Jewellery

Roundup of the high jewellery collections from Paris Couture

At Paris Haute Couture Week, prestigious jewellery maisons and designers unveil their new high jewellery masterpieces in the showrooms of the Place Vendôme. Here, we round up the most dazzling collections, spanning Cartier and Dior to Gucci and Graff

26 January 2023

By Milena Lazazzera

During times of uncertainty and disruptions, jewellery houses’ rich past provides a safe space to start imagining new creations for the future. But don’t expect look-alike pieces that evoke a sense of déjà-vu and long yawns. At high jewellery presentations, expectations are sky-high yet always exceeded. This season was no exception.

Dior

Dearest Dior high jewellery by Victoire de Castellane
Dior’s Dearest Dior high jewellery collection

Since joining Dior in 1998 to design fine jewellery, creative director Victoire de Castellane has entertained an imaginary correspondence with the house’s founder Christian Dior.

However, de Castellane does not write her letters with paper and ink. She uses golden laces and coloured gemstones instead. Her latest effusion, titled Dearest Dior, comprises 77 pieces which once more prove Dior ateliers’ technical prowess in crafting diaphanous laces, fluid ribbons and guipure out of 18-carat gold interspersed by diamonds. 

Particularly striking are a series of chokers, each set with a single hazelnut-size coloured gemstone conjuring up images of Marie Antoinette, who was often portrayed wearing a ribbon around her neck.

De Castellane also introduced some elongated rings that feel as soft as a piece of lace tied around the finger with the unique glitter emanating from diamonds or coloured sapphires. If Monsieur Christian Dior could answer Victoire’s letters, he would undoubtedly answer “bravo”.

Chopard

Chopard’s latest high jewellery offering by Caroline Scheufele

It is no secret that Chopard’s creative director Caroline Scheufele loves big stones. In 2017, the house acquired the large 342-carat rough diamond, creating out of it a collection named Garden of Kalahari comprising 23 gems.  Last year, Chopard unveiled the 6,225-carat Insofu Emerald, currently being cut in Chopard’s ateliers in Geneva.

This year, the Swiss luxury house is inviting us to a gem bar serving magical wonders such as a pair of vivid yellow oval-cut Ceylon sapphires weighing 151.19 and 127.70 carats, an octagonal-shaped 26.70-carat sapphire and a deep red East African ruby weighing 10.06-carat. Pick your poison and sit down with Caroline for a bespoke creation.

De Beers

An ear cuff from De Beers’ Metamorphosis pre collection

Metamorphosis is not only an appropriate name for a collection that pays tribute to nature’s continuous changes but also for the phase De Beers is going through.

From being the house of diamonds tout court, De Beers has fully embraced a design-driven approach and is experimenting with new materials and techniques. The changing nature across the four seasons has inspired De Beers’ atelier to carve gold into little beads – a technique known as “perlage” – and to connect settings with the thinnest possible metal joints – a method called “knife edge.”

An ear-cuff summarises De Beers’ vision by featuring four dangling strands in engraved gold tipped with carved spheres in red, blue, brown or green titanium  – suggesting that a diamond is for every season, or forever as De Beers likes to say.

Gucci

The third chapter of Gucci’s Hortus Delicarum high jewellery collection 

Gucci has undergone many transformations since its founding over 100 years ago, but it has always stood by its faith in maximalism. Gucci’s credo transposed to fine jewellery is expressed through lyrical hymns made of gems of intriguing colours and cosmic size.

Cue an immense 100-carat crystalline cerulean aquamarine embraced by an enamelled bezel hanging from a long, chunky chain. Majestic, magnetic amethysts and powerful peridots in other power-oozing collars seem to have been passed down to Gucci’s atelier directly from former Florence’s patron Lorenzo The Magnificent.

Graff

Graff’s 50-carat high jewellery necklace

High jewellery at Graff is written in capital letters and taken to its most literal meaning. Here there’s only place for the big four gems of jewellery: diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies. Yet nothing can prepare you for Graff’s more-is-more unexpected majestic mash-ups.

So, take a deeeeep breath and admire this 50-carat D Flawless oval diamond seemingly floating among 100 carats of pear, emerald, oval, round, and baguette cut diamonds surrounding it.

Cartier

Cartier Ocelle necklace

At Cartier, Beautés du Monde rises as a poetic paean to our planet’s polychromatic and polyhedric beauties at the intersection between abstraction and real-like representation. Known gems of unusual hues, such as grey-turquoise jade or pale rubellites, unveil the most intimate details of Mother Nature’s charm.

An example of this dazzling and uber-elegant collection is the Ocelle necklace depicting a bird’s plumage with opals and emeralds in Cartier’s signature colour palette mixing blue and green, known as the “peacock motif.” 

Buccellati

Buccellati’s moonstone earrings

Redolent of Renaissance aesthetics, the Macri collection is quintessentially Buccellati with its idiosyncratic use of gold engraving techniques such as “rigato” and “ornato”. In this new colourful reinterpretation, zesty blue zircons, juicy garnets and mystical amethysts jazz up iconic foliage patterns made of yellow and white gold – injecting the design with a heady dose of vitality.

The oval button earrings set with two graceful cabochon moonstones embraced by an ornate bezel interspersed with emeralds manifest Buccellati’s vision of poised and confident elegance.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Liberty necklace from Spirit Part 2
Louis Vuitton Destiny necklace from Spirit Part II

The second chapter of the Spirit collection, first unveiled in June last year, is articulated around four themes echoing the guiding principle of the house of Louis Vuitton: Destiny, Liberty, Fantasy and Radiance, each associated with an emblematic stone, ruby, emerald, diamond and Mandarin Spessartite garnet.

The power emanating from the gems, especially the 34 rubies tipping the edges of a geometric collar, is irresistible. “I don’t think anything else in the world has the power to hold the spirit of the person so much as jewellery does,” says creative director Francesca Amfitheatrof, who believes that jewellery and its wearer are inextricably linked.

Chaumet

Chaumet's new high jewellery collection, Liens Inséparables
Chaumet’s Liens Inséparables high jewellery collection

Whether it is the wind gently blowing on the wheat in the famous tiara belonging to Empress Joséphine, or the water’s mesmerising swirls in the latest Déferlante collection, capturing elegant moves is a constant creative inspiration for Chaumet.

This season, Chaumet’s artisans have imagined the bars forming the cross of the Liens collection as floating in the air and gently coiling around the neck in two ethereal diamond négligées or laying on the head in a refreshingly modern wear-me-everyday tiara. 

Boucheron

Boucheron’s Like A Queen Hypnotic Blue bracelet

For her final portrait shot by Ranald MacKechnie, Queen Elizabeth II appeared with a luminous smile, wearing a pastel azure dress adorned by her signature three-strand pearl necklace. Pinned to her chest are two twin Art Deco aquamarine brooches gifted by her father, King George VI, for her 18th birthday. They were made by Boucheron in 1937 and had long gripped the imagination of Claire Choisne, the house’s creative director.

This year, Choisne’s long-time fascination has materialised into the high jewellery collection “Like a Queen.” Playing with sizes, finishing details and coloured gemstones, the iconic Queen Elizabeth II’s brooch becomes the leitmotif of an infinitely transformable, polychromatic collection dominated by diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls.

An innovative cape clasp made of diamonds, rock crystal and onyx accents can turn into two different types of necklaces, and the pins can be detached and worn as brooches. A leather choker with the extremities held by matching clips is offered with multiple coloured straps, while the pins can be worn as brooches and hairclips too.

Cindy Chao

Cindy Chao Black Label masterpiece X and XI Spring Cardamom brooches

Shhhh, Asian designer Cindy Chao has magic powers. Her gem-studded flower brooches and diamond-paved free-flowing ribbons have such a tri-dimensional, plastic presence that they seem real and turned into precious jewels only by way of some secret wizardry. But the trick is that Cindy Chao crafts jewels starting with a sculpture. This process allows her to attain real-life perfection and securely set the most dramatic stones, such as a 90-carat yellow diamond closing a ribbon made of nearly 3,000 diamonds.

David Morris

David Morris’ Capola necklace

London’s dream-like starry firmament melting with the natural celestial bodies glimmering in the night sky have inspired David Morris’s latest Skyline collection. So naturally, the stones the British house chose from the depth of the earth metaphorically lift us among the glittering stars.

Just look at the Capola necklace set with a 64.55 cabochon sapphire at the heart of a diamond-paved chevron pattern, and you’ll know what that feeling is.

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