CARTIER

Cartier’s new Coloratura high jew­ellery col­lec­tion is an open in­vi­ta­tion to a kalei­do­scopic jour­ney around the world, candice chan dis­cov­ers in Paris

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Contents -

Em­bark on a kalei­do­scopic

jour­ney

in cartier’s eyes, beauty knows no bounds. Since the days of Pierre, Jacques and Louis Cartier (broth­ers cred­ited for es­tab­lish­ing the Cartier brand world­wide), the Mai­son has tra­versed the length and breadth of the world to un­cover the rarest gem­stones. In turn, these quests have led to the ex­plo­ration of ex­otic lo­cales such as In­dia, Africa and Rus­sia, which in­spired some of its most evoca­tive cre­ations.

This year, Cartier re­vis­its these coun­tries through its lat­est high jew­ellery col­lec­tion, Coloratura. Com­posed of some 240 colour­ful cre­ations, it takes you on a whirl­wind jour­ney through the sun­drenched plains of Africa all the way to Ja­pan’s dreamy cherry blos­som gar­dens. But it wasn’t merely the fas­ci­nat­ing ar­chi­tec­ture, to­pog­ra­phy or na­tive flora and fauna that in­spired Cartier this time around; de­sign­ers also drew from dif­fer­ent cul­tural fes­ti­vals in these coun­tries a joiede­vivre they in­jected into the jew­ellery.

“We wanted to speak about joy and we also wanted to show an as­pect of Cartier’s style that had to do with how we use colours. We also wanted to travel around the world to show how dif­fer­ent cul­tures in­spired us, and to cel­e­brate the dif­fer­ent joy­ous oc­ca­sions from around the world,” ex­plains cre­ative di­rec­tor Jac­que­line Karachi.

In the ex­am­ple of the Yoshino neck­lace, made to be worn in three dis­tinct ways and head­lined by two im­pres­sive emer­ald-cut mor­gan­ites to­talling 55.18cts, Cartier was in­spired by Ja­pan’s hanami, an an­cient fes­ti­val that her­alds the ar­rival of spring and high­lights the tran­sient beauty of cherry and plum blos­soms.

While the mind in­stinc­tively con­jures up im­ages of clouds of cot­ton candy-pink flow­ers, Karachi is quick to of­fer Cartier’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the pop­u­lar fes­ti­val: “Although we wanted to ref­er­ence cherry blos­soms, we re­frained from us­ing colours that were faded. That’s why we added opals (three cabo­chon-cut opals to­talling 8.13cts) to make the ef­fect live­lier. To en­sure that the jew­ellery wouldn’t be too bold or ag­gres­sive, we also mixed three dif­fer­ent types of pink gem­stones that would

sub­tly ac­cen­tu­ate one an­other, like mu­si­cal chords,” she adds. Fur­ther adorned with pink sap­phires and a cor­nu­copia of tour­ma­line beads and bril­liant-cut di­a­monds, the Yoshino neck­lace is also one of the most chal­leng­ing to pro­duce be­cause of its trans­formable struc­ture.

The Mat­suri neck­lace, com­posed of a del­i­cate lat­tice­work that forms the struc­ture of a lan­tern, is also in­spired by Ja­panese cul­ture. Set in plat­inum and fes­tooned with a 14.82-ct cabo­chon opal and a 7.25-ct oval-shaped tour­ma­line, Karachi shares that this neck­lace also took great pains to pro­duce. “The struc­ture needed to be per­fect so that the lat­tice could give off this op­ti­cal ef­fect. Since ev­ery sin­gle mea­sure­ment needed to be very ac­cu­rate, we had to use a com­puter pro­gramme to en­sure ev­ery­thing would be reg­u­lated.”

In In­dia, Cartier turned to Holi, the vi­brant fes­ti­val of colour that also marks the ad­vent of spring, for a brand-new and re­fresh­ing take on the In­dian sen­si­bil­ity. Since the early 20th cen­tury, Cartier has adopted Mughal-style jew­ellery as part of its de­sign lan­guage, the most iconic ex­pres­sion be­ing Tutti Frutti, which usu­ally fea­tures carved and cabo­chon-cut emer­alds, sap­phires and ru­bies.

In the new Holika jew­els, Cartier does away with the or­na­men­tal style for some­thing more ar­chi­tec­tural and swaps the sat­u­rated red, green and blue tones with lighter hues that blend to­gether har­mo­niously. Main­tain­ing this com­bi­na­tion was im­por­tant, Karachi points out, be­cause of the spe­cial mean­ing as­cribed to each colour.

“Red is for joy and love; blue is for vi­tal­ity, and green is for har­mony. They come to­gether to form a per­fectly bal­anced de­sign,” she says.

The re­sult is a fit­ting tribute to the Hindu fes­ti­val of colours and love, with cush­ion-cut rubel­lites set off by rivers of la­goon blue tour­ma­lines and lime green chrysoberyl beads.

An­other new pro­posal is found in the Chromaphonia neck­lace, a stately cre­ation daz­zling with 22 baroque emer­ald beads (for a com­bined weight of 199.02cts) from Pan­jshir in Afghanistan, spinel beads, man­darin gar­net beads, turquoise, onyx and di­a­monds. In­spired by Hun­gar­ian folk dancers and their elab­o­rately em­broi­dered cos­tumes, Karachi says it was also an op­por­tu­nity to try some­thing out of the or­di­nary.

“We usu­ally present emer­ald jew­ellery in a more clas­si­cal way but we wanted to find a new way of en­hanc­ing emer­alds,” she says. “By adding lit­tle touches of colour, we tried to con­vey this sense of joy and cel­e­bra­tion that is con­sis­tent through­out the col­lec­tion.”

Africa is the fi­nal des­ti­na­tion in the Coloratura jour­ney. “It’s a new ter­ri­tory for us but the world is so large we wanted to speak about more cul­tures,” says Karachi. The in­tri­cately beaded Kanaga neck­lace re­ver­ber­ates with the beat of an African drum: Com­posed of spinel beads and di­a­mond-set gold seg­ments care­fully hand­strung to­gether and cas­cad­ing from a col­lier, its de­cep­tively sim­ple de­sign be­lies the num­ber of painstak­ing hours taken to cre­ate it.

What the un­trained eye doesn’t ques­tion, are the uniquely and ir­reg­u­larly shaped beads that have been strung into neat rows, with nary any one out of po­si­tion. “It’s a very pow­er­ful de­sign. It looks very sim­ple, but car­ries a lot of en­ergy. This is a great ex­am­ple of what Coloratura is about: It is a vir­tu­oso of voices and in this piece, you can al­most hear the mu­sic of Africa,” says Karachi.

Else­where within the col­lec­tion, recog­nis­able sil­hou­ettes of Cartier icons con­tinue to serve as proud am­bas­sadors of its style: Ma­jes­tic Tutti Frutti neck­laces de­mand at­ten­tion even from the most cur­sory ob­server while pieces with pan­thers and tigers sneak their way into un­sus­pect­ing hearts.

Fa­mil­iar colour com­bos, such as red and green; blue and green; and red and black, also ap­pear in a col­lec­tion that cel­e­brates Cartier’s mas­tery in colour.

One of the most stun­ning ex­am­ples, which shows a bold pair­ing of red and black, is found in the Orien­phonie wrist­watch. It com­prises di­a­monds, onyx and 19 or­angey red coral beads of 130.46cts. While its struc­ture is rem­i­nes­cent of an African or­na­men­tal cuff, its strik­ing palette of­fers an im­me­di­ate ref­er­ence to Chi­nese dec­o­ra­tive art and the art deco style, both of which have, been in­cor­po­rated into Cartier’s de­sign lan­guage.

CHROMAPHONIA EAR­RINGS IN WHITE GOLD, WITH TWO FANCY-SHAPED EMER­ALDS, SPINEL ANDMAN­DARIN GAR­NET BEADS, TURQUOISE, ONYXAND DI­A­MONDS

LEFT:HOLIKA RING IN WHITE GOLD WITH ONE 15.05-CT CUSHIONSHAPED RUBEL­LITE, BLUE TOUR­MA­LINE AND CHRYSOBERYL BEADS AND DI­A­MONDS

CHROMAPHONIA NECK­LACE IN WHITE GOLD, ITH 22 BAROQUE EMER­ALD BEADS, SPINEL AND MAN­DARIN GAR­NET BEADS, TURQUOISE, ONYX AND DI­A­MONDS

KANAGA NECK­LACE IN WHITE GOLD WITH TWO OR­ANGEY PINKSPINELS, TWO TRI­AN­GU­LAR STEP-CUT DI­A­MONDS, SPINELBEADS AND DI­A­MONDS

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