As this year’s exuberant high jewellery collections prove, there’s a sense of houses allowing designers more creative freedom, which is a tough call when each suite takes over two years to develop and a further two to create. Balancing the exuberant character, avant-garde thinking and seriously precious materials that set high jewellery apart from all other forms takes skill, rare knowledge and a healthy approach to risk. Here’s our take on the new design shifts we saw in high jewellery this year...
---Kaleidoscopic Pattern: Continuous forms and a graphic sensibility create an orderly chaos from round and geometric cuts. The result is a brilliantly modern multiplication of colour and light, as seen in Van Cleef’s multi-texture 'Rouleau Azur' bracelet and the mathematical forms of Bulgari’s 'Giardini Italiani' earrings.
Pictured: Van Cleef & Arpels, Seven Seas ‘Rouleau Azur’ bracelet of lapis lazuli and turquoise beads, with white cultured pearls, diamonds and white gold. Bulgari, 'Giardini Italiani' earring in white gold, with two octagonal-step Burma sapphires totalling 25.58 carats, emeralds and diamonds (top); earring in white gold and 3.77 carats of pave diamonds (bottom). ‘Estampe’ mirror, by François Azambourg, at Galerie Kreo, Paris. See the full set of Galerie Kreo mirrors that form the backdrop of this shoot herePhotography: Benjamin BouchetAs originally featured in the October 2015 edition of Wallpaper* (W*199)
Volume control: Generous forms dominate this year’s high jewellery one-offs, as houses created billowing shapes with a brilliant mish-mash of intricate cuts. De Beers' 'Wondrous Sphere' is a mischievous addition – an articulated, diamond-studded objet, it’s high jewellery as an exquisite toy. Multi-layered ring forms, meanwhile, constitute wearable works of art.
Pictured: De Beers, articulated sphere in white gold, with rare colour polished and rough diamonds, including a central 13.17-carat rough. Louis Vuitton, 'Beau Rivage' ring in white gold with diamonds and 2.06-carat purple sapphire. Dior Joaillerie, 'Noue Emeraude' ring in white gold, diamonds and 4.24-carat Zambian emerald. Chaumet, 'Rondes de Nuit' ring in platinum with diamonds, including a 3.34-carat pear-shaped. ‘Lune’ mirror by Levien Doshi at Galerie Kreo, Paris. See the full set of Galerie Kreo mirrors that form the backdrop of this shoot here
Hypnotic colour: Brightly hued gems continue to inspire creative thinking but the ‘big, huge, massive’ approach of elevating central dazzlers has swayed to kaleidoscopic sequences of brilliant-hued stones
Pictured: Graff, necklace in platinum, with 162.33 carats of rubies and 44.24 carats of diamonds. Harry Winston, 'Secret Wonder' reversible ring in platinum, with four pear-shaped aquamarines, nine round sapphires of 1.07 carat and 349 diamonds. ‘Sample’ mirror, by David Dubois at Galerie Kreo, Paris. See the full set of Galerie Kreo mirrors that form the backdrop of this shoot here
Rich texture: Ancient artisanal skills are reflected in a contemporary relief. Cindy Chao’s snow-set diamonds form a frosted frond around the wrist; lacquered details are the contemporary take on the medieval champlevé enamelling technique at Chanel.
Pictured: Cindy Chao, ‘Foliage’ bangle in white gold, with 58.32 carats of fancy-cut diamonds. Chanel Fine Jewellery, 'Hypnotique' earrings in white and yellow gold, lacquer and two brilliant-cut blue-violet tanzanites of three carats in total. ‘Right Angle’ mirror by Daniel Rybakken at Galerie Kreo, Paris. See the full set of Galerie Kreo mirrors that form the backdrop of this shoot here
Sculptural form: A fine-art take on narrative-driven design evolves through precision cuts and stones in conflicting colours, as seen at Giampiero Bodino; while a mix of straight and curved lines, at Reza, adds a heightened sense of proportion.
Pictured: Giampiero Bodino, serpent bracelet in pink gold, with pink and yellow sapphires, rubies, mandarin garnets and diamonds. Alexandre Reza, ‘Bague Facettes Sablé Saphir’ ring in rose gold, with unheated oval cabochon Ceylon sapphire of 26.51 carats; and 'Bague Facettes Sable Diamant' ring in rose gold with cushion-shape diamond of 6.12 carats. ‘Inuit’ mirror, by Jean-Baptiste Fastrez at Galerie Kreo, Paris. See the full set of Galerie Kreo mirrors that form the backdrop of this shoot here
Traditional-minimal: Boucheron reminds us of the precise tradition of the fine jeweller’s craft. In its ‘Maharani’ brooch design, a centuries-old emerald is set over two graduated diamond rounds, adding depth and light to its colour and form.
Pictured: Boucheron ‘Maharani’ brooch in white gold, diamonds and an archive 19.87 carat Colombian emerald. ‘Right Angle’ mirror, 2012, in polished stainless steel, by Daniel Rybakken at Galerie Kreo, Paris. See the full set of Galerie Kreo mirrors that form the backdrop of this shoot here
Non-complexity: Simple shapes, lightweight components and an industrial palette amount to an everyday take on precious materials. The upshot is a pared-back modern glamour.
Pictured: Tiffany, 'Blue Book Collection' ring in platinum, with iridescent Tahitian pearl and diamonds. Suzanne Syz, 'Big Bang' bracelet in titanium and white gold, with diamonds and 115.32 carats of diamond slices.‘Melancholia’ mirror, by François Bauchet at Galerie Kreo, Paris. See the full set of Galerie Kreo mirrors that form the backdrop of this shoot here
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