The collections presented during the Paris Jewelry Week at the beginning of July featured some real highpoints and unearthed some powerful trends. A quick tour.
By Sandrine Merle.
Jewelry Week – July 2022: Cartier
As glamorous as ever… Cartier’s presentation at each Jewelry Week is always a unique, timeless moment. As usual, this latest show has no particular theme – it sweeps through fauna, flora, and abstraction… And as always, we’re simply dazzled by the perfection of the pieces, the technical prowess pushed to the extreme, the perfect balance, the ergonomics and fluidity, the elegance beyond fashion. The stones are just as splendid. Take the rock crystal encrusted with onyx to represent the coat of the panther, or the pairing of three magnificent emeralds on the”Iwana” necklace, etc. But it was the green diamonds (even rarer than the blue or pink ones) that really created the buzz: one 1.25 carat Asscher-cut (square) is mounted as a solitaire, the other 1.31 carat-piece is a Toi&Moi with a blue diamond. Stunning.
Jewelry Week – Paris, July 2022: Boucheron’s alternative materials
It was clear that Claire Choisne still enjoys carte blanche when it came to her high jewelry collection presented in July. Once again, she explores atypical materials generally more popular with avant-garde designers than with Place Vendôme jewelers: rattan, pebbles, wood and shells. My favorite pieces: the earrings made of a pairing of shells whose lines are extended by gold and diamonds, the sublime brooch made of a face-to-face between two conical shells reminiscent of the house’s “Jack” motif and the spectacular flower brooch with rosewood petals.
Jewelry Week – Paris, July 2022: Tributes to Cardinal Mazarin
Two new brands have chosen honour Cardinal Mazarin, the great diamond collector and godfather of Louis XIV, to whom he bequeathed 18 specimens, including the Regent (on display at the Louvre). The first, simply named Mazarin, offers creations inspired by elephants with lab-grown diamonds. The second, Maison Mazarea (a similar sounding name), defines its brand as “haute diamanterie”: in other words, a diamond dealer that gives designers access to the most beautiful stones through loans. One wonders what the Cardinal himself would make of all this…
Jewelry Week – Paris, July 2022: De Beers, the end of the 100% diamond
It makes perfect sense that De Beers has only used diamonds in its creations until now: remember that the brand was launched by the eponymous diamond producer in 2001 (in a joint venture with LVMH). But the brand – now mostly owned by the LVMH group – is becoming more independent, and is turning its attention to other precious stones for the first time. On one necklace, green chrysoprase is interspersed with the points of the chainmail. Elsewhere, rock crystal, with its transparency reminiscent of diamonds, paves the way for new games of light and shadow.
Jewelry Week – Paris, July 2022: Buccellati, a vintage corner in every store
Buccellati is opening a space dedicated to vintage jewelry (more than 20 years old) in each of its stores around the world. In other words, pieces created by the three generations of the family: Mario, his son Gianmaria (who died in 2015) and his grandson Andrea. Once again, we marvel at how the refined style of this Italian brand (now owned by Richemont) with its textured, brushed, satin-finished, chiseled golds, stands the test of time.
Jewelry Week – Paris, July 2022: “Shocking” at the Museum of Decorative Arts
Fans of Elsa Schiaparelli’s surrealist style will appreciate the sublime embroideries on the evening capes, made with gold thread by Lesage. And then there’s her jewelry created by artists: the bracelet by Giacometti, the aspirin necklace by Elsa Triolet, or the Main, Cherub and Medusa clips by Jean Schlumberger. Fans of the current designer, Daniel Roseberry, will also be delighted by the many creations on offer, including the dress with the golden bird brooch, worn by Lady Gaga at the inauguration of Joe Biden. Not to be missed: the long showcase dedicated to earrings featuring eyes, ears, etc.
Jewelry Week – Paris, July 2022: The rise of co-branding
The hushed world of jewelry has always been very secretive, with workshops and stone dealers traditionally working in the shadows of the brands. But those days seem to be over! For its latest collection, hewn from a 910-carat rough stone and transformed into 67 stones, Van Cleef & Arpels happily credits its diamond dealer, Taché, and showcases Diamcad its Antwerp cutting workshop. For her part, the designer Anna Hu spells out in full on her labels “Anna Hu x Moussaïeff”, referring to the absolute leaders in colored diamonds. The jewelry industry has understood that two (or more) minds are better than one, and has stepped into the era of co-branding.
Jewelry Week – July 2022: Mené’s gold
Mené’s presentation was nothing short of marvelous… A long mirrored table in which the pure gold of the chains, the chess set, and the pendants, including Louise Bourgeois’ Spider were reflected… With its use ofgold ingot, scales and weights, the brand launched by Roy Sebag and Diana Picasso in 2018 (and whose name means “unit of account” in Aramaic) perfectly captured its core concept – reconciling the intrinsic value of the yellow metal and its esthetic value in a piece of jewelry as an investment object.
Jewelry Week – Paris, July 2022: The rough, source of inspiration…
The magic of an original stone, as it was formed billions of years ago in the bowels of the Earth… Pierre Hardy of Hermès explains that he drew on the experience of a lapidary who showed him rough stones “by lighting them up and drawing shapes around each one.” Irregular and abstract shapes transposed into rings: rough diamond is placed on a gold shadow paved with the same stone. Van Cleef & Arpels and Messika have created a collection from sets of 67 and 15 stones cut from 910 and 110-carat rough stones. Spectacular achievements that confirm a trend started in 2019 by Graff.
Jewelry Week – Paris, July 2022: The ring of the XXII century
Unsaid: founded in Antwerp by Indians, this new brand of recycled gold and synthetic diamond jewelry has created a buzz with the magnificent “Reminiscence” ring, an ultra-contemporary masterpiece composed of several spheres of diamonds entirely faceted like disco mirror balls. The largest is 9.40 carats! This ultra-desirable ring has ruffled the feathers of the defenders of traditional expertise: after checking it out on social networks, they were indignant that “from the laboratory stone to through the setting to the finished article, everything was probably made by machines, with not a single human involved!” True to its name, Unsaid remains very discreet about the techniques used.
Jewelry Week – July 2022: some absentees…
Some brands belonging to LVMH – Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co and Christian Dior – were conspicuous by their absence in Paris, preferring to unveil their collections on foreign tours. Let’s hope this is not the beginning of the decline of Paris as the epicenter of jewelry…
Banner image: Mené présentation, Paris – Photo Maxence Gautier