OUT OF BOUNDS

Play­ful­ness and el­e­gance per­me­ate Her­mès’ new En­chaine­ments Li­bres high jew­ellery col­lec­tion, dis­cov­ers charmian leong

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Contents -

Her­mès’ new En­chaine­ments Li­bres high jew­ellery col­lec­tion

chains are, by na­ture and pur­pose, sup­posed to be tough, heavy and brawny. But in the hands of Pierre Hardy, cre­ative di­rec­tor of Her­mès jew­ellery, that im­age has been trans­formed into a leit­mo­tif that is light, play­ful and glam­orous in the new En­chaine­ments Li­bres col­lec­tion. In­spired by Her­mès’ ori­gins as a har­ness maker and sad­dler, the curb chain, sad­dle chain, an­chor chain link and tog­gle clasp have been reimag­ined in pre­cious met­als and stones and even ti­ta­nium for a se­ries of neck­laces, bracelets, ear­rings and rings.

“Metal might seem to be the most hos­tile of ma­te­ri­als, but the chal­lenge for me was to find its point of fusion with the hu­man body, to find flex­i­bil­ity, er­gonomics, sen­su­al­ity,” he says. “When I’m de­sign­ing I for­get how pre­cious or rare the metal might be; ev­ery­thing stems from shape.”

Un­apolo­get­i­cally mod­ish, the Adage Her­mès boldly en­larges the links in a play on con­trasts and asym­me­try, com­bin­ing rose and white gold paved with bril­liant-cut di­a­monds. And if it weren’t for the use of ti­ta­nium as the base ma­te­rial, the spec­tac­u­lar di­men­sions of the Her­mès Fusion neck­lace would be much too bur­den­some on the neck. The fact this ul­tra-light metal is in­fa­mously dif­fi­cult to melt and set with gems also show­cases Her­mès’ tech­ni­cal prow­ess. Rose gold ac­cents and brown di­a­monds add warmth to the tra­di­tion­ally in­dus­trial metal.

“Flu­id­ity is insep­a­ra­ble from the chain: Its es­sen­tial na­ture is to be flex­i­ble. Some­times I make it dis­ap­pear, turn­ing it into a rib­bon, a flat ex­panse; this is the Her­mès Voltige nar­ra­tive,” he says, re­fer­ring to the flow­ing de­sign com­posed of mi­nus­cule yel­low gold an­chor chains. One neck­lace is com­posed of 12m of chain, and each link metic­u­lously stud­ied to achieve the de­sired tex­tu­ral ef­fect — a process that re­quires a month of work.

In di­rect con­trast to the Voltige Her­mès is the Chaine d’an­cre zoom. The an­chor chain link ap­pears mag­ni­fied to ex­trav­a­gant pro­por­tions in a rose gold neck­lace and ring thanks to a large rock crys­tal cabo­chon that sur­rounds the di­a­mond-crusted link. Her­mès ad­mits sev­eral at­tempts were un­der­taken to find a per­fectly clear stone, par­tic­u­larly one of this size, and many la­bo­ri­ous hours to achieve that level of per­fec­tion on the pol­ish­ing.

But it is with the Her­mès Grand Jete and Pe­tit Jete that we see the beau­ti­ful irony of free­dom come alive in chains. Links in the Grande Jete are stretched, length­ened, rounded and an­gled. Rose gold and di­a­monds hang along­side pink opals, black jade, pearls, or­ange sap­phires and topaz. While some links re­main con­nected, oth­ers de­tach and hang. Made up of 106 as­sem­bled el­e­ments, it’s a whirl­wind of stylish dis­or­der. The Pe­tit Jete is a more clas­sic take, trad­ing eye-catch­ing size for light-cap­tur­ing stones. The paved and ar­tic­u­lated chains are punc­tu­ated with 3.2-ct pear-cut, 2-ct cush­ion­cut and 1-ct oval-cut di­a­monds.

Hardy’s dancer past trans­lates well into jew­ellery, see­ing how his pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with move­ment cre­ates pieces that be­come ex­ten­sions of the body. “They re­veal ges­tures, en­hance pos­tures. They are ob­jects with a lot of per­son­al­ity, light and ra­di­ance,” he ex­plains. “These pieces are de­signed for mod­ern life­styles. They dance in uni­son with the bod­ies that wear them.”

ADAGE HER­MÈS NECK­LACE IN ROSEAND WHITE GOLDWITH DI­A­MONDS; OP­PO­SITE PAGE:HER­MÈS GRAND JETÉ NECK­LACE IN ROSE GOLD WITH DI­A­MONDS, OR­ANGE SAP­PHIRES, BLACK JADE, PINK OPALS AND GREY PEARLS

HER­MÈS VOLTIGE BRACELET AND EAR­RINGS IN YEL­LOW GOLD WITH DI­A­MONDS

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