Light touch: photographer Karen Collins captures Chaumet’s carefree mood

Light touch: photographer Karen Collins captures Chaumet’s carefree mood

The relaxed free-spiritedness and sensuality typical of New York-based photographer Karen Collins’ work chimed with French high jeweller Chaumet. Now they have collaborated on a series of images marking the launch of its new Insolence collection, unveiled during Paris Couture week.

The series of rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces takes inspiration from historic Chaumet bowknot designs, including a corsage brooch from 1922, in white gold, embellished with diamonds and pearls. An 1895 gouache of a brooch with asymmetric ribbon also has a light modernity that easily translates to today.

Necklace in white and pink gold and brilliant-cut diamonds. Photograph: Karen Collins

Historically, bowknot designs were careful symbols of eternal and binding affection, but  Chaumet’s original 19th-century sketch evokes a more relaxed sensibility. It is that mood that Chaumet reflects in the Insolence collection, where bows are created with different sized loops, and twisted rose-gold rope is laced with gleaming diamond-set ribbons. That the rope appears to have been snipped with scissors in uneven lengths, like a friendship bracelet that never leaves the wrist, enhances the light mood.

Mixing precious metals gives the pieces everyday appeal, while Collins’ choice to shoot them on unadorned skin at an unspecified hour – be it morning, noon or night – perfectly captures the collection’s fresh, carefree mood.

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