Paris, July 2023 – During this last Jewelry Week, I saw (with no exaggeration) a few thousand pieces of jewelry. While not exhaustive, here are a few highlights, trends, insights, an unforgettable stone and my personal favorites.
By Sandrine Merle.
Are there any newcomers to haute joaillerie?
The Italian house Fendi presented its first high jewelry collection designed by Delfina Delettrez Fendi (representative of the 4th generation) during its haute couture show. The graphic jewelry featured the stylized FF logo, perfectly harmonizing with the garments through color correspondences. The powdery pink and yellow nuances of the diamonds and sapphires echoed those of the satins, silks, and crystals. Also noteworthy were the micro minaudières (resembling jewel boxes) with quilted leather rings serving as handles.
Who created a buzz this July 2023?
Once again, Claire Choisne at Boucheron. With her shapes, materials, and dimensions, she shatters the inherent constraints of high jewelry. Drawing inspiration from the Memphis and Pop Art movements, she plays with perspectives. The 2D jewelry in bold colors appears as if flattened or drawn on paper before being cut out. Among the iconic pieces, there is a gigantic hair bow made of bio-acetate (based on cotton fiber and wood pulp) and magnesium. Claire Choisne also imagines clothing jewelry, such as an onyx and diamond pocket that magnetizes onto a dress, and long earrings (made of citrine, onyx, cacholong, enamel) transforming into hoodie drawstrings.
A name to remember
Meet Ana Khouri, the Brazilian creator who is no newcomer to high jewelry. In this perfectly coherent collection (presented at Christie’s), the organic lines are very sharp, and the volumes and details are infinitely chic. This is evident in her curved rings set with diamonds, even on the back. Some jewels are adorned with rock crystal, like her torque necklaces, which are also formed by an alternation of gold and diamond links. A distinctive detail of Ana Khouri’s work is that the stones appear to be placed on the mount, in perfect balance. A highly personal and sublime esthetic.
What’s THE ubiquitous source of inspiration?
Nature is everywhere with its waterfalls, mountains, the ebb and flow of the ocean, and especially flora. Among the flowers, it is worth noting the unusual presence of chrysanthemums which, unlike in Asia, are not associated with the Day of the Dead. This generally stylized nature is devoid of fauna, except for a few butterflies.
Is figurative design still popular?
Indeed, everything is highly stylized. The animals, landscapes, and characters that populate these collections can be counted on one hand, or almost. Even at Van Cleef & Arpels, known for its figurative designs, the Grand Tour theme barely features one or two buildings and female silhouettes.
Is Art Deco still relevant?
The influence of Art Deco persists with arrangements of multiple diamond cuts that characterized the large bracelets worn by flappers in the 1920s. Baguette cut, brilliant cut, cushion cut, pear cut, and triangle cut diamonds are intricately interwoven. Perfectly calibrated, they enhance each other in sparkling ensembles.
Is yellow gold still in the spotlight?
Yellow gold remains the preferred precious metal of jewelers who often mix it with white metal, usually gold or occasionally platinum. This choice is primarily esthetic as it gives the jewelry an antique appearance. Let’s remember that until around 1900, jewelry was made of silver coated with yellow gold.
What is the standout piece of this Jewelry Week?
For enthusiasts of quiet luxury who are tired of ear cuffs, sautoirs, and other three-finger rings, the choker is the way to go. This simple yet infinitely elegant piece of jewelry is also “one of the bestsellers,” as stated by Harry Winston, who excels in this category. From the ultra-pure version adorned with baguette diamonds and a pear-shaped gem to the magnificent flower crown design by Van Cleef & Arpels, there is an incredible variety.
Is there a star stone?
The stars of the show are the Mozambique ruby and the Tanzanian spinel. “It’s not a coincidence; it corresponds to the relatively recent discovery of major deposits,” explains a dealer. In the past 10 years, the rush for spinel has caused its price to skyrocket, multiplying it by ten. The finest specimens come from Tanzania and are characterized by a flashy pink color leaning towards red. “Only a handful of gem-quality stones (meaning suitable for high jewelry) are found each year,” continues the dealer. One of them takes pride of place on Chanel’s Tweed ring.
What was the showstopper of the week?
The most extraordinary gemstone is a Fancy Vivid Orange cushion-cut diamond. Presented unset by De Beers, it weighs 2.03 carats and its price approaches 13 million euros. The origin of the rough stone (5.10 carats) is not specified by the company, but one can imagine it was mined in South Africa or Canada.
Banner image: Boucheron, “More is More” collection – July 2023