Every July the high jewelry houses—the usual French suspects (say, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels) as well as newcomers from abroad, such as David Yurman and Tasaki—use the occasion of Haute Couture Week in Paris to present their new collections. And every year they outdo themselves. But this year they really, really outdid themselves.
The three maisons highlighted below—Boucheron, Louis Vuitton, and Piaget—all introduced high-concept collections tackling big themes, from the evolution of the natural world to the importance of infusing joy into our everyday. As always, colored stones were an essential part of the mix.
If the jewels that debuted this week in Paris are any indication, the 2020s are shaping up to be an era of jewelry decadence the likes of which we’ve never seen.
More Is More by Boucheron
The latest collection from Boucheron proves, yet again, that creative director Claire Choisne is one of jewelry’s most inventive, daring, and future-forward thinkers.
Drawn by a desire to reclaim the freedom and joie de vivre of the 1980s, Choisne—who conceived More Is More during the pandemic—embraced extravagant sizes, saturated colors, and simple shapes like spheres and cubes to bring her pop-art-inspired vision to life.
The 30-piece collection incorporates unusual materials into styles not typically seen in high jewelry collections, such as a graphic hair jewel made of organic acetate and magnesium. Supple as a ribbon, the diamond-set piece—which features a color scheme described in the collection notes as “Coca-Cola red, white, and black”—doubles as a brooch.
In the same vein, This Is Not a Scrunchie is a deluxe hair jewel featuring a sphere studded with swirls of vibrant green tsavorite set beside a cube whose black anodized titanium borders contain squares of carved mother-of-pearl—all set on a band of black lacquer. The piece transforms into a bracelet.
In a collection defined by its surprising use of color and materials, perhaps the most surprising piece is a set of hoodie cords that can be worn as earrings. Made of blue aluminum lacquer with diamonds, titanium, white gold, and citrine cones in yellow gold, the style also features a delicate mix of onyx and cogolong marquetry.
Last but not least, the Solve Me necklace shown at top—a bejeweled and deconstructed take on the Rubik’s Cube, in which every surface is covered by a different color, be it in diamonds, pavéd gray spinel, or mother-of-pearl—brilliantly reflects Choisne’s motto: “Always precious, never predictable.”
Deep Time by Louis Vuitton
In Deep Time, Francesca Amfitheatrof’s fifth high jewelry collection for Louis Vuitton, the brand’s artistic director for watches and jewelry goes back—way back—to the geological formation of the precious materials that are the building blocks of her unapologetically bold vision.
“At Louis Vuitton we are as ever adventurers, traveling to extraordinary, unexpected places,” Amfitheatrof said in a statement. “Deep Time will transport you deeply into the past, to a time and place that is so remote and perhaps even difficult to comprehend. But at the same time, the stones—these treasures that span millennia—will bring you right there, to the beginning of the planet and into a history of the world and its mystical geological legacy.”
Comprising more than 170 unique pieces, including 95 in the first chapter alone, the collection uses spectacular colored stones to evoke geological concepts, such as no-oil Colombian emeralds for the Gondwana landmass, and juicy mandarin garnets for a volcanic eruption. In Amfitheatrof’s confident hands, the story of the collection begins with the earth’s geological formation before transitioning to a second act, broadly described as “life.”
The themes that inspire the second act—origin, fossils, plants, seeds, and flowers—are rooted in nature (not unlike many of this year’s, and every year’s, high jewelry collections). Emeralds and rubies interspersed with LV Monogram–cut diamonds call to mind glistening berries on a tree, while a spectacular Seeds collar set with 256 carats of rubellite and spessartite garnet cabochons tells the story of evolution.
As Louis Vuitton’s largest high jewelry collection to date, Deep Time is a sure sign that the fashion house is committed (deeply!) to the jewelry category.
Metaphoria by Piaget
Piaget’s fantastical new Metaphoria collection celebrates natural phenomena, such as the flow of a waterfall or the rays of the sun, in 41 pieces of jewelry and 11 bejeweled watches that capture the raw and ever-changing state of nature.
“The materials we use, from insect elytra to precious wood, were selected to bring an unpredictable, living element to a piece of 21st-century high jewelry,” creative director Stéphanie Sivrière explained in a brand “manifesto.”
Inspired by the rugged beauty of the brand’s home in La Côte aux Fées, Switzerland, not to mention its spiritual home on the Mediterranean seaside of the Côte d’Azur, the collection is rife with gem-set secret watches; dramatic, icy necklaces dripping with sapphires, aquamarines, and pearls; and one-of-a-kind earrings that channel the look of a rushing mountain stream.
Top: Solve Me necklace in aluminum and white gold with gray spinel, diamonds, pink sapphires, and mother-of-pearl, BoucheronFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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