Without further ado, here are 10 gift ideas to whisper in the ears of those around you…
By Sandrine Merle.
1/ Spend the night at the Bulgari Hotel
The Italian jeweler’s hotel opens today in Paris. What a dream… Whiling away the hours in an onyx bathroom, taking in the breathtaking views of Paris, swimming in the sublime 25-metre pool with golden mosaics… And best of all – the penthouse with its hanging garden! And for a more affordable option, there’s always Americano & Chinato – the house cocktail, ideal for sipping in the garden’s open-air bar.
From €1,200 a night
2/ Sublime jewelry box by Jessica McCormack
The London-based New Zealand designer restores old wooden boxes and customizes them. A brilliant idea and a refined finished product: the compartments are upholstered and embroidered by the Hand & Lock workshop (purveyors to the royal household). Some are specially designed to hold life’s most important jewels.
3/ Exciting courses at The School of Jewelry Arts
This school, launched and sponsored by Van Cleef & Arpels, offers dozens of fascinating courses on the history of jewelry, the skills of jewelry-making, and the world of stones. You’ll be spoilt for choice: “Unusual Art Nouveau Jewels”, “Japanese Lacquer Practice”, “The Magic of Diamonds”, “Introduction to Gemology”, etc. Also noteworthy is the first organized trip to Dresdres to discover, among other things, the fabulous Green Vault.
From €100 a course
4/ Set of 5 dessert plates from Foundrae x Laboratorio Paravicini
Beth Bugdaycay has created a set of 5 dessert plates in collaboration with Laboratorio Paravicini, an Italian family workshop based in Milan. The hand-painted works feature symbols dear to the American designer: the snake for wholeness, the winged beetle for protection, the lion for strengh and the crescent moon for karma. The plates can be combined with pretty crystal glasses also engraved with these motifs.
$475 the set
5/ A unique exhibition
Don’t miss the two very fine exhibitions in Paris: one at the École des Arts Joailliers, “Designing Jewels” exhibition and the other at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs: “Cartier and the Islamic Arts – At the Roots of Modernity”, giving an insight into how the jeweler’s unique style was born way back in the early 1920s. Take advantage of this unique opportunity: access to the Jewelry Gallery and the Thierry Mugler exhibition (dazzling creations in rhinestones, pearls, etc.) are included in the price of the ticket!
Free entrance at The School of Jewelry Arts – €14 at the Musée des Arts décoratifs
6/ A hypnotic mobile by Marie-Hélène de Taillac
Known for her delicate-colored stone jewelry, Marie-Hélène de Taillac also creates a range of objects for the home. This hypnotic mobile (a unique piece) in gold, amethyst, yellow tourmaline, rubellite, peridot and apatite is like an invitation to meditate.
Price on request
7/ Cartier’s cocoon plaid
With this merino wool and cashmere blanket from Cartier, you can curl up against the panther, the jeweler’s favorite animal since the 1920s. There’s a cushion to match. And just like every year, the jeweler also offers pretty Christmas decorations.
8/ An old movie on Cinetek, Netflix…
In the cinema, robberies and love stories often put jewelry in the spotlight. Leaving aside the (over?) familiar “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, why not explore some other greats: “Place Vendôme” by Nicole Garcia or “The Red Circle” by Jean-Pierre Melville? And for real film buffs, there are some even older gems: “Ninotchka ” by Lubitch with Greta Garbo and “The Earrings of Madame De” with Danielle Darrieux.
9/ A “Mineralogy” vintage jigsaw
When finished, this 1,000-piece Cavallini puzzle turns into a picture of old mineral images. Even the box and small bag are exquisite!
10/ Mellerio x Ladurée macaroons and Yule log
Julian Alvarez, Ladurée’s pastry chef, was inspired by “Giardino”, the latest collection by jeweler Mellerio. He has taken the graphic motif evoking a garden or a wrought iron gate and combined it with precious flavors: yuzu, pain de gênes biscuit, chocolate-hazelnut-lemon and above all golden sugar pearls and gold leaves.
From €2.20 per macaroon.
11/ The “Idolo” vase by Marion Vidal
Marion Vidal created this glazed ceramic vase with a craftsman from Northern Italy. Its graphic shape, inspired by Italian design of the 60s and 70s, evokes that of a diabolo hybridized with that of a chalice. Composed of two parts (the central part can be detached from the rest of the vase), this vase has given rise to several beautiful silk-screen prints in colors (pink, orange-red, black, etc.) in a limited edition of 10 and signed. The work has become the centerpiece of the latest jewelry collection.
From €295 the serigraphy, €465 the vase
12/ The wonders of Astier de Villatte
The brand, which specializes in ceramics, is still making cups (designed with the artist Serena Carone) with handles representing rings: a bishop’s ring, a cameo ring, a snake ring, etc. Astier de Villatte is also a jewelry enthusiast, offering dishes with rings or precious stones printed on them, a hand decorated with gold bracelets to hold incense, Christmas baubles in the shape of a jewelry box, etc. Keep an eye out for the latest arrivals!
To discover my selection of jewels, click here. Happy Christmas!