Delicate and dangerous: lily of the valley has long been known for its healing and poisonous properties. During World War I, a drug obtained from this plant was allegedly used to treat exposure to poison gas. On the other end of the spectrum: this gentle, elegant and ostensibly innocent flower can cause dizziness, blurred vision and even much bigger problems.
But these flowers have always had a special place in my heart for a completely different reason. When I was a little girl, my mother gave me a birthday present—Diorissimo perfume. A beautiful, luxurious bottle, full of clean and clear scent, with the notes of green leaves, jasmine and ylang-ylang. For a child whose senses are still wide open and perceptive to all the magic in the world, this little bottle represented a whole new microcosm of smells, the marvel and the alchemy of the yet unfamiliar universe of fragrances.
These warm memories and the captivating, fresh, young smell came back to me once I saw the beautiful Irene Neuwirth’s earrings.
I am usually not a big fan of combining opposite tones, but the classic alliance of pale rose with turquoise blue resonated something tender and intimately emotional in me.
The scent of lily of the valley is hard to reproduce in perfumery since processing destroys the smell of its essential oils. Same with the delicate beauty of the original flower. And yet, the quirky, original design of the earrings, in yellow and white gold, carved turquoise and pink opal, akoya pearls and diamond pave, reflecting and redefining every movement and shape of the flower, is the perfect incarnation of this fragile and wild natural wonder.
For the innately feminine, wonderful woman.
THE AIRY, SCULPTURAL, HYPNOTIC CREATION—LIKE A PENDULUM, WHICH WILL ALWAYS RETURN TO EQUILIBRIUM, HOWEVER DRAMATIC THE DISPLACEMENT
The somewhat uneasy look in her eyes is wondering what happens next, but the aura of the painting is serene—like the rhythmical ticking of a metronome, which looks so much like the Rocket earrings, in gold, jade, tourmaline and white diamonds, by a gloriously Brazilian designer Fernando Jorge.
The harmony of the delicate design, the inherent movement and intimate energy, the contemporary aesthetics, the magnetic elegance of these infinity circles turn them into a sensual, asymmetrical yet perfectly balanced pendulum.
Beauty is everywhere, and this realization is soul-healing.
VHERNIER ONCE AGAIN PROVES THAT, EVEN IF CREATIVE GENIES ARE A MYTH, IT HAS CREATIVE GENIUSES OF ITS OWN.
As a result of exceptional craftsmanship we can admire four new, alluring and sensual Aladino rings.
The master jewelers must have used some kind of wizardry, so pure and smooth are the shapes, so deep is the color play of the stones, and all of this so true to the spirit of Vhernier.
The streamlined, almost aerodynamic, shape and smooth implementation make these rings, despite their voluminosity, look almost weightless—the Vhernier paradox, echoing the dual nature of a modern woman: strong yet graceful, captivating yet subtle. The clear, glassy rock crystal seamlessly fuses with rose gold, allowing the colors of the stones, placed in between, to shine through: the aquatic blue of lapis lazuli, the subtle cloudiness of white mother of pearl, the depths of the Universe in grey mother of pearl, and the joyful greenth of jade.
The signature sculptural design makes these sizeable rings perfectly wearable. A reflection of the jeweler’s imagination not to be admired under glass but worn in comfort and shown to the world. And it won’t rub against your skin, sparing you any discomfort or unexpected appearance of magic spooks.
Easily recognizable by their particular, sophisticated design, these subtly futuristic pieces remain true to the architectural principles of Vhernier jewelry. Each piece is shaped like a miniature, unique, avant-garde structure, with an eye toward the environment in which it will be exhibited. Like the graceful Italian architectural masterpieces, designed bearing in mind their surroundings, the precious pieces of Vhernier jewelry are crafted with consideration and respect to the ambient space and the wearer’s body.
Victoire de Castellane, Dior’s Creative Director of Fine Jewelry, was the first person to change my mind, throw away stereotypes and take a fresh look at this quirky, charismatic stone. A precious stone that invites you to dream, invokes colors you have long forgotten, along with all the fairy tales that seemed to have long gone.
‘A combination of the incompatible’, was a phrase I overheard at the presentation of the Dior et Moi high jewelry collection this winter in Paris. It cut to the core of the bold and glorious, exuberant and sublime style of Victoire de Castellane, looking into the heart of beauty without bias or prejudice. A beauty that couldn’t care less: is this (st)one precious enough?
‘When I look at it, I see the earth from afar, the oceans, the archipelagos, and the reflections of stars on the waves,’ says Victoire in an interview with DIORMAG. www.dior.com/diormag/en
When a talented artist Hakan created this captivating 3D video, my first impression was fire from the opal.
A beautiful stone with a strong character.
But not all things fragile are inherently subpar and unlucky. Sometimes fragility makes beautiful phenomena and feelings even more precious.
So let’s keep on dreaming colorful, opalescent dreams of magic, purity, sensuality, femininity and beauty!
For one gorgeous moment, imagine a world where every stone, given the right context and design, can shine like NO OTHER, where the hallmark is not price or prestige, but beauty combined in a perfect work of art.
Illustration by INKYCUBANS
Even if not the bullseye definition of this collection, it nonetheless lingered in the air, illuminated by soft magenta and hushed blue lights, for it cut to the core of the bold and glorious, exuberant and sublime style of Dior’s Creative Director of Fine Jewelry, Victoire de Castellane, looking into the heart of beauty without bias or prejudice.
A beauty that couldn’t care less: is this (st)one precious enough? Indeed, one of the most prominent pieces in the collection is an opal necklace in yellow and white gold, diamonds, pearls, garnets, sapphires, peridots, emeralds and lacquer: with a semiprecious, not precious, stone as a centerpiece.
‘Dior et moi’: Me that is not the same anymore, Me that is free in spirit and decisions, Me that creates and sees the world differently.
Diamonds, emeralds and sapphires are set in perfect balance with tourmalines, rubellites, opals, garnets and peridots, previously considered less precious or important. The new generation has a different vision, and a new era in jewelry is following their path and experiences.
Playful and colorful jewels, full of asymmetrical details, a mix of stones of different caliber. “It’s an homage to Art Deco, but in 2020. Like little pieces of sci-fi architecture,” says Victoire de Castellane in an interview for Vogue.
The genius and exquisite invention of the Maison makes it possible to put the necklace on with one smooth move, without assistance and without fear of breaking this extremely complex, yet pliable masterpiece.
Actually, the deal was really big back in 1879, when Boucheron designed the first Question Mark necklace. At a time when Western women’s fashion was still fundamentally reigned by corsets, rigidly structured bustles, ultra-restrictive, heavy, long skirts, profuse decoration, extremely tight sleeves, and tall, fitted, boned collars—all ingredients for zero convenience—this innovative mechanism was revolutionary, giving women, apart from the obvious beauty of the necklace, a long-sought feeling of independence, freedom and power.
The patterns borrowed from nature, leaves, flowers, petals, Art deco-style natural pearls, a peacock’s feather have been carefully studied and reproduced in precious metals and stones. The idea, the design, the implementation, the history behind the piece, even the way it laconically captures the natural body shapes and gives a subtle yet sublime focus to the chest. In modern times, when women are free to dress however they like, this asymmetrical, light, graceful Question Mark necklace remains Boucheron’s answer to the timeless question of beauty, femininity and freedom of self-expression.
Eye-catching rainbow jewelry by Luisa Alexander also has something refreshing to say. And this word is: happy. Besides being very practical, fitting every style and clothing palette, rainbow jewelry is the ultimate mood maker, keeping your spirits up and brightening your day.
Do not miss your rainbow catch at the Moda Operandi trunk show!
A fresh look at a traditional artefact by a new creative mind in the world of jewelry. In Lito Karakostanoglou’s interpretation, a popular amulet—meant to protect wearers against the evil eye—acquires gentler, friendlier and more elegant, feminine lines.
This gorgeous golden eye will be watching the world with you and, so distinctive and arresting, it will make the world stop—to look at you.
And for the cherry on top, you can even pick the color! Choose blue, green, purple, yellow or rainbow, rimmed with laconic golden eyelashes or surrounded by diamonds, sapphires and rubies.
What amazing eye candy! What a catch!
Let’s not reinvent the wheel—everything that’s good about love has already been described by Chaucer, Shakespeare and Poe, as well as Pablo Neruda in his Love Sonnet XI:
I hunger for your sleek laugh,your hands the color of a savage harvest, hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails, I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
Yet the history of love has a dark side too. So here comes the bad about Valentine’s Day.
Although its origins are buried deep in the past, historians presume that it was started by (pretty much naked) ancient Romans celebrating the feast of Lupercalia on February 13–15: sacrificing animals and whipping women with their hides, while young women willingly lined up for this questionable ritual, believing in its fertility-bringing power. The name of the modern day of love may have also come from ancient Rome, where Emperor Claudius II executed two men named Valentine on February 14, whose martyrdom was subsequently honored by the Church with St. Valentine’s Day.
Hopefully (though this is arguable), people today are much less bloodthirsty and more chill and prefer tokens of love to being whipped with the hide of a sacrificial animal. So here comes the last—and the most beautiful—part of our Valentine’s story: the jewelry.
Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to remember the wonderful and unrivaled YOU, along with the beauty incarnated in gorgeous jewelry pieces by exceptional designers and artists. Charms and necklaces: heart, lips, coins, keys to your heart in yellow, white and pink gold, titanium, rhodium, diamonds, multicolor sapphires, rubies, tourmalines, corundums, enamel, quartz, ebony and pearls—everything your heart was longing for, and much, much more.
Chocolate will taste sweet for a moment, while jewelry will last for ages. An old proverb says: “Love is a collaborative work of art”. And as we know now through modern medicine: love is obsession, manifesting at the chemical level and showing at brain scans. So why not surrender to the sweet, innocent obsession with jewelry on this Day of Love and surround yourself with these vibrant pieces of art.
This day is about you.
Treat your loved one and yourself with a precious heart from the gorgeous selection at the Moda Operandi trunk show. A heart that is extremely hard to break.
The fairytales are anything but forgotten. Reinvented by the artistic duo through precious and peculiar materials, imaginative and eccentric designs, perfect asymmetry and advanced techniques, they take a physical form of colorful, delicious, exuberant and happy pieces. Red, pink, yellow, blue, gold and white, little crowns, hearts, lips and stars—the castles, clear skies, princesses, romantic stories we were told as kids, still alive at the back of our minds.
The ribbons of the Cadeau Pink earrings, a ‘present’ in yellow gold, enamel, diamonds and lemon quartz, wrap around the sublime fantasies hovering in the air, swinging to the gentle footsteps of a modern woman, open to the beauty and art of enchantment.
‘I like to make pieces that defy the ordinary, otherwise it’s no fun’, says Suzanne. This is what her jewelry is about. The iconic Smarties necklace, the bucolic fruit basket, Space Age rocket and ‘Warholic’ tomato soup can earrings, the car tire bracelet: it takes supreme levels of creativity, intelligence, refined taste, skill, mastery of materials and attention to detail to make those creations – which might sound pop and kitsch – look so sophisticated, expensive and haute couture, attracting aristocratic and elite clientele.
An art collector herself, Suzanne breathes love ; smile into her creations. High jewelry is no longer restricted to strict, ultraclassical shapes and styles. Smart, witty and far from drama, Suzanne is a perfect model for her own jewelry: serious pieces with a very feminine touch, and the right sense of humor. They are always unique and somewhat ahead of fashion.
Suzanne’s Wrap It Up Limited Edition earrings in aluminum and gold, are set with diamonds, sit next to the Ed Ruscha’s snowy mountaintops, standing out against yellowish-indigo skies, with a large ‘Pay Nothing Until April’ print in Boy Scout Utility Modern (or ‘no style’, as he himself referred to it) font, invented by the artist. Nothing like the flat terrain where the artist grew up, the landscape was most likely borrowed from a souvenir postcard. ‘Wrap It Up’ earrings are available online on TheRealReal (Please follow up by clicking on the image).
‘It’s not a celebration of nature’, says Ed Ruscha. ‘I’m not trying to show beauty. It’s more like I’m painting ideas of ideas of mountains.’ The dispassionate approach to this otherwise romantic scenery, the sloganesque language of the print makes his paintings—now selling for millions—resemble consumerist posters in the window of a travel agency.
Both artists’ creations, eccentric and elegantly witty, may be self-explanatory on the outside, but carry a deeper meaning on the inside. Or do they?
Life is about so many things, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Enjoy the art of humor.
A FULL IMMERSION INTO TIME, NATURE, LOVE AND ITALY: A PRECIOUS PUZZLE BY VAN CLEEF & ARPELS IN MILAN
Illustration by INKYCUBANS
Today they host Van Cleef & Arpels. Over 400 pieces of jewelry, watches and precious objects—produced since the establishment of the Maison in 1906—are exhibited alongside archival documents, sketches and gouache designs, deconstructing the creative process and leading you through the intricacies of artistic thought that gave life to these poetic creations.
The Palazzo looks different with walls draped in red silk, surfaces covered in gold leaf, pink and aquamarine lighting, showcases made from plexiglass, mirrors transforming and amplifying the space around you. Everything reflects and refracts in everything, echoing the luminosity and shimmer of the jewels, with a scenography designed by Johanna Grawunder.
You enter Time, Nature and Love.
Guiding you through a maze of gold, rubies, diamonds, emeralds, platinum and sapphires is the curator of the exhibition, Alba Cappellieri. Connecting the Maison and Time through the literary work of Italo Calvino, she accompanies you to the various rooms of the Palazzo—Paris, Exoticism, Lightness, Quickness, Visibility, Exactitude, Multiplicity—followed by intersections with Dance, Couture and Architecture. After you have passed Time, you will enter the Love section, displaying precious and symbolic romantic gifts, for love was at the very origin of the Maison. Once you have satisfied your hunger for love, dive into Nature—flowers, birds, animals, colors and shapes—an inexhaustible source of beauty and inspiration for an artistic soul.
Pieces of the puzzle come together as you immerse yourself in this divine concoction of exquisite jewelry, modern scenography and elite literature. The seemingly complex interrelations become clear as you walk through the exhibition from one creation to another, savoring and relishing, allowing the story to tell itself.
Join the experience at Palazzo Reale in Milan, from November 30, 2019, to February 23, 2020.
By mixing and matching her fondness for Eastern aesthetics with Western cosmopolitan tastes, the Milanese jewelry designer Bea Bongiasca jazzes up her intercultural philosophy and imprints a whimsical, perky and young style into her witty collections ‘No Rice, No Life’, ‘Fluoricultural’, ‘You’re So Wine!’, ‘A Golden Lesson’, ‘Happy Go Cola’.
‘Colorful, pop and ironical’ are the three words Bea chooses to define her creative ideology. Using the knowledge she gained during her trips across Asia, she dove into artistic studies, picking jewelry over sculpture. The result is a petite, adorable fantasy world and a micro-sculpture from a carefree dreamland in every piece. Gold and colorful enamel wines, adorned with vibrant gems, create an illusion of smooth and soft movement. They wrap around your fingers, gently sway in your ears, dynamic and lively, breezy and sweet. New lines, new playful approach to jewelry, bold pop look with a good feminine sense of humor,—to lift your spirits!
The Barcelonan painter Guim Tió Zarraluki performs a reverse—darkly humorous, tragicomically provocative—cosmetic surgery on images from fashion magazines: the images are treated with chemicals and oil pastels, altering the beautiful, pop-cultural faces, photoshopped to perfection, resulting in anonymized, abstract, disturbing portraits with bulgy eyes, grotesque noses and animalistic smiles, or even completely covered in multicolored stripes or bubbles, leaving only a small part of the original image untouched. Like an allegory of people undergoing excessive cosmetic surgery: becoming someone (or something) else in their eloquent attempts to look like a made-up, nonexistent ideal.
Guim’s landscapes, on the other hand, breathe melancholy and serenity, loneliness and peacefulness. Depending on your personality or mood, you may see them as sad or happy, depressing or cool. In the field, in a hammock, at a midnight gas station, in the middle of a lake, at a lighthouse, under the turquoise skies, in the malachite water, on the khaki grass and salmon sand, at the foot of the asphalt grey mountains, little humans are lost—or found?—amidst colossal spaces.
Two young, colorful, full-blooded artists. Bea—the eponym of joy and vitality, sublime and effortless femininity, and Guim—the messenger of the true nature of things, so eerily appealing and borderline spooky, both ingenious in their sense of beautiful and humorous, in the way they see art.
Look closer. What do you see?
From the very beginning of its history, jewelry has showcased status. Produced from rare or difficult-to-mine materials, requiring time-consuming, intricate—to the point of being hazardous—techniques, fine jewelry has always been the trademark of importance, position in the hierarchy.
The pharaohs and queens of Ancient Egypt adored themselves with exquisite jewels made from precious metals, gems and colored glass, while commoners wore jewelry made from rocks, clay, animal teeth and shells. Today the spectrum of materials has broadened immensely and can include all of the above in one piece. Yet, gold and diamonds, sapphires and pearls retain their unshakeable position in the representation of beauty.
Fine, luxurious jewelry is meant to be noticed, even when it comes in the shape and size of tiny, minimalist diamond or pearl stud earrings. Let alone the shiny, filigree, classic and modern, subtle and chunky statement necklaces, screaming for attention: Look at me! Notice me!
Statement necklaces of all sorts, from classical beauty to chunkier modern pieces, and stud earrings of all shapes and colors, from simple diamond drops to complex ornaments, was a palpable trend at the Golden Globes 2020.
Statement necklaces are the ornate, sophisticated frames, drawing attention to the neck, face, hair of the wearer. Stud earrings, no matter if diamond, pearl or metal, will serve forever and work with everything—an easy and painless solution for any occasion.
Look at her, notice her! A gorgeous woman floats through a stunned crowd, making all heads turn. A wealth of little pearl drops shining in her ears, bringing immense, clean light to her face.
THE BOUCHERON JEWELERS HAVE MIXED A COCKTAIL OF IMAGINATION, MODERN DESIGN AND A DROP OF MAGIC – TO RESTYLE THIS LOW-KEY OBJECT INTO AN ICONIC CHAIN OF OUR TIME.
Besides, it is fun!
Available in short and long versions, this innovative jewelry untethers your imagination and breaks new ground for reinventing the ways luxury jewelry may be worn. Try it on—and you can feel the music moving up and down the supple chains, in infinite circles, embracing your neck and waist, coiling and uncoiling around your wrists, the golden melody flowing along with your mood.
Take a closer look at these ingenious creations at the Moda Operandi trunk show.
at heart, herself not knowing why)
loved, in all its cold beauty,
a Russian winter:
rime in the sun upon a frosty day,
and sleighs, and, at late dawn,
the radiance of the rosy snows,
and gloam of Twelfthtide eves.
Eugene Onegin. A Novel in Verse by Aleksandr Pushkin
Decades have passed, and the style was rediscovered by Patrice Leguéreau, director of the Chanel jewelry studio. And thus, from the amalgamation of folklore and imperial symbols—the two otherwise polar opposite dimensions,—a new transplendent collection was born. The motifs, running like a golden thread through the entire collection, are easily recognizable: the cuts, the shapes, the two-headed eagles, the headpieces, the colors and ornaments. Yet, the pieces have been adapted to fit the modern context: by preserving the Russian flavor and sentiment, grandeur and sumptuousness but mixing in a touch of extranational mood. The jewels and the beauty of ‘Le Paris Russe’ transcend the borders of countries and nations and rise above the worldly life with its dramas and conspiracies.
Among the 69 unique pieces, our favorite are the Aigle Cambon ring in white gold and diamonds, the Blé Maria brooch in white and yellow gold with a yellow sapphire, pink spinels, Mandarin garnets, colored tourmalines and diamonds, and the Roubachka necklace in yellow gold and platinum with yellow and white diamonds.
They—and all other artworks in this exquisite collection—are nowhere near subtle and modest. They say: rich, blinding, beautiful, majestic. And thus they will look coupled with the Little Black Dress—the iconic creation of la Grande Mademoiselle.