When it comes to the kind of jewellery so jaw-dropping that it deserves its own red carpet – and commands its own entourage – the high jewellery presentations of summer 2023 showcased the houses’ signature tributes as well as new motifs and materials.
Cartier-kick started the high jewellery Grand Tour in May with the Le Voyage Recommencé, which this year happened in Florence. It featured over 80 amazing creations inspired by its vast archive, from the emblematic panther to graphic Art Deco shapes. The likes of Elle Fanning, Vanessa Kirby and Riley Keough were in attendance, adding extra sparkle to proceedings. We then saw Chanel’s Tweed, showcased at London’s Royal Horticultural Halls and the second chapter in the Tweed de Chanel high jewellery line. Fast forward a few weeks later and it was Louis Vuitton’s Deep Time, an event which unveiled the maison’s latest high jewellery collection in Athens. And finally, to Paris. During Haute Couture Week, guests were invited to view one-of-a-kind gemstones, necklaces and rings from the most illustrious of the high jewellery houses including De Beers, Messika and Tasaki.
Bringing some serious sparkle to the City of Lights, there were contemporary spins on historic motifs, as well as eye-catching colours. Oh, and if there was ever a time for emerald, it’s now.
Here are the highlights for you to enjoy – because who doesn’t love admiring spectacular jewels?
High jewellery will never cease to amaze with the constant updates and shift in material and design. Cartier’s latest collection, Le Voyage Recommencé, is a brilliant showcase of its iconic heritage motifs, featuring over 80 creations inspired by its archive. The Claustra necklace (below) drew inspiration from the 20th century Art Deco style and incorporates shield diamonds, including at the centrepiece a 4.02 carat diamond. Onyx- a big trend this season- alternates in a contrasting style throughout the piece, showcasing the use of black and white geometric shapes which is so heavily part of the Cartier’s DNA. The standout production of this piece in particular is that it can be split in two and worn as two separate necklaces. Major.
Deep Time by Louis Vuitton High Jewellery explores the profound journey of the Earth’s evolution and the creation of life. It is the brand’s most extensive collection, featuring over 170 unique pieces, including 95 in the first act alone. The collection is divided into two acts: geology and life. Francesca Amfitheatrof, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of watches and jewellery, took her cue from the way gemstones were formed during the Earth’s creation, for her fifth high jewellery collection for the house. Designed to be a dream-like journey of energetic exploration of tectonic shifts, bursting volcanoes and the earliest signs of life, it’s relayed through an abundance of contrasting textures and remarkable stones in specialist settings.
‘We have this incredible ambition to find the most beautiful stones, which in Deep Time are all connected to a theme, whether formed from lava, hailing from different continents or symbolising an idea,’ says Amfitheatrof. ‘Deep time is a celebration of the past, but also the beauty of nature and the incredible fragility of life. I don’t think anything else in the world has the power to hold the spirit of the person so much as jewellery does.’
Tweed owes its name to the River Tweed on the Scottish borders. Gabrielle Chanel took it and made it her own, and it’s now almost become synonymous with the Chanel name.
In 2020, Tweed entered the world of Chanel jewellery. The debut collection of Patrice Leguéreau, director of the Chanel fine jewellery, it was 45 exceptional pieces dedicated entirely to this fabric, reproducing its suppleness and subtleties in mesmerising gems. Now, Leguéreau has returned to the magic of this fabric for a second time, with the audacious creation of 63 new pieces of jewellery. For this, she has taken inspiration from her collection three years ago, taking pieces and adding colour and different styles to the collection.
Tweed Céleste was certainly one of the stand-out pieces from the Tweed De Chanel collection. It uses diamonds, sapphires and onyx that really does appear to replicate the look and feel of tweed. The release of this jewellery collection in London also coincides with the launch of the V&A’s Chanel retrospective — Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto — which opens in September 2023, with tickets available to purchase now. The first UK retrospective of the influential designer’s work, the exhibition will examine Chanel’s influence on the worlds of jewellery and beauty, as well as her long-lasting impact on the fashion industry.
De Beers’ latest high jewellery chapter, appropriately-named Metamorphosis, is dedicated to the ever-shifting power of nature and the irresistible allure of extraordinary diamonds – quite a fitting description for the house who coined the phrase ‘a diamond is forever’.
The collection is comprised of 37 one-of-a-kind designs, divided into four sets representing the four seasons. spring’s pieces take after the South African flower, the King Protea, with abstract shapes alluding to diamond ‘petals’. Meanwhile, summer is dominated by radiant yellow gold and diamonds, including a ring jacket modelled after a pair of ammonite fossils- my personal favourite. Warm orange hues enhance the billowing forms of the autumnal set, while winter’s intricate white gold and diamond jewels echo the cracked structures of glacial ice.
On top of a suite overlooking Paris on a rare blue sky day, Céline Assimon, CEO of De Beers Jewellers tells us: ‘I am particularly proud of the daring designs of this chapter. We’ve experimented with bold volumes, graphic motifs and hidden details. Our focus on transformability and versatility reflects the fact that De Beers is a young house: high jewellery is the epitome of art and craftsmanship, but it should also be wearable and fun.’
Pearl legacy at its finest, Japanese jeweller Tasaki’s new collection was split into six themes inspired by the beauty of light and the sea. A concrete DNA staple since 1954 when the brand formed, pearls are used to express the narrative of water, as well as to create movement within all the pieces. The standout was the Cascade necklace and earrings; strands of white Akoya and white South Sea pearls capture the eye and give the impression of water drops. The combination of tourmalines mixed with Akoya pearls really capture the light, giving a rippling effect worn around the neck and ear.
This story originally appeared on GRAZIA UK.