Smooth as Silk
Dior transforms the most couture of fabrics—silk—into a brilliant display of pattern and motion, writes Emilie Yabut-razon
D Victoire de Castellane was inspired by the luxurious sheen of silk in creating her latest collection for Dior Fine Jewellery: Soie Dior. White, yellow and pink gold are sculpted and set with diamonds, emeralds and sapphires, each piece designed to capture a split second of movement as the ribbons curl, swirl, pleat and twist.
“When you play with a ribbon, it gives you a completely different design each time,” says De Castellane. There is a piece where a pleat captures a pink sapphire between two waves in gold pavé, and one where a ribbon, which appears to have been untied just a moment earlier, holds a pear-cut diamond suspended between two undulating tails.
De Castellane got her fascination for volume and disproportionate jewellery from the woman who raised her, her glamorous grandmother Sylvia Hennessy, who lived in a world of writers, Hollywood stars and fashion designers. De Castellane recalls, “As a child, her stones, mounted in a very classic manner, seemed enormous. This disproportion is also found in haute couture, where ball gowns can need up to 500 metres of silk—the equivalent in jewellery is a 24-carat stone. It’s about the little details.” She adds, “When you look at our show and you see the dresses, you can’t imagine all the details without seeing them up close. As in life, details are very important and, for me, details mean luxury.”
Each of the Soie Dior pieces has its own unique construction and was fashioned using extremely challenging setting techniques, because, for De Castellane, there is no perfect shape. “In jewellery design, it’s more important to find the right balance. Beauty can be so many things—from classical to strange—but for me, it’s something that gives you emotion.”