a princess cut in between) feature along with an expanded range that now includes huggies, hairclips and a tiara. The highlight however is a necklace created with overlapping garlands of diamond ‘braids’.


Myriad choker by Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton’s Deep Time Chapter II white gold and diamond ‘Myriad’ necklace based on the double helix structure of DNA. 

As a sequel to Francesca Amfitheatrof’s shimmering journey back to earth’s origins in last summer’s Deep Time collection comes Chapter II with a focus on yellow diamonds and earthy coloured gemstones like Umba sapphires, set in contrasting metals. The designs are boldly modern utilising Louis Vuitton’s design language, notably the Damier pattern, the ‘V’ setting and the flower monogram-cut diamond. The jewels take their cue from fungi, flowers and fossils, and even the double helix forms that create the sinuous structure of DNA is replicated as a diamond choker.


Founder, Frédéric Boucheron, was a son of a draper which sparked artistic director Claire Choisne’s fascination with ribbons and tassels. However, rather than going twee or baroque with bows, she found a photograph of the Duke of Edinburgh in full ceremonial regalia and used that to inspire her 24-piece Power of Couture collection. Solely crafted in diamonds, white gold and rock crystal (flexibly set to resemble the grosgrain ribbons of a bow and the articulated frogging draped across the chest) she cleverly created medals, insignia, epaulettes, cuffs and swags with crystal pendants. Many can be worn in a variety of ways, such as the epaulettes that become cuff bracelets.


Parade Earcuff and earring by Chaumet
A swirl of plumage curls around the ear in diamonds and different coloured metals from Chaumet.

Presented alongside this ravishing diamond eight-piece collection, Un Air de Chaumet, was a series of archive jewels from the 1840s to the 1970s that evoke the movement of birds in flight. From this emerge new ornaments to be worn on the head, including one of the house’s signature Aigrette feather tiaras. Flocks of swallows and swirling plumage fly across the hair on clips, swoop down around the ear as earcuffs or glide smoothly across the shoulder.


Yfalos necklace by Cartier
Cartier le Voyage Recommencé Chapter III Yfalos necklace with diamond waves crashing over ribbed coral beads, turquoise and emeralds.

In the third chapter of Le Voyage Recommencé Cartier draws many ideas from its heritage, not least the panther in all his splendour perching atop a peridot, carved coral and onyx bead necklace. The interesting colour combinations are a key feature such as a two large turquoise centre stones on a coral reef necklace with diamond, emerald and turquoise waves crashing around carved coral beads, and a pair of earrings with peachy brown tourmalines cascading with greeny-blue topazes. Exotic colour combinations excite, but there are also breathtakingly large gemstones in this collection including a 45.99ct lush green tourmaline and an emerald cut aquamarine in a transformable necklace with a host of clever ways to wear it.


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