When you hear, Paris Couture Week, you think fashion shows. But for me, it’s all about High Jewellery Previews! Or Haute Joaillerie, as we’re in Paris after all.
As the city buzz grows in excitement at the thought of a whole week of fashion shows, I’m making my escape to the luxurious boutiques of the Place Vendôme to discover and share with you the latest collections of high jewelry from the world’s top jewelry brands like Van Cleef & Arpels, Buccellati, Dior, Chanel, De Beers, Piaget, Chaumet, Messika, Louis Vuitton, Suzanne Syz, David Morris and more.
What a great honor it is to be invited to this exclusive event, open only to clients and journalists. The jewelry Maison collections of Paris Couture Week showcase the most extraordinary gemstones the world has ever seen, and the highest level of craftsmanship, innovation, and design imaginable.
This year, I am taking you along with me and sharing all the inspiration and stories behind these phenomenal Haute jewelry collections! Join my marvelous tour by watching my interactive videos and reading about the vision behind each collection below.
Day 1 Jewellery Highlights: Reza, CHANEL, De Beers and Russian Alexandrites.
Welcome to Paris! Day 1 was all about managing the heat and my heartbeat from rushing too fast, while discovering unique high jewellery creations of @worldofreza @chanelofficial @debeersofficial @rubeusmilano and @davidyurman! My absolute favourite of the day was CHANEL high jewellery presentation inspired by Russia! What was yours?
I can’t think of a better way to start my first day in Paris than by discovering the spectacular jewels of Reza, designed by Olivier Reza the son of founder Alexandre! With 80 years of expertise in selecting precious stones, each creation of Reza high jewelry begins with the gemstone. This VSS1 IIa type heart-shaped diamond ring instantly stole my heart, while the unparalleled perfection of these 65 ct ruby earrings simply blew my mind.
Who knew I’d visit my home country in the heart of Paris! The new “Le Paris Russe de Chanel” collection is dedicated to imperial Russia and is an exploration in Chanel’s admiration for its embroidery, folklore and royal history. Could the Russian beau, Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich have anything to do with it? (wink-wink!)
My next stop, the home of diamonds: De Beers. The new De Beers collection, Portraits of Nature, reflects a kaleidoscope of color and light and is the brand’s largest high jewelry collection to date. It is a vision of exceptional diamonds and the chromatic effects of creatures like flamingos, monarch butterflies, chameleons, cichlids, and zebras. Check out my Animal Jewellery Curation on Pinterest for more unique fauna inspired jewels!
What a magical afternoon at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs! I’m here to witness the Rubeus Imperial Alexandrite Collection with a record-breaking 69.37 ct Russian alexandrite gemstone. First discovered in 1830 in the Ural Mountains, the gem was named after Alexander II, who was heir to the throne at the time. What really strikes me about alexandrite is its ability to dramatically change color in incandescent light from bluish-green to reddish-purple. Emerald by day, ruby by night!
Day 2 Jewellery Highlights: Suzanne Syz, Van Cleef & Arpels, Buccellati, Boucheron, Louis Vuitton and Gemfields showcasing Bina Goenka and Francis de Lara
My second day in Paris is sparkling with spectacular jewels of @suzannesyzartjewels @vancleefarpels @buccellatimilan @boucheron @louisvuitton and @gemfields: @binagoenkaofficial @francisdelara_finejewels I just couldn’t take my eyes of Boucheron creations! And what was your favourite?
I love talking jewelry and even more so the art talk. Sharing this passion with unconventional high jewelry designer Suzanne Syz was a delightful surprise of the day. Her jewels are inspired by the remarkable artworks of the 20th century and feature some unusual material combinations, like an 80carat paraiba tourmaline set in a rock crystal ring.
Feeling the love at Paris Couture Week with the new Van Cleef & Arpels high jewelry collection, Romeo & Juliet. The language of love expressed in gems… so romantic! Often finding inspiration in literature, Van Cleef & Arpels pays tribute to Shakespeare’s masterpiece, playing out the scenes of the lovers’ destiny in a Renaissance Verona of precious gemstones.
For all the admirers of exceptional craftsmanship, the new jewels of Buccellati – including the choker and earrings designed by Lucrezia Buccellati – featuring the traditional maison’s jewelry-making techniques. For diamond lovers, the new Buccellati flower cut with 57 facets, in which every facet is mirrored, was presented during Paris Couture Week. And I even tried to cut one myself! You need nerves of steel to press the real diamond onto a cutting wheel for the first time!
Thirty minutes later and we’re hopping over to experience Paris through the eyes of Boucheron and their Vu Du 26 high jewelry collection. As the name suggests the jewels explore the French heritage and creative essence of the famed Maison through three chapters: Parisian architecture and culture, Place Vendôme encapsulated in jewels, and 26 V, the family house and heart of Boucheron’s creativity. I could spend days exploring these treasures. They left me in complete awe of the exquisite craftsmanship and extraordinary gemstones.
The collection, which really resonated with me on Day 2 was The Riders of the Knights by Louis Vuitton. Having celebrated self-love and the talent of female jewelry designers, I fell for LV’s empowering tribute to female heroines of the medieval period. They have so much in common with modern women today, who are capable of shaping their own destinies. Borrowing from the design elements of a medieval fortress, The Riders of the Knights collection creates a sparkly armor of diamonds for she who dares to wear it.
At the Suite of Gemstones, it was a great pleasure to witness and highlight Gemfields’ responsibly sourced African emeralds and rubies in their spectacular fine jewelry creations. The 18k gold and emerald serpent glasses of Francis de Lara is the second show-stopping jewelry eyewear I’ve discovered since Artistar. While Bina Goenka’s snake design was a pure splash of rubies wrapping around my wrist. Can I have them as a set?
Day 3 Jewellery Highlights: Messika, Dior Jewellery, and designers of Objet d’Emotion.
Entering the Messika presentation of their new Born To Be Wild high jewelry collection, I felt like I was stepping into a desert land of sand and rocks with tumbleweed sweeping around the sparkling diamonds. Drawing inspiration from the vast and vivid North American desert and the Wild West, Messika jewels pays tribute to the forces of nature and self-discovering escapism.
Next on our gleaming list of jewelry discoveries is Dior’s fabulous interpretation of gemstones, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Dior Joaillerie. Pronounced as J’aime Dior, the Gem Dior collection by Victoire de Castellane is a juicy splash of color and a vivid declaration of love to diamonds, rubies, garnets, sapphires, emeralds, tsavorites, spinels, tanzanites, and the paraiba tourmalines…
I’m buoyant with excitement at the thought of Objet d’Emotion a fine jewelry shopping concept founded by my dear Valery Demure. Selecting only the best brands with strong aesthetics and inimitable signatures, it was a delight to discover new designs from some of my favorite female designers, including Alice Cicolini, Francesca Villa, Melanie Georgacopoulos, Sharon Khazzam, and Yael Sonia. And what an amazing view of Paris from the roof of the Hotel de Crillon! Such a treat!
Day 4 Jewellery Highlights: Chaumet, Piaget, designers collaboration with Atelier Swarovski and David Morris
Starting my last morning of Paris Haute Couture Week by admiring the skies… of Les Ciels de Chaumet high jewelry collection! Chaumet masterfully interprets the vastness and ever-changing appearance of the skies by giving it shape in exceptional jewels in four Chapters: Les Caprices du Ciel resembles the ever-changing appearance of the stormy weather; Les Couleurs du Ciel celebrates the color palette that the sun exhibits throughout the daytime, while Les Fulgurances du Ciel is a tribute to the diamond sparkling sky we only witness as night falls. Yet one cannot imagine the sky without its beautiful birds, Les Habitants du Ciel.
A quick stroll under the boiling-hot sun of Paris to the presentation of Piaget, a Maison which has made the interpretation of light its signature with its 2017 and 2018 high jewelry collections. Continuing the tradition, the new Golden Oasis 2019 collection explores the intense sun lighting the curves of a breathtaking desert landscape through three distinctive facets: The Play of Lights burst into colorless and yellow diamonds, Mozambican rubies and pink spinels; The Native Bloom honors the desert flora by dressing the jewels in lush greens of Colombian and Zambian emeralds, malachites and the paraiba tourmalines; and my personal favorite, the Desert Mineral chapter is inspired by rocks and crystal pools, portrayed in spessartite garnets, Akoya white pearls, Madagascar blue sapphires, and black opals.
Aiming to promote the conscious choice of consumers, I have attended the presentation of Swarovski Atelier Fine Jewellery in collaboration with Stephen Webster, Prince Dimitri, and Penélope Cruz, who designed their jewels with Swarovski Created Diamonds. Learn the difference between man-made and natural diamonds in my article. I also had a chance to discover the largest lab-grown diamonds to date in the Penelope Cruz one-off pear drops jewelry set, spanning 3.05 carats!
Finishing my day with a reminder to stay true to my roots, I visited the London-born jewelry brand David Morris and the new high jewelry collection, Enchanted Isle. Inspired by the care-free escapism of Mykonos Island, new designs shine with the colors of the crystal clear sea and abundant nature of the island. My favorite jewel of the collection is the gorgeous yellow diamond floral ear cuff, the embodiment of modern elegant and edgy femininity.
Thanks for joining me on my trip to Paris Couture Week 2019 high jewelry collection previews! Which day of jewelry highlights was your favorite? Share with me in the comments down below!
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewelry.
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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewelry featuring talented jewelry designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews, and rare jewelry reviews. This jewelry blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewelry online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and traveling context.
Jewelry blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has traveled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewelry tastemakers. Her jewelry influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
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