After accessory-design stints at Ungaro, Paco Rabanne and Balenciaga, Charlotte Chesnais’ fashion credentials are undoubted. That she doesn’t allow them to eclipse her fine-art instinct makes hers a standout name in the new wave of fine jewellers.
As if gently twisted out of a never-ending coil of metal, her rings and earrings curve and swoop around the body. Anthony Caro is an inspiration and it shows. Purity of materials is Chesnais' creative starting point and it’s the soft and tubular – as opposed to fine and flat – metal lengths that add a particularly sensuous quality to her silver and gold-plate jewellery.
Her current collection further reveals a sculptor’s instinct: 'I bought a vintage Italian lamp from the 1970s composed of several metallic petals. The shape inspired me a lot and seemed to fit quite naturally with the existing code of my work. It was one of the starting point of the first collection.'
Pre-empting a new focus – colour – the Paris-based jewellery designer customised her 'Petal' earring and 'Saturn' ring in graduated gold and silver for our fashion issue. 'I am working on a small collection using stones and precious metals,' she confirms, 'but that’s all I can tell you for now'. It goes without saying that her signature structural simplicity will remain intact.
As originally featured in the March 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*204)