With the eyes of the world, and more importantly the eyes of the world’s couture clients focused on the City of Light, the grand jewellery houses of Paris laid out their newest wares.
At Chaumet, a house with a history that stretches back to Empress Josephine and Napoleon, a collection named Torsade de Chaumet made its debut.
Taking its inspiration from the carved column that sits in the middle of Place Vendome in Paris, the address of Chaumet’s first boutique in 1812 and the home of high jewellery, the pieces twist and curl as the carved frieze winds its way up the column. The name, Torsade, literally means "to twist" in French.
There is a bracelet of brilliant-cut white diamonds and cushion-cut sapphires that spirals around the wrist, as its matching ring envelopes a finger. The hero of the collection is the Torsade de Chaumet tiara. With tiaras a speciality of the house, this rose- and brilliant-cut white diamond masterpiece twists and curls like a silk ribbon.
Boucheron pushed the boundaries of technology with its latest collection, introducing new and extraordinary techniques into the world of high jewellery.
Across a collection of 25 pieces, creative director Claire Choisne sprayed precious metals on to ceramic and rock crystal using intense heat, to create a surface of holographic beauty.
Continuing the shifting colours, Choisne uses opal, both powdered and whole, to further refract light. One piece of jewellery has a koi carp dusted with diamonds circling a central opal, that can be detached to make a brooch. Another set has pear-cut aquamarines framed with diamonds and coated with ceramic to give an ethereal blue effect, used to craft a necklace, earring and a ring. The result is almost hypnotic new hues.
While the jewels on show at the recent Schiaparelli show are not diamond-clad, they are no less precious. To bring his dresses to life, creative director Daniel Roseberry added gleaming gold pieces that stayed true to the surreal underpinnings of the house.
One such piece was a golden necklace that is a cast of human lungs. Far from being gruesome, the spidery network of ever-narrowing filaments is astounding, so much so, model Bella Hadid wore the full look on the red carpet at Cannes. Elsewhere, Roseberry crafted earrings of huge gold ears, complete with earrings, and fine sheets of gold made into flowers and worn as glasses.
For its high collection Extraordinary Lights, Piaget recreated the shifting light of an imagined sunset and evening. In three chapters, the first is Festive Lights, inspired by the warmth of the fading sunset. Captured in white and yellow diamonds, or rubies from Mozambique and Thailand, the pieces echo the light of paper lanterns as they are released into the night sky.
Next is Magical Lights which looks to the natural light show that is the aurora borealis. Colombian emeralds in a rich green make up one set, while another necklace is made of 27 sapphires in colours that travel from pink to purple and blue. The final chapter is Infinite Lights which culminates in a necklace created to be as beautiful from the back as the front. Strands of white diamonds end in Sri Lankan blue sapphires at one end and a vivid yellow diamond and red spinals at the other to symbolise the colours of sunset against the tones of night.