My time at the Paris Haute Couture Week was sparkly to the top and I spotted a lot of global jewellery trends. All these trends have come together in my latest story titled ‘Runway Hits’ written for the August issue of Rapaport Magazine. Enjoy the story below and stay tuned to my Instagram page for the next few days as I will be sharing a lot more photos and videos from each trend there.
A look at what was hot during Paris’s Haute Couture Week.
The finery at Paris’s Haute Couture Week has been known to outdo other leading global fashion weeks in New York, London and Milan. Formerly a celebration of fashion alone, the event in the French city is now an equally important date on the global jewelry calendar. For four days every January and July, the latest collections from major European jewelry houses and designers — as well as a few from other locales — sparkle amid the lavish displays at Place Vendôme, the Grand Palais, the Ritz and even the Louvre.
In addition to the global fashion, luxury and jewelry media, these extravagant exhibits attract a select few private clients who desire to buy jewels the day they are unveiled. The event is a must for established brands, which invest hugely in creating out-of-this-world experiential and storytelling spectacles. And while boutique jewelers and newcomers may offer more humble exhibits, they, too, make sure to have a presence there. Here are some of the trends from the major jewelry houses.
Trend Spotted: Opaque Gemstones
In Magnitude, Cartier’s latest offering, unusual gemstones collide with other precious materials in a harmony of technique and creative flair. Diamonds sit next to rutilated quartz, sapphires shine alongside matrix opals, and emeralds gleam next to rock crystal. The whole collection is a dialogue between opacity and transparency, mineral and precious, pure colors and shimmering nuances, earth and light.
One prominent trend is the use of opaque gemstones like lapis lazuli, turquoise, opals and malachites. The Équinoxe necklace exemplifies this with the use of spherical, pure- blue lapis beads next to a nebula of yellow, orange and white diamonds and sapphires, evoking a meeting of blazing sun rays and starry night skies.
Trend Spotted: Black Opals
This summer, David Morris’s Enchanted Isle collection takes us to the Aegean Sea, where crystal-clear ocean meets sun-drenched color on the island of Mykonos. Creative director Jeremy Morris has infused every piece with the island’s presence, be it early morning swims at secret beaches or picturesque walks along cobbled streets. The collection is a carnival of gemstones such as conch pearls, rubies, emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines, and perhaps the most on-trend: black opal.
A bold choice for high jewelry, black opal has a bewitching quality that makes one instantly fall in love with it, a reminder of the midnight hues of where the water and sky meet. No two of these bluish-green opals are the same, and this makes the brand’s chandelier earrings and oval ring even more precious.
Trend Spotted: Multi-Wearable Jewelry
One of the early occupants of Place Vendôme, Boucheron looked to the historic square for inspiration in its latest collection, which also draws on the city of Paris and the brand’s own iconic corner boutique. With the recent renovation of the Boucheron family house at Place Vendôme 26V, creative director Claire Choisne poured the view from her window into Paris vu du 26, a jewelry line that captures references to French architecture, flora, fauna, romance and culture through diamonds and gemstones.
As a tribute to founder Frédéric Boucheron, the creative team has designed what it calls “the very first Boucheron stone.” A technical feat, the new “stone” consists of onyx, rock crystal and cacholong layered together and cut into a three- dimensional marquetry pattern. In the center sits a round, 5.32-carat diamond. Inspired by the staircase in 26V, the design is part of a monochrome tassel necklace — one of several pieces in the collection that can be worn multiple ways.
Trend Spotted: Single Earrings
Along with its Move and Born to Be Wild collections, the Paris- based Messika unveiled a small selection of extraordinary high- jewelry pieces. Colored diamonds, extravagant designs and new ways of wearing them were the themes of this private collection, with free-flowing jewelry that eschewed constraints and conformity. One could spot daring necklaces, side-open rings, nose pins extending all the way up to the hairline, and even diamond-studded eye masks.
While earrings tend to come in pairs, designer Valérie Messika decided to break with the norm and offer only singles. The fashion for standalone earrings is on the rise, and the Spears hoop earring, with five pear-shaped diamonds suspended in an open circlet, is right on the mark.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
Trend Spotted: Romance-Inspired Themes
One of the most romantic collections at Haute Couture Week was Romeo & Juliet by Van Cleef & Arpels — over 100 gemstone-laden encounters of love based on William Shakespeare’s classic play. From a clip depicting the famous balcony scene, to abstract interpretations of kisses and matrimony, the passion comes alive in Italian Renaissance style and a garden full of vibrant gemstones.
A pair of Romeo & Juliet figurine clips draws on a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels design from 1951 that depicts the fabled couple. In the modern-day version, Romeo wears a finely worked blue costume of sapphires and lapis lazuli in several shades of gold, offering a rose to the love of his life; Juliet stands elegantly opposite him, radiant in a puff-sleeved gold dress sporting orange sapphires, garnets, rubies and diamonds.
Trend Spotted: Ornate Edges
Gabrielle Chanel had a multifaceted design sense. On one hand, she loved to strip products and fashions down to their main essence, like the little black dress; on the other, flamboyant baroque creations and lavish decorations were a key part of her style. It was during her intense love affair with the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich that she was introduced to the Russian world of aesthetics, a whole universe of motifs and designs that would reverberate powerfully in her work. The brand’s latest collection, Le Paris Russe de Chanel, pays homage to this passionate relationship.
The collection is a beautiful marriage between her favorite motifs — including the camellia flower — and Russian grandeur. The Sarafane necklace in pearls and diamonds brings back memories of a bygone era with its minute milgraining details on the flowers’ edges.
Trend Spotted: Tassels
Strong rays of sunshine spread out from Piaget’s boutique, where its Golden Oasis collection is on display. Working off of desert landscapes and sky tones, the collection’s three chapters are titled “Play of Lights,” “Desert Minerals” and “Native Bloom.” Yellow diamonds characterize the first, evoking glints of sun on sand, while blue sapphires hint at hidden waterfalls and the titular oases in the second.
The “Native Bloom” segment, meanwhile, uses soothing, deep green emeralds and classic styling. The Secret Oasis tassel necklace is a fine example of design-led craftsmanship, with a cushion-cut emerald holding a fan of diamond leaves together on the pendant above a voluminous emerald- bead tassel. The wearer can alter the length of the necklace or even wear it as a brooch.
Trend Spotted: Medallion Necklaces
This year, De Beers is taking its rough diamonds closer to the living world with its Portraits of Nature collection, inspired by the kaleidoscope of light that reflects off of wild creatures’ bodies, their striking colors and textures. Greater Flamingo plays with pink diamonds, and Monarch Butterfly shows the iridescence of a butterfly’s wings in the sun. The Electric Cichlid shimmers with the yellow scales of this fish, while the Chapman’s Zebra set goes graphic with black and white stripes.
The most striking of all is the Knysna Chameleon series, which recalls a chameleon’s dramatic displays and scale textures through shades of green, yellow, brown and pink rough diamonds. The chameleon is a symbol of intuition, curiosity, calmness and clairvoyance, and the medallion necklace mimics the animal’s versatility: The colors shift with the sunlight or the hue of a dress, and the piece is wearable in multiple ways.
Trend Spotted: Powerful Animals
The fine line between fashion and high jewelry overlapped this year as leading luxury brand Gucci presented its Hortus Deliciarum collection. The 200-piece collection by creative director Alessandro Michele — Gucci’s first foray into high-value jewelry — is a rainbow of colored gems and is divided into three topics: eternal love, the animal kingdom, and solitaires.
While the overall theme pays homage to mythical paradises like the Garden of Eden, Arcadia and Xanadu, powerful animals make their presence known in multiple pieces. Lions, tigers and snakes have been part of Gucci imagery for decades, and these beastly beauties have now found their spots among diamonds and gemstones. The leading necklace has not one, but two lion heads, one on each side.
Trend Spotted: Russian Influences
Russian alexandrites, however extraordinary, have never made it as center stones in the world of high jewelry until now. Russian couple Nataliya and Viktor Bondarenko of Milan-based jeweler Rubeus aimed to create a sensation in Paris this year with the Rubeus Imperial Alexandrite collection, the brand’s first high-jewelry line. Playing off these chameleon- like stones, the jewelry changes color in different lighting thanks to the use of fluorescent diamonds, and can transform into various looks.
Designer Frédéric Mané and sculptor-jeweler Jothi- Seroj brought the collection to life. The leading piece is a white-gold and black-titanium necklace starring a 69.37-carat alexandrite — the largest ever used in jewelry, according to the company. Diamonds and spinels accent the necklace, and its spike-like diamond features mimic a spray of crystals emerging from Mother Earth.