Given that it’s named for a Parisian cemetery—and the fact that Halloween is just a few weeks away—it’s tempting to take the inspiration for Père Lachaise, the new collection from designer Polly Wales, literally.
Wales cites “secret gardens,” the “dark magic of Voodoo treasure hoards,” and “jewels lost and discovered, hidden deep within the tangled vines and undergrowth.” But jewels may well be a euphemism for souls, especially when you look at the collection’s parade of skull rings.
The Père Lachaise cemetery, located in Paris’ 20th arrondissement, famously serves as the final resting place for such colorful luminaries as Colette, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and Gertrude Stein. And perhaps most notably in some circles, mystical rock god Jim Morrison of The Doors, whose gravesite attracts legions of college-age backpackers annually.
Jim Morrison’s grave (Image courtesy of Flickr.com)
Wales has long favored jagged gemstone textures and a bright, paint-splashed palette. Here, her signature rainbow sapphires seem to conjure the rotating bouquets of flowers left at Morrison’s grave. There’s definitely something vaguely macabre and almost carnivalesque going on, like the creepy-clownish marxophone strains of “Alabama Song.”
Doors references aside, one of the standouts in this offering is a bridal set which could be an homage to the great 12th-century love story of Heloise and Abelard, whose remains are entombed within an ornate High Gothic structure, known as one of the most romantic spots in the centuries-old cemetery. You know, if that’s your thing.
Below, some standouts from the collection—all completely gorgeous, some might even say to-die-for…
Heloise Skull Face ring with green, champagne, cognac, and white diamonds in 18k gold, $12,100
Abelard Skull Ring with rainbow sapphires, diamonds and a blue-green marquise-cut sapphire crown in 18k gold, $14,080
Taro Diamond Triple Stack with Old Mine and rose-cut and tapered baguette diamonds in 18k gold, $11,880
Skull Ring encrusted with pavé blue sapphires, rainbow sapphire temples, and diamond tooth in 18k gold, $13,860 (also at top)
Auguste barrel ring with mossy rainbow sapphires in a floral pattern in 18k gold, $13,200
Avril ring with Old Mine cut diamond surrounded by marquise, pear, and round rainbow sapphires in 18k gold, $6,600
D’Ornano Medium Padlock Pendant with rainbow sapphires and diamonds in 18k gold, $8,000
El Topo Gentleman’s Skull ring with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies in 18k gold, $33,000