In the 1950s, Christian Dior accented his couture creations with extravagant costume jewels that made the fashion flock swoon. Six decades later, the house has released Dear Dior, a high jewelry collection of 20 pieces inspired by the faux baubles and the handcrafted fabrics used in the designer’s mid-century heyday. Its hallmark: a mix of stones rivaling grandma’s dish of hard candy in its hodgepodge of hues. These post-back earrings, dubbed Résille Bouquet d’Opales (loosely translated: “Netting of Opal Bouquets”), are as much an homage to the label’s founder as to the irreverent style of Victoire de Castellane, creative director of Dior jewelry. “I wanted unusual stones in very varied combinations,” says de Castellane. “I also wanted the settings to be ‘jostled’ to achieve the effect of a crumble of sparkling stones.” Mission (ever so elegantly) accomplished.
Roughly 10 craftspeople based out of Parisian ateliers—including gemologists, polishers, lapidaries, stone setters, and engravers—worked on the Dear Dior collection. Patterns engraved into the backs of each piece replicate lace patterns from ’50s-era Dior gowns. “It’s couture jewels revisited as real jewelry,” says de Castellane. “The main themes are color, couture, and femininity.”
It’s no accident that twin oval-cut opals represent the largest stones in this fetching pair. The multidimensional gem is de Castellane’s absolute favorite. “It seems to be alive,” she says. “Like Monet’s Water Lilies, the [opal] possesses every color, as if a genie were living inside it.”
The kaleidoscopic drops, which debuted at 2012’s Paris Biennale and sold almost instantly, boast 22.86 cts. t.w. oval-cut black opals, 2.46 cts. t.w. diamonds, 3.05 cts. t.w. marquise-cut emeralds, 1.18 cts. t.w. pear-cut emeralds, 1.19 cts. t.w. oval-cut emeralds, 0.46 ct. t.w. round-cut emeralds, 2.41 cts. t.w. oval-cut amethysts, 1.67 cts. t.w. round-cut amethysts, 3.27 cts. t.w. round-cut turquoises, 1.26 cts. t.w. round-cut demantoid garnets, 0.97 ct. t.w. oval-cut sapphires, and 0.28 ct. t.w. pear-cut sapphires.