Twice a year the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week reveals not only haute couture creations but the finest examples of high jewellery too. The week is flanked by special events such as the amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) charity dinner at The Peninsula Paris, which in 2018 Chopard was the presenting sponsor of. Chopard co-president and creative director Caroline Scheufele attended the dinner along with Petra Nemcova, Pauline Ducruet, Caroline Daur, Melissa Zuo and Jessica Jung, all sparkling in the Haute Joaillerie creations of the Maison. Later on in the Chopard boutique at the corner of Place Vendôme the brand presented the dream runway line-up of 71 creations and we went to see them.
This year’s high jewellery collection is diverse. It includes classical and elegant pieces built around exceptional stones and others at the borderless creativity end of the spectrum.
The memories of her travels led Caroline Scheufele’s hands while designing the Red Carpet Collection. Colours, symbols and shapes of the East, such as the magical tassels of China or costumes of Mongolia inspired her.
‘I do not need a king I am already the queen’
This statement of Marilyn Monroe moved Ms Scheufele to create this majestic jewel. She combined this idea with her imagination about the traditional costumes and crafts of the Mongolian plains and the fantastic feather poem became one of the highlights of the collection. As she puts it, it is ‘a voyage to a distant land of Khans and Khanums. The flamboyant creation has a magnificent centre piece, a sculpted cameo framed in gold. Swirls of blue apatites, violet garnets, red jasper and a collar of rooster, grey heron, ostrich and black pheasant feathers complete the composition.
The Mongol Queen was co-created with feather artist Nelly Saunier. Nelly adorns various haute-couture and haute joaillerie pieces with feathers. She has worked with designers at Jean-Paul Gaultier, Paco Rabanne, Givenchy, Yves St Laurent and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, just to name a few. She was honoured by the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller with the Liliane Bettencourt Prize, which rewards expertise, creativity and innovation in crafts. Her skills and the expertise of the 45 craftspeople of the Maison resulted in this regal jewel.
Another oriental phantasy brought this fabulous choker alive. A central motif made of red-tinted titanium plays with a fascinating aquamarine drop. Rows of faceted tanzanite balls and a deep yellow pearl complement the artwork.
Celebrating exceptional stones
Exceptional gemstones are friends of Chopard. Just remember the Queen of Kalahari – originally a 342 ct rough diamond, which was transformed into 23 cut and polished stones. Among these 23 diamonds, five weigh over 20 carats, each a beautiful example of the five main stone cuts: cushion, brilliant, heart, emerald and pear.
The 2018 collection includes amazing gems too. The white gold ring with a splendid 10-carat Asscher-cut solitaire diamond is breath-taking. Equally stunning is the 12 ct emerald-cut Mozambique ruby ring or the deep blue 21 ct emerald-cut Sri Lankan sapphire ring.
A truly Red Carpet piece is the alternating no-oil Colombian emerald and white diamonds necklace. It tapers down towards two detachable D-flawless diamonds, the largest of which is an over 20 ct pear-shaped gem.
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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