This August, the world of high and fine jewellery delivered some truly spectacular sparkles. Some dedicated to a favourite flower; some, a favourite number; and others, still, in deference to the genre’s favourite well of reference, anchored their stones and gems in the image of nature and all of its wonders.
Names of the Rose
A rose by any other name . . . well, you can complete that oft-quoted Shakespearean line. But Christian Dior’s affinity for this specific flower is prolific. Kim Jones’ Dior Jardin capsule, as well as the house’s multitude of rose-scented lotions and potions stand abloom in evidence. The Rose Dior Couture jewellery line-up unfurls this season alongside the rest of Victoire de Castellane’s creations — Bois de Rose, Rose Dior Bagatelle and Rose Dior Pré Catelan — in homage to the thorny bloom. All exercises in transfiguration, the nine-count pieces in Rose Dior Couture, which encompass delicate necklaces, stud earrings and rings that spiral into rosebuds caught mid-bloom, immortalise such fleeting ephemerality with scores of rose gold, white gold and pinpricks of diamonds.
With water came wine and with the prowess of the artisans at Tiffany & Co. came a high-shine titanium wreath cobblestone-studded through with more than 8,000 pavé diamonds. So whatever sins Kendrick Lamar bore with this crown of thorns he (and long-time creative collaboration Dave Free) commissioned specifically for his Glastonbury performance, they must’ve been of the fun, insouciant and very cool kind.
Louis Vuitton’s 125-piece Spirit collection captures the spirit of, you guessed it, the LV woman with five rarefied themes — Liberty, Grace, Fantasy, Radiance and Destiny — said to be infused with the power of mythical creatures. “Like a phoenix rising from the ashes to take fight, or a dragon breathing protective fire, the Louis Vuitton woman exudes amazing strength, energy and optimism,” says artistic director Francesca Amfithetrof. “It’s that very femininity — so emancipating and emblematic of the maison — that I wanted to embody in Spirit.” The magnificent 65-carat tsavorite helps, too.
Black and Pink
Modelled on none other than Blackpink’s Rosé, the latest addition to Tiffany & Co.’s HardWear collection cuts right to the chase. In fact, it might be the most true-to-size rendering of the line-up’s New York-inspired brief, with its hardened rock ‘n’ roll, almost all-black titanium composition. (The rest of HardWear — all sterling silver, rose gold and gold — makes no use of the city’s unofficial favourite colour.) Almost all-black, because the two instances of rose-gold, pavé diamond-bestrewn gauge links connecting this necklace-bracelet release breaks up the midnight with just enough shimmer to spill through the Manhattan grime.
As the rest of the world counts to seven for a stroke of luck, Gabrielle Chanel famously finds herself most heavily favoured with just two numbers less. After all, Chanel levied a sui generis scent on to the number five; found fortune by presenting her collections “on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year”; and was born with Leo — the fifth sign of the zodiac — lighting up the night sky. Chanel’s Eternal Nº5 fine jewellery collection takes the form of the digit quite literally, with brilliant-cut diamonds set in white- and beige-gold shining a light on to the house’s — and now, possibly, your — luckiest number.
These gems and jewels are whispering “Let’s get out of here” into your ear — and what choice do you have but to listen?
Anywhere But Here
Ailleurs (elsewhere) is where artistic director Claire Choisne — as well as the rest of us home- and pandemic- bound misérables — chooses to turn her gaze (and designs) towards for Boucheron’s new high-jewellery collection. Although it’s not physical places per se, but rather the notion of an untouched, unspoiled nature where borders don’t exist. One of five chapters, the Femme Sable personifies a desert-like wilderness in which sculptural curves of natural rattan follow the same winding paths as an arranged deluge of diamonds.
Ever the Renaissance man, Alessandro Michele travels through time and space to places far, wide, real and, at times, not quite so. The third chapter of Gucci’s Hortus Deliciarum high-jewellery imaginarium is staged in five acts: the first takes place amid bygone images of Ancient Rome, where now-ruined landmark edifices — such as the Colosseum or, as shown on the pictured necklace, the Temple of Hercules — stand proud in their former glory on vintage micro-mosaic pendants made between 1850 and 1870.
South Korean actress Song Hye-kyo attended Chaumet’s Piscine Molitor launch event celebrating the Ondes et Merveilles (Waves and Wonders) high-jewellery collection with curving tendrils framing her face and the Gulfstream earrings also, technically, framing her face. Part of the same parure, the necklace dips on to Song’s decolleté so you can really admire the crests and troughs that waver from mint-green Colombian emeralds to Madagascar sapphire blues to a shade of gemstone careening between the two.
They might hop, might skip, might burrow and, in the case of the sleeping flamingo, might stand on one bent leg. Mikimoto’s Wild and Wonderful high-jewellery collection is an ode to the wildlife that lives and moves through all five continents, from the grassy savannahs of Africa — as depicted by the pictured zebra-striped ring (“striped” with alexandrite, spinel and diamonds) — to the rugged plains of Australia, the rainforests of America, the lush greenery of Eurasia and the glacial topography of Antarctica.
A peculiar fixation on ancient Egypt — with its King Tut, Great Sphinx and Rami Malek as Prince Ahkmenrah in Night at the Museum — is something of a rite of passage. Fascinated, Valérie Messika dreamed up the Beyond the Light high-jewellery collection with Akh-Ba-Ka spotlit at its heart — a masterpiece of a necklace with a winged scarab perched atop a resplendent, 33-carat diamond. And, of course, it’s magnificent: it’s named for ancient Egypt’s idea of the very components that make up a soul.
In A Candy Store
Fine, fine jewellery can also be fun, fun jewellery. So, go on. Retrieve your inner child for an accessorising adventure that’s not shy on the dopamine brights and the grin-inducing designs.
Florals for Summer
Hand-chiselled from ocean-blue turquoise, this made-to-order ring from Sophie Joanne’s Bloemenkunst collection has hefty artistic citations. It was, after all, the works of Andy Warhol and Hilma af Klint (a female Swedish abstract artist who predates Kandinsky and Mondrian) that inspired the fanned out, forget-me-not shape of this floral design.
Bea Bongiasca’s delicious creations, which count cool girls Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid as super-fans, make a serious case for fine jewellery that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Here, there’s always room for a scintilla of bright, bold enamel; always room for a free-handed squiggle; always room for marquise-cut rock crystals and diamonds and grass-green tourmalines and plucked-from-the-ocean aquamarines. Who says fun can’t also mean fine, precious stones? Not Bea Bongiasca.
EÉRA’s signature snap hook, which co-founders Chiara Capitani and Romy Blanga happened across in a Tokyo market, doesn’t make a cameo appearance in these funky, chunky rings, but the Italian brand’s familiar PVD coating — it creates an almost cyborg-chrome finish — does. Who cares about wearing your heart on your sleeve when you can wear a white-diamond-encrusted one on all 10 fingers?
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but for Richard James, inventor of the Slinky, it wasn’t so much necessity as serendipity (he was trying to engineer a tension spring for battleship engine instruments). Boochier’s Slinkees, no relation, coil into a familiar spring-like spiral that, unfortunately, doesn’t teeter down staircases. But they’re fun and spotted with diamonds — so, just as joyful.
Power of Colour
Colours! All of them! Every spoke of the colour wheel; every rung on the rainbow represented! Whether it’s wrist cuffs waggling in line to a wavy ric-rac trim or studding protruding from a string of pearls or, even, a stack of ombré rings meant to be worn all together, Fry Powers has no interest in anything that might be described as “muted” or, worse, “boring”.
Header and featured images courtesy of Messika’s Beyond The Light collection
This story first appeared on PrestigeOnline Hong Kong.