Haute Jewellery as precious makeup?
As Paris Fashion Week kick-starts, all eyes are on the French Haute Couture and, of course, the fabulous jewellery that adorns the designers’ creations, especially Dior's latest jewellery collection.
Since 2010, Haute Couture’s official calendar has hosted the most exquisite jewellery houses that are affiliated to the federation. The purpose is to showcase at the same time, the two sectors that stand out by the uniqueness of their models handmade with exceptional know-how.
2020 is a special year for Dior Fine Jewellery since the French house celebrates the 20th-anniversary of Victoire de Castellane as its creative director. As a matter of fact, it was de Castellane who developed and launched Dior Joaillerie after LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault poached her from Chanel in 1999.
In these twenty years, Victoire de Castellane has become famous for her signature designs; fabulous hybrid creatures, a mix of flowers and insects covered in colourful enamel and gems, having often secret movable parts. De Castellane whimsical collections seem out of a dream and have won her almost 100k followers on Instagram and fans all over the world.
The French jewellery designer named her latest collection “Gem Dior” - a wordplay with J’aime Dior, I love Dior, and also a wordplay with J'adore Dior, I adore Dior, the slogan that appears on T-shirts, bags and gives name to a perfume. It is Dior’s most extensive high jewellery collection ever, having almost 100 pieces, from necklaces to watches, made with dégradé gemstones clusters in all colours of the rainbow, including cyan tourmalines, diamonds, emeralds, pink sapphires, tanzanites, garnets, emeralds, you name it.
To celebrate in style de Castellane work anniversary and her incredible talent, Dior’s chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari invited couture clients to a two nights extravaganza in Venice.
Upon arriving at Palazzo Labia, the guests were surprised by a living painting with models all dressed in beige Dior dresses designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, and wearing several Victoire de Castellane jewellery pieces. During dinner, the same models, now wearing black, walked through the dining rooms to show the jewellery, which reminded the intimate couture shows Monsieur Dior used to hold in the ’50s and ’60s.
Comparing to her previous creations, Gem Dior is quite a different collection because of the abstract designs. De Castellane explains that she imagined each piece as minerals, like pyrite, for example, a mineral that grows in nature with crystals wedged together in irregular shapes. Castellane reproduces these asymmetrical shapes by mixing stones in all colours and cuts; ovals, baguettes, pears and emerald cut.
The French jewellery designer says that to her, jewellery is like makeup; "You can have no makeup on, but if you’re wearing earrings, suddenly they brighten you." As more and more women are taking on leadership roles in culture and politics, they are buying jewellery for themselves instead of having to wait for a man to give them as a gift. For Victoire de Castellane, this is a victory.
Happy 20th Anniversaire, Victoire!
All photos courtesy of Dior and Victoire de Castellane