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.
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.
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?
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.
Every Hermès scarf is a perfect square. But do not make a mistake thinking: ‘It is only a scarf, a rectangular piece of textile’. There is nothing ‘only’ about Hermès. From the first scarf in 1937 and up to this day, the amount of hard work invested in these heavenly light and deceptively material creations is unfathomable. The legend has it that the process of making one scarf, from conception to the final stitches, may take up to a year and a half.
Timeless Hermès scarves have become true artworks, admired, avidly collected and sought after like the most valuable jewelry. Every scarf tells a tale: from traditional hunting motifs to arabesques and fantastic, illusory modern designs. When you have it on, you are wearing a piece of art, a silky dream, an accessory of true actresses, aristocrats and queens.
The Hermès Carré Club exhibition is open from November 29 to December 8 at the Carreau du Temple, 4 rue Eugène-Spuller, 3rd arrondissement, Paris. Free entry, on reservation (open from November 19), every day from 12 pm to 8 pm. The exhibition also offers late evening visits—until 10 pm—on Friday, November 29; Thursday, December 6; and Friday, December 7.
ADMIRE the artworks of two amazing women: Silvia Furmanovich—an unparalleled, daring Brazilian jewelry designer, and Helene Schjerfbeck—a bold, revolutionary Finnish portraitist. Coming from different parts of the world and historical epochs, their pieces synthesize in an anthem to a beautiful, spirited and progressive woman.
A woman who will always be an inspiration, no matter the time and place on Earth…
Silvia Furmanovich is a unique phenomenon in the world of jewelry. Her eloquent masterpieces arouse more than the sense of vision: you can smell the fresh and autumnal leaves, rainforests, the deep woodiness and the light grassiness; you can hear the rustle of dry branches under the soft paws of wild animals, the airy breath of the wind under butterfly’s wings, the soft sound of wind chimes. You can almost taste it: the alluring precious stones melting on your tongue like delicious, colorful drops of candy, counterbalanced by sweet and salty, woody licorice. And you sure can touch it: the natural shapes, brought to life by Silvia’s imagination and the Nature herself, the geometric lines and the soft curvatures, the perfectly balanced substance and lightness.
Inspired by nature and transformed into inimitable masterpieces, balancing somewhere in between delicate and powerful, feminine and bold, with the most unexpected combinations of marquetry, precious metals and stones, miniature paintings on wood, seashells and even mushrooms, these designs are strong, noticeable, full of color and life. Butterflies, birds, sceneries, flowers, ornaments: the designer with an open mind and heart has travelled the world in search of inspiration and skills that would bring her collections to the peak of creation, ready to see, absorb and treasure the gems of the natural world, the skills and wisdom of modern and ancient cultures and indigenous artisans.
The three pieces, worn by a charismatic young lady of Helene Schjerfbeck, are marquetry landscape fan earrings (gold, light brown diamonds and green tourmaline), botanical marquetry cuff (gold and diamonds), and marquetry red leaf fan earrings (gold, prasiolite and light brown diamond).
As mesmerizing as they are, they represent only a miniscule part of the Silvia Furmanovich’s collection. Much more of this sensual beauty is available for all your five senses at the Moda Operandi trunk show.
THE JEWELRY ICON