There’s bags of appeal behind Cartier’s latest high jewellery collection. Take this limited edition clutch, constructed from a shimmering silk and wool quartz jacquard fabric, which has an impressively graphic 3D effect. The Milky Way-like colour of the material nods to the interstellar inspiration behind the ‘Les Galaxies Des Cartier’ collection, one that draws on the craggy forms of asteroids and the sparkle of stardust. This bag also boasts a meteorite-inspired clasp in pink gold, diamonds and moonstone. It can be worn as a detachable brooch, as an outer space-centric clothing adornment.
Object lessons: high jewellery’s functional forms
The notion of everyday luxury has long been a preoccupation of high jewellery houses. From the early 20th century, functional pieces such as Cartier’s jewelled letter openers and Van Cleef & Arpels’ multi-tasking gold Minaudières have been offered alongside classic jewellery designs. Today, the tradition continues in suitably understated, functional forms. From sunglasses to hair ornaments, the desire for bejewelled wearables is as contemporary as ever.
We’re seriously tempted by Bulgari’s ‘Serpenteyes’ shades. The Roman jewellery houses’s snake motif, which has coiled seductively around its designs since the 1940s, is the starting point for a handcrafted collection of three one-of-a-kind frames. We’ve got our eye on this pair, a tempting combination of mirrored pinkish gold lenses set in a round frame with dark black, pure white and deep red enamel serpent motifs. The sunglasses are a super-chic reminder of Bulgari’s bold use of bright enamels in its jewellery design, especially during the 1960s and 1970s, while the tiny sapphire-cabochon accents also nod to the house’s signature use of smooth, domed stones. Photography: James Robjant
Horticulture meets technology head on in Boucheron’s ‘Nature Triomphante’ collection. The Place Vendôme jeweller has used a computer technique to replicate the delicate curves of petals and pistils, by scanning physical flowers to form 3D images, which are immortalised in jewellery. Take these ‘Nuage de Fleurs’ hairpieces, inspired by the pastel-hued heads of Hydrangeas, and formed from pink gold, lined with pearl and pavé diamonds. Lucky for flower fanatics, Boucheron now has an extensive library to inspire future floral-focused designs. The process used to scan each earthly example was a long one, as the lightness and moisture content of petals and pistils, makes them virtually undetectable by machine.