High jew­ellery cel­e­brates art, fairy tales, na­ture and the joy of colour

Prestige Hong Kong - - JEWELLERY -

fine jew­ellery is time­less, and ev­ery sea­son brings with it a wave of one-of-akind trea­sures that push the bound­aries of in­no­va­tion and in­ge­nu­ity. In the past, white di­a­monds used to dom­i­nate high jew­ellery, but now brightly coloured pre­cious gem­stones are tak­ing the spot­light as lead­ing jew­ellery houses cel­e­brate art, di­ver­sity and colour in their lat­est of­fer­ings. A house where colour is now in­te­gral to the de­sign of fine jew­ellery is Lon­don-based Graff Di­a­monds, which made news at Basel­world 2014 when it pre­sented the Hal­lu­ci­na­tion watch, priced at US$55 mil­lion. The time­piece was costly be­cause it was en­crusted with rare fancy-coloured di­a­monds that range from pink and blue to yel­low and or­ange; founder and chair­man Lau­rence Graff com­mented that Hal­lu­ci­na­tion is “a cel­e­bra­tion of the mir­a­cle of coloured di­a­monds”. Fast-for­ward to the present and Graff is now in­spired by the ab­stract ex­pres­sion­ism of con­tem­po­rary art. Be­sides his pas­sion for rare di­a­monds, Graff is also a pro­lific col­lec­tor of revo­lu­tion­ary 20th-cen­tury works of art, so it’s no won­der that the high­light of the lat­est col­lec­tion is a se­ries of colour­ful, en­er­getic jew­ellery that mir­rors the freely scrib­bled paint­ings of Amer­i­can artist Cy Twombly. The col­lec­tion fea­tures rivers of di­a­monds un­du­lat­ing across neck­laces, ear­rings, bracelets and rings – some­times in­ter­spersed with rubies. With nearly 240 years of his­tory un­der its belt, Chaumet has al­ways looked glob­ally for in­spi­ra­tion. The Parisian mai­son re­cently un­veiled Tré­sors d’Afrique, the beau­ti­ful fi­nale to the

If you love flashy pieces, you’ll be drool­ing over the Eggs neck­lace that sparkles with cit­rine, amethysts, rubel­lite, chal­cedony and di­a­monds

jew­eller’s three-part Mon­des de Chaumet high­jew­ellery range. Pre­vi­ous col­lec­tions show­cased Rus­sian and Ja­panese in­flu­ences, and this time it’s sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa. It was the chance sight­ing of the work of Kenyan artist Evans Mbugua in a lit­tle-known gallery that gave birth to Tré­sors d’Afrique, which cel­e­brates the con­ti­nent’s land­scape, fauna and tra­di­tions. The col­lec­tion plays with colour, geo­met­ric pat­terns and ma­te­ri­als, with ex­otic pieces rang­ing from ebony cuffs and a pink opal ele­phant brooch to beaded neck­laces, bracelets and an ear­rings set fea­tur­ing emer­alds, sap­phires and red spinels. An­other house in­spired by art is Ro­man jew­eller Bul­gari. Its brazen Wild Pop col­lec­tion pays homage to the works of Andy Warhol and pop artists from the 1980s. More than 80 pieces cel­e­brate the free spirit, em­pow­er­ment and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion of that era. Colour – a recog­nis­able mo­tif of Bul­gari’s style – takes cen­tre stage in this stun­ning col­lec­tion whose de­signs are built on the brand’s es­tab­lished sig­na­tures, as well as un­usual and sur­pris­ing com­bi­na­tions of bright gem­stones. If you love flashy pieces, you’ll be drool­ing over the de­light­ful Eggs neck­lace that sparkles with cit­rine, amethysts, rubel­lite, chal­cedony and di­a­monds. Chanel be­gan mak­ing its mark in high jew­ellery when Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel un­veiled her first jew­ellery col­lec­tion in the 1930s and to­day al­most all the mai­son’s jew­ellery ref­er­ences the de­signer’s favourite things. The 2018 Coro­man­del high-jew­ellery col­lec­tion, which fea­tures 59 pieces, is in­spired by the screens in her apart­ment at 31 Rue Cam­bon and is di­vided into three themes – flo­ral, an­i­mal and min­eral. All about high de­sign, the col­lec­tion utilises niche tech­niques and ma­te­ri­als, from lac­quer­ing and bead­ing to mother-of-pearl mar­quetry, to dis­tin­guish the colour and ma­te­ri­als used. Com­posed of plat­inum, yel­low gold, di­a­monds and mother-of-pearl, the Hori­zon Loin­tain neck­lace, for in­stance, fea­tures mo­tifs found on Chanel’s Coro­man­del screens. A mas­ter jew­eller that never shies away from us­ing provoca­tive gem­stones is the near­legendary mai­son Cartier, whose un­abashed use of mul­ti­coloured and ex­otic gem­stones has be­come a trade­mark. Its lat­est 240-piece Coloratura col­lec­tion ex­plores the rich cul­tures of Asia and Africa through a pal­ette of mul­ti­coloured hues. Coloratura, as its name sug­gests,

is all about colour. The Ho­lika suite of jew­els from this col­lec­tion, for in­stance, pays trib­ute to the Hindu spring fes­ti­val Holi, in which rev­ellers drench each other with coloured paint. Ho­lika pieces fea­ture acid-bright tour­ma­line and chrysoberyl beads, threaded to­gether like pearls and then mounted on to vo­lu­mi­nous hoop ear­rings, bracelets and rings, crowned with juicy rubel­lites. Chris­tian Dior be­lieves that if imag­i­na­tion and supreme pre­ci­sion are ap­plied, haute cou­ture and jew­els go hand in hand. Dior’s first high-jew­ellery col­lec­tion was un­veiled 20 years ago and the mai­son has been earn­ing rave re­views for its art­ful and creative pieces ever since. Creative Di­rec­tor Vic­toire de Castel­lane has helmed the jew­ellery depart­ment since its in­cep­tion and is known for her ex­pres­sive use of spec­tac­u­lar coloured gem­stones to cre­ate sin­gu­lar daz­zling pieces. The lat­est col­lec­tion, dubbed Dior, Dior, Dior, pays trib­ute to the fab­rics used in cou­ture cloth­ing, es­pe­cially lace. De Castel­lane’s rov­ing imag­i­na­tion is in­ter­preted through a rain­bow of candy-coloured stones, strewn de­light­fully across an in­tri­cate lace­work of gold, in neck­laces, bracelets and rings, to form minia­ture petals or ten­drils that creep through and around the hand-worked hon­ey­comb set­ting. Draw­ing from archival styles, the Win­ston Clus­ter col­lec­tion from Harry Win­ston fea­tures mar­quise pear-shape di­a­monds, com­bined with emer­alds, rubies and sap­phires, and set in plat­inum. The range was in­spired by dec­o­ra­tive Christ­mas wreaths af­ter the founder, of­ten re­ferred to as “jew­eller to the stars”, was mes­merised by the el­e­gant shapes cre­ated by glis­ten­ing snow on holly gar­lands. He then set out to cre­ate jew­ellery de­signs that were led by the shape of the gem­stones rather than their me­tal set­tings, and this be­came a sig­na­ture for the brand. To­day, al­most 75 years af­ter the first de­signs were cre­ated, the Win­ston Clus­ter is still one of the brand’s most fa­mous lines. This year’s col­lec­tion fea­tures pen­dants and ear­rings with emer­alds, rubies and sap­phires, high-light­ing these ex­cep­tional stones and show-cas­ing Harry Win­ston’s time­less de­signs while hon­our­ing its place in Hol­ly­wood his­tory.

Pi­aget’s Sun­light Es­cape col­lec­tion, mean­while, plays with the colour­ful spec­trum of light to en­cap­su­late the beauty of na­ture. The jew­els here boast an abun­dance of cre­ativ­ity that gushes with blind­ing hues, ex­cit­ing forms and mar­riages of ma­te­ri­als. Among the ex­tra­or­di­nary pieces are the Blaz­ing Sky trans­formable neck­lace, strung on white opal beads and fea­tur­ing a gor­geous pen­dant of spinels, rubies, spes­sar­tite gar­nets and pink sap­phires that ra­di­ate to a wave of blue Paraiba tour­ma­lines and di­a­monds. A de­tach­able pear-shape Mozam­bique Paraiba tour­ma­line drips from its tip, mak­ing this neck­lace a head-turner. De­tails are what set brands apart from one an­other in the high-jew­ellery arena and in this re­spect, Pi­aget has earned its lau­rels as one of the finest. Turn­ing po­etic vi­sion into price­less jew­ellery is Van Cleef & Arpels. The Parisian mai­son is known for its nar­ra­tion of the com­pelling sto­ry­lines that lie be­hind its whim­si­cal col­lec­tions. Its lat­est Qu­a­tre Contes de Grimm col­lec­tion is a ro­man­tic be­jew­elled in­ter­pre­ta­tion of four fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm: The Twelve Danc­ing Princesses, The Golden Bird, The Three Feath­ers and Town Mu­si­cians of Bre­men. With vi­brant hues and gems of all shapes and sizes, each piece in the col­lec­tion em­bod­ies the themes and sto­ry­lines of a par­tic­u­lar tale. Es­pe­cially de­sir­able is the Panache Mys­térieux clip, set with round- and baguette-cut di­a­monds as well as blue, mauve and yel­low sap­phires, which utilises the mai­son’s trade­marked Mys­tery Set tech­nique to cre­ate an in­ter­play of light be­tween the stones. For those who in­tend on mak­ing grand en­trances, jew­ellery from Chopard’s Red Car­pet col­lec­tion fits the bill per­fectly. The Geneva-based jew­eller, which is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked with the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val, is known for its glam­orous high-carat stones: each year, un­der the watch­ful eye of Co-Pres­i­dent and Creative Di­rec­tor Caro­line Scheufele, the house cre­ates the fes­ti­val’s Palme d’Or tro­phies and dom­i­nates the red-car­pet jew­ellery. Un­veiled each sea­son at Cannes, the Red Car­pet col­lec­tion al­ways as­tounds with its ex­tra­or­di­nary de­signs and bright gems. An Ori­en­tal aura sur­rounds some of the larger jew­els in the lat­est col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing the Feather Neck­lace, a state­ment piece that’s in­spired by the na­tive cos­tumes of the Mon­go­lian plains. Sculpted in gold, it fea­tures a swirl of blue ap­atites, vi­o­let gar­nets and red jasper set in a feathered col­lar. A cel­e­bra­tion of Tif­fany & Co.’s in­flu­ence on gems and rare stones can be found in Artis­tic Di­rec­tor Reed Krakoff’s first high-jew­ellery col­lec­tion for the Amer­i­can house. His Pa­per Flow­ers col­lec­tion was in­spired by the idea of petals, cut from pa­per and del­i­cately pinned to­gether. It blooms with sap­phires and tan­zan­ite, a gem­stone that Tif­fany & Co. in­tro­duced to the world in 1968; and white and yel­low di­a­monds for which the com­pany is fa­mous. The new col­lec­tion runs the gamut from a bib neck­lace set with 68 carats of di­a­monds to open­work cock­tail rings and pen­dants. The goal, says Krakoff, was to “re­con­tex­tu­alise high jew­ellery in a more wear­able, au­then­tic way”.

This page: Ruby and di­a­mond ear­rings by Graff Op­po­site page: A se­lec­tion of pieces from Chaumet’s Tré­sors d’Afrique col­lec­tion

Right: Chanel’s Hori­zon Loin­tain neck­lace, fea­tur­ing mo­tifs found on Coro­man­del screens in Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s Paris apart­ment Op­po­site: A colour­ful con­fec­tion from Bul­gari’s Wild Pop col­lec­tion

Clock­wise from bot­tom left: A show­stop­ping piece from Cartier’s Coloratura col­lec­tion; the Den­telle Velour ring from the Dior, Dior, Dior col­lec­tion; Win­ston Clus­ter ear­rings by Harry Win­ston Op­po­site: The Blaz­ing Sky neck­lace from Pi­aget’s Sun­light Es­cape col­lec­tion

Left: Chopard’s colour­ful Red Car­pet ear­rings Be­low: Reed Krakoff’s Pa­per Flow­ers bracelet for Tif­fany & Co. Op­po­site: Van Cleef & Arpels brings fairy tales to life with Qu­a­tre Contes de Grimm

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