When Boucheron opened their first boutique on Paris' Place Vendôme in 1893, it was important that they had a space as filled with light as the jewels they created. Appropriately, it was to this original inspiration that artist Mathias Kiss returned when he created the light-filled installation to celebrate the launch of the jewellery house's new Quatre Radiant collection. Titled the 'Radiant Room', it will run throughout December at the Paris boutique.
Design-wise, it is a fitting tribute to the jewels. Gems subject to a careful cut, set and polish can reflect, fracture and play with light to dazzling effect, and Kiss has taken this concept and twisted it. The landscape he has created is luminescent with mirrors and sheets of silver leaf acting to gently subvert your perspective. It is directly inspired by the pieces themselves: the Clous de Paris element of the multi-textured ring – a pattern composed of hollow lines which alludes to the cobblestones in the Place Vendôme – is reflected in the cubic sculptures that hang suspended from the ceiling, sharpening the glittering scene with a bold edge. The confidently oversized rings in the collection, which blend Clous de Paris, grosgrains and mirror settings, are as sculptural and graphic as the surroundings they have inspired.
For the artist, whose work blurs the lines between interior design, architecture and contemporary art, it was the ideal project. His past installations, which have shown all round the world – including at Design Miami/Basel and during Milan Design Week – may be diverse, but they all have in common his commitment to reinterpreting or deconstructing traditional designs.
For Boucheron, it was also a natural fit. This newest alliance builds on the rich history of artist collaborations; French modernist Jacques Adnet, artist Lalique and enamel artist Camille Faure are just some of the talents that have worked with the jewellery house in the past. The finished results are unfailing bold, creative and surprising – take Jean Cocteau, whose head scarf design for Boucheron was subsequently produced in a brilliant gold weave, showing radiance and lustre have long been cornerstones of Boucheron's philosophy.