Le Gramme rethinks chains
Chains become modern classics – French brand Le Gramme is reshaping men’s jewellery
Jewellery designer Erwan Le Louër is fascinated by geometry, his clean lines and understated interplays of precious metals forming the cornerstone of French men’s jewellery brand Le Gramme. Trained in industrial design, Le Louër graduated in 2008 with a master’s degree from what was then ESDI, in Paris, and translates his analytical aesthetic into the brand’s cool minimalism.
Chains become contemporary
Le Gramme, created in 2013 by Le Louër and Adrien Messié, encapsulates simplicity. Materials take centre stage, with 18ct gold or sterling silver precisely proportioned for clean and uncluttered forms. The smooth surfaces of the precious metals become ripe for interpretation, with a choice of polished, matte or brushed finishes available to discerning wearers. Patterns, when used, are subtle – the ridges of a guilloche wedding ring are gentle, the grooves in a lightweight silver cable bracelet unobtrusive. Made in France, each piece is succinctly named after its weight in grammes.
Now, a new collection, Segment, builds on these foundations with bracelets, rings and necklaces that nod to last year’s chain collection, Entrelacs. While those pieces upped the proportions of the classic chain, thickly knitting together circular gold and silver links for a chunky urbanity, this year Le Louër has rethought the concept entirely. The familiar circles appear to have been pinched, their forms tweaked so they become cylinders. Previously hollow, the links are now filled with precious metal, adding a reassuring weight. They move freely with the wearer, an articulated design making for a gleaming flexible spine.
‘We think through the shape in every detail, nothing is left to chance,’ Le Louër says. ‘At Le Gramme, we are not into free artistic gesture,’ he adds, however effortless the designs may appear. The duo’s close scrutiny is reflected in the choice of materials; some pieces feature seemingly random links of gold or silver in a contemporary play on mixed metals. The rings take this further, mixing yellow, red and white gold in a move that is a first for Le Gramme. In this modern reinterpretation of the classic trois ors jewellery design, the century-old motif is brought bang up-to-date in a gracefully Gallic way.
‘We don’t see Segment as a new direction, but more like a continuation of what we have already done,’ says Le Louër. ‘Like all of our other pieces, it looks very easy but is, in fact, very complex. We believe that details make all the difference – Segment is an elementary shape that we thought of and made our own.’ By shifting the focus from clean design to high-quality precious metals and unusual shapes, the heavy jewelllery becomes sensual, crying out to be worn and touched. Adds Le Louër: ‘As the name of our brand is Le Gramme, you need to feel the weight of the jewellery you are wearing.’ §