In Full Bloom

L'officiel Singapore - - Contents - BY KENNY LOH

From the paridisal gar­den that has in­spired Chaumet for over two cen­turies, the jeweller picks the bee, a sheaf of wheat, the hy­drangea and the swal­low this time to in­spire a bril­liant new chap­ter in its high jew­ellery Jardins col­lec­tion.

The cool, crisp air is filled with the chirrup of birds and the pit­ter-pat­ter of light rain. A team of re­gional jour­nal­ists, my­self in­cluded, have been in­vited by Chaumet to gather at Shi-yang, a bu­colic tea house an hour’s drive away from the bus­tle of Taipei city and tucked away in the val­ley of the spec­tac­u­lar Wuzhi Moun­tain. I am led into a room on the sec­ond floor of the ul­tra-slick duplex, a struc­ture that wouldn’t look out of place in a de­sign fea­ture; one end of the room opens up com­pletely to face the lush green­ery. I am left alone to “clear my thoughts” and to find my “in­ner zen”.

To fully un­der­stand why Chaumet has brought us here, one ought to know that na­ture is, in fact, a re­ally big deal for the Parisian jeweller. For 236 years, the brand has em­braced both the beauty of the wild and wildlife as sources of in­spi­ra­tion, com­bin­ing that with an inim­itable know-how in crafts­man­ship and gem-set­ting to cre­ate highly im­pres­sive lines for an over­ar­ch­ing col­lec­tion named “Jardins”.

For 236 years, the brand has em­braced both the beauty of the wild and wildlife as sources of in­spi­ra­tion, com­bin­ing that with an inim­itable knowhow in crafts­man­ship and gem-set­ting to cre­ate highly im­pres­sive lines for an over­ar­ch­ing col­lec­tion named “Jardins”.

There’s Bee My Love, which, as its name sug­gests, cel­e­brates the bee – a sym­bol of re­gal­ity beloved by the French – and the hon­ey­comb pat­tern on di­a­mond bands and mini pen­dants. Horten­sia trans­lates the pretty hy­drangea as bou­quets of vi­brant-coloured stones on brooches, rings and ear­rings. Mean­while, At­trape-moi reimag­ines the move­ments of spi­ders, drag­on­flies and, again, bees as playful mo­tifs on the dial of a watch or as the cen­tre­piece of a jew­ellery cre­ation.

Chaumet un­folds a new chap­ter in the en­chant­ing Jardins story this month by pre­sent­ing two unique high jew­ellery lines, Abeille and Épi de Blé, which, like their pre­de­ces­sors, are in­spired by the same beau­ti­ful gar­den uni­verse that the brand has looked to for over two cen­turies. The Abeille line sees a re­turn to the house’s trea­sured bee mo­tif, el­e­vat­ing the in­sect in never-seen-be­fore ar­rays of con­trast­ing-coloured gems. Strik­ing man­darin and hes­sonite gar­nets sit along­side the cool tones of aqua­ma­rine, peri­dot and green tour­ma­line on gold rings, ear­rings and pen­dants, all of which are dec­o­rated with del­i­cate open­worked wings and fin­ished with only the finest bril­liant-cut di­a­monds.

Mean­while, the Épi de Blé range is a fem­i­nine trib­ute to Em­press Joséphine, the first and eter­nal muse of Chaumet, and a fash­ion icon who, through­out her life­time, re­mained true to the French Em­pire’s con­tem­po­rary de­sign codes. Dur­ing her reign in the early 19th cen­tury, Joséphine quickly pop­u­larised the neo­clas­si­cal tiara, which even­tu­ally led to the re­turn of clas­si­cal mo­tifs such as the wheat sheaf in jew­ellery. Now, the sym­bol of life makes a sec­ond come­back as the Épi de Blé brooch and ring in yel­low gold. The pair is rhodium-plated to re­sem­ble gold jew­ellery worn in the ’80s, but is up­dated with sparkling di­a­mond ac­cents for modern-day ap­peal.

Ac­com­pa­ny­ing the Abeille and Épi de Blé lines are also new ad­di­tions to Chaumet’s highly pop­u­lar Horten­sia fam­ily. There are two parts: Aube Rosée de­picts the hy­drangea in the morn­ing through pow­dery pink opals, pink sap­phires and pink tour­ma­lines; Voie Lacteé por­trays the flower in the night time us­ing sym­phonies of milky sap­phires, tan­zan­ites and white chal­cedony.

The fi­nal show­case of Chaumet’s new Jardins chap­ter soars high into the sky, im­mor­tal­is­ing the swal­low – the bird of hope, loy­alty and re­birth – in a range of geo­met­ric-style pieces com­posed of in­tense onyx, emer­alds and sap­phires. An ode to the brand’s in­no­va­tive spirit, a pair of trans­formable ear­rings – em­bel­lished with a pair of white agates that can be de­tached to be worn as short ear­rings – takes the spot­light.

His­tor­i­cal sketch from Chaumet’s ar­chives show how im­por­tant na­ture is to the Parisian jeweller as a source of in­spi­ra­tion.

1. 1. The Abeille pen­dant can be worn as a brooch or on a neck­lace. Yel­low and white gold with peri­dots, man­darin and tsa­vorite gar­nets, yel­low sap­phires and bril­liant-cut di­a­monds. 2. Abeille Toi & Moi white and pink gold ring with man­darin gar­nets, pink tour­ma­lines, spinels and bril­liant-cut di­a­monds. 3. There are three parts to this trans­formable Horten­sia Aube Rosée cre­ation: a brooch, a pen­dant and a hair­pin. Pink gold with sap­phire, tour­ma­lines, opals and bril­liant-cut di­a­monds. 4. Abeille yel­low and white gold brooch with cabo­chon-cut opal, yel­low sap­phire, cit­rine, man­darin gar­nets, yel­low sap­phires and bril­liant-cut di­a­monds. 2. 4. 3.

The Horten­sia Voie Lacteé is a pre­cious de­pic­tion of the hy­drangea at night. There are rings, ear­rings, a bracelet and even a se­cret watch. White gold with white chal­cedony and bril­liant-cut blue sap­phires and di­a­monds.

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