Jewellery

The most dazzling high jewellery at Paris Couture July 2023

The best of the high jewellery collections from the July Spring/ Summer 24 season, from Dior to De Beers, Cartier to Chaumet. Travel is a key theme throughout, as jewellers take us to Athens, Florence, Rome and Venice

7 July 2023

By Milena Lazazzera

This season’s jewellery houses have looked at the experience of travelling, literally and metaphorically, to find inspiration for their most ambitious (and expensive) collections so far.

Travel is at the heart of jewellery. Diamonds and coloured gemstones are the result of mysterious odysseys through the deep layers of the earth. Once they are in human hands, they bounce across the globes among cutters, polishers and trade dealers until they nestle in jewellery and are then taken on a journey in search of their future owner.

Bulgari

Bulgari’s new Mediterranea high jewellery collection

Bulgari’s latest high jewellery collection, Mediterranea, is a passionate love letter to the Mediterranean Sea, which, embraced by diverse civilisations, each with a distinctive visual identity, has always provided Bulgari with a mosaic of influences to translate into soul-stirring jewellery. 

Necklaces informed by Byzantine architecture are lit up with warm garnets and tourmalines evoking African spice markets; elsewhere, the rigorous geometry of classic Roman design is juxtaposed with luminous turquoise and verdant emeralds reminiscent of the fabrics traded on the ancient Silk Road.

The coloured gemstones are as large as the Mediterranean Sea itself – the Southern Sapphire necklace set with a spectacular 66.88-carat Ceylon sapphire cabochon and the Muse of Rome set with a bedazzling 218.53-carat emerald are among the most audacious creations.

Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Grand Tour high jewellery collection

As early as the 16th and 17th centuries, wealthy elites embarked on the Grand Tour—a journey across Europe to complete their education and broaden their cultural horizons. Van Cleef & Arpels chose Paris, the Alps, Rome, Venice, Naples, and Baden-Baden as key destinations to inspire the jewels forming the collection named Le Grand Tour. 

Each city’s unique architectural character serves as a muse, giving rise to motifs and patterns that define the various chapters of the collection. The rarest pigeon blood rubies and dangling tassels show the distinctive signature of Van Cleef & Arpels. But there are some surprises. The silhouette of Venice, for instance, is depicted through a series of fluid cuffs crafted with a mosaic of precious gemstones. Meanwhile, the rich cultural heritage of Rome finds expression in a collection of three brooches featuring an ancient intaglio, a carved citrine, and a sapphire sculpted in the likeness of Emperor Caracalla. 

The result is a fantastical, bejewelled Grand Tour.

Chaumet
Chaumet introduces Le Jardin de Chaumet high jewellery collection for 2023
Chaumet’s new high jewellery collection, Le Jardin de Chaumet

Over two centuries ago, Marie-Étienne Nitot, the founder of the French jewellery house Chaumet, described himself as a “jeweller-naturalist” to convey how deeply his love of plants influenced his work. 

Since then, Mother Nature has served as a faithful Muse for Chaumet, allowing its creativity to reach far and deep, from the luscious, tropical vegetation beloved by Empress Joséphine to the mystical underwater world.

This year, Chaumet’s new high jewellery collection Le Jardin de Chaumet is an intimate promenade across the plants and flowers dear to the Maison. There are classic motifs of the house, such as the pansy parure set evoking an 1850s tiara or the wheat necklace donned by Jessica Alba at the presentation event and referencing the house’s emblematic wheat tiara worn by Empress Joséphine. But there are some new, surprising renderings of the natural world, such as the Vine Leaf parure set with rubies and onyx, the intriguing Gui flower necklace, and the bejewelled reinterpretation of the rough bark in the Ecorce necklace set with a mesmerising 10.13-carat black opal.

Pomellato

Pomellato introduces Ode to Milan high jewellery collection for 2023
Pomellato’s new Skyline necklace

Ode to Milan, Pomellato’s latest high jewellery collection, is a journey home, the industrial capital of Northern Italy, where the jeweller’s story began in the 1960s.

Referencing a city renowned for fashion and design, the collection includes Pomellato’s classic oversized chain necklaces informed by sleek, utilitarian flair and interspersed by geometrically shaped coloured gemstones. There’s also an innovative body chain adornment which punches a strong statement.

Boucheron

Boucheron’s More is More high jewellery collection

Boucheron’s creative director Claire Choisne loves to travel where nobody else would dare to venture.

The result is More is More, a mind-boggling collection of surrealist pieces boldly displaying exaggerated proportions and saturated colours.

Simple shapes such as cubes and spheres, and sharp lines morph into extra-long head adornments mounted on feather-light magnesium, bracelets that double up as home accessories and a diamond-studded pocket that can be added to a dress or a jacket and, why not, a T-shirt. You won’t believe your eyes.

Louis Vuitton

The Fossils necklace from Louis Vuitton's new Deep Time high jewellery collection for 2023
Louis Vuitton’s new Deep Time Fossils necklace

For a brand that rose to fame thanks to its sturdy trunks, capable of withstanding the harshest climates and bumpiest journeys, travel is in Louis Vuitton’s DNA. In the latest 170-piece high jewellery collection titled “Deep Time,” Creative Director Francesca Amfitheatrof takes us on a phantasmagoric voyage across the wonders of geology and natural phenomena.

A diamond-studded choker shaped like the formidable surging wave of a tsunami incorporates a 40-carat Sri Lankan sapphire. Another set depicts a blazing volcanic eruption through mandarin garnets and raspberry pink tourmalines formed in lava. “At Louis Vuitton, we are, as ever, adventurers, travelling to extraordinary, unexpected places,” says Amfitheatrof. 

De Beers

De Beers’ Winter necklace

De Beers’ transformative journey from being a diamond purveyor to a design-driven jewellery house continues with Metamorphosis’s second and more ambitious chapter, a collection first introduced in January. Colour and volume are achieved thanks to the use of Grand Feu enamel which recreates the auburn hues of Autumn in a series of bonbon-shaped earrings and rings, while brushed white gold mimics the Winter frost in a spectacular collar set with a duo of stunning white and blue diamonds. 

Messika

Messika’s Midnight Sun collection

Paris, New York City, the 1970s, and the overpowering energy emanating from Studio 54, the Mudd Club, the Palace, and Chez Régine, which turned the world upside down, are celebrated in Messika’s 10th high jewellery collection, Midnight Sun. It is an uninhibited ode to the freedom of self-expression, rendered with larger-than-life diamonds and geometrical, glossy designs that capture the spirit of this fascinating era.

The powerful characters of Liza Minelli and Diana Ross – two monumental women of the time – are embodied in a parure that plays with two contrasting diamonds: a 20.04-carat pear-cut yellow diamond and a 9.07-carat cushion-cut diamond set in an armour-like choker, oozing the empowering energy of the 1970s.

Gucci

New Gucci Allegoria high jewellery necklace for 2023
Gucci’s new Allegoria high jewellery collection

Gucci’s new bejewelled opus Allegoria is a metaphorical journey across the changing seasons. The collection draws on a rich tradition of Four Seasons-inspired artistic production in the Italian territory and sublimates it with the bedazzling beauty of unusual stones in imaginative settings.

Just like late Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s series of paintings Four Seasons which depicts amusing profile portraits made of flowers, fruits and shrubbery in all their different stages and accompanied by the allegorical poems of Giovanni Battista Fonteo, so Gucci invites us to open up our senses to detect and decipher the nuances of the natural world in a bejewelled fresco of the four seasons.

One of the most spectacular pieces is a geometric diamond-studded necklace seemingly evoking a snowflake’s pattern of a benign Narnia-like setting and set with a 92.85-carat cushion-cut opal from Ethiopia.

Chopard

Chopard’s Red Carpet collection

The globe-trotting co-president and creative director of Chopard, Caroline Scheufele, always travels with a notebook, her faithful companion in which she jots down ideas and sketches inspired by all that catches her attention.

Chopard’s high jewellery collections are often born when Ms Scheufele sits down, flicks through the pages of her travel journals and begins translating that confused ensemble of quick notes and drawing into the precise lines of wearable jewellery. 

The collection comprises a ring illuminated by a vivid yellow sapphire is supported by a group of diamond-studded antique-style sculptures carved in gold and a choker made of diamond-studded feathers interspersed by sapphires evoking scroll-like ornamentation, often seen in architectural design.

Buccellati

Buccellati’s Mosaico bracelet

Byzantine mosaics, which have woven themselves into the Italian architectural identity, have offered plenty of inspiration to Andrea Buccellati, creative director at the Milanese house, to create the over fifty pieces part of the new high jewellery collection aptly named Mosaico (Italian for mosaic).

Velvety blue sapphires nestled in the house’s signature honeycomb reproduce the nocturnal ambience of the sacred Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna with its azure vaulted ceiling. In other sets, dazzling diamonds evoke the ornamental motifs drawn from the Church of Santa Maria della Croce at Casaranello in Apulia.

Cartier

Cartier’s new Unda earrings

“That sea, that sea forever restarting,” wrote French author Paul Valéry in a poem encapsulating Cartier’s creative process based on continuously reinterpreting beloved themes while remaining receptive to novel ideas to incorporate through the house’s distinctive style and exquisite craftsmanship.

The newly released set Unda plays with the Art Deco grammar, which underpins Cartier’s creations but introduces unexpected twists through wave-shaped lines running across geometric patterns interspersed by emerald beads. 

Tasaki

Tasaki’s Cascade necklace

The aquatic world is a constant source of inspiration for a brand founded to exalt the beauty of pearls born in the depth of the Ocean. For this year’s collection, Atelier 6 Nature Spectacle, Tasaki focuses on the enchanting beauty created by the light of the sun and moon onto the sea.

One of the most dramatic creations is the Cascade necklace, a 3D rendering of the waterfall boldly protruding from the chest with dangling strings of pearls elegantly emulating the meandering stream of water gracefully contoured by vivid blue Paraiba tourmalines scintillating under a blazing tropical sun.

Chanel

Tweed de Chanel
Chanel’s Tweed Camélia necklace

Tracing its origins in the rugged landscapes of Scotland and Ireland, the rough and resistant tweed was elevated to the epitome of elegance thanks to Mademoiselle Gabrielle Chanel, who made the fabric a cornerstone of her distinctive style. 

This year the house of Chanel pays tribute to tweed by rendering its unique texture and aesthetics through precious metals, coloured gemstones and diamonds. Chanel’s cherished iconic motifs, the white ribbon, the pink camellia, the comet on a blue background, the yellow sun and the lion highlighted with flashes of red, define five chapters within the collection, which is both varied and resolutely Chanel. 

Dior

Dior’s Les Jardins de la Couture

Through a continuous imaginary correspondence with Dior’s founder, creative director Victoire de Castellane translates Christian Dior’s ideas of style into jewellery. It helps that Victoire and Christian seem to have much in common, starting with a profound love for flowers, whose sensual yet rigorous lines are at the core of the New Look and define Dior’s aesthetics.

Expanding upon previous creations, Les Jardins de la Couture unfurls with a tapestry of 170 extraordinary pieces, each a testament to the eternal romance between jewellery and the realm of Nature.

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