It goes without saying that this year’s Baselworld will be bittersweet for the Charriol family. The fair will be the brand’s first major trade show appearance since the sudden passing of its founder, Philippe Charriol, less than a month ago.
With the show kicking off tomorrow, it’s an understandably emotional time for creative director Coralie Charriol-Paul. “I feel heartbroken and terribly sad,” she says. “He was an unforgettable gentleman, a renaissance man that inspired so many. My father, my boss, my hero.”
And yet there’s an undeniable air of excitement, a lightness and vibrancy, surrounding the 10 new collections that the company’s set to unveil. These debuts are headlined by Havana, a mix of trend-driven, resort-chic jewelry inspired by the city’s vintage cars, colorful architecture, festive music, and sensual, tropical flavors.
“I traveled to Cuba last May and fell in love,” says Charriol-Paul. “I loved the whole vibe there, starting with the vintage colors to the music and people. The mystique and romance of Cuba is very real, and when you are drinking a daiquiri at La Florida, you think you are there with Hemingway.”
Charriol’s signature stainless-steel cable lends its form to hoop earrings, rings, and bracelets. Several are detailed with abalone, lending subtle shimmer and a breezy, beachy feel to the designs.
“This is my first time working with abalone, which was trending at one time and then disappeared but has now come back. The shell reminds me of the ocean and the beaches of Cuba, and I like it because it’s not just one color. Rather, it has an iridescent mix of hues.”
Mother-of-pearl is also a vehicle for telling the collection’s story of sun-kissed skin, long days at the beach, and sultry, balmy nights spent by a sea streaked with moonlight.
In addition to the Havana, other standout debuts include a collection of brooches/jacket lapels. “They’re genderless, the next cool accessory for men and women,” says Charriol-Paul. Playful sports and lifestyle themes are the focus of the brooch collection at the moment, and it’s a category the company hopes to grow.
There is also the new Marie-Olga watch (pictured below). The late Philippe Charriol was very involved in its development. The design is, in fact, inspired by, and named for, his surviving wife.
Top: Joie de vivre personified: Charriol creative director Coralie Charriol-Paul models pieces from her new Havana collection, on view at Baselworld 2019.
Follow me on Instagram – @aelliott718