Jewelers routes

09 November 2018

Frédérique Mattei’s necklace store

Her brand-new micro boutique is a showcase for Frédérique Mattei’s oversized necklaces: assemblages of components gathered from all over the world.



“I don’t design, I don’t programme anything: the way I create my necklaces is more like automatic writing,” she says.


Every century and culture

Whenever she travels or meets new people, she has always accumulated pieces, including a plethora of beads from Bohemia, Central Asia, Iran and first-century Rome. Her drawers and boxes also contain spherical chandelier shades in 19thcentury Daum crystal or 1950s silk thread (created for a Jacques Fath fashion show), while a component for a pair of earrings from southern Tamil Nadu mingles happily with branches of coral, Tibetan brass plaques and turquoises.


The Seventies influence

Her necklaces are decidedly imbued with a 1970s feel: the spirit of Saint Laurent, the jewelry designed by Loulou de la Falaise and the Talitha Getty look. “I love that period and the style of clothes my mother wore – double-breasted jackets, trousers tucked into boots. I’ve always dressed like that, “ she says.


Necklaces as go-betweens

With zoomorphic beads, ancient items, crystal rings and more, each necklace creates a dialogue between cultures and periods arising from a natural affinity that is never forced. If they already contain a hole or a ring, she can put pieces together. “I never alter their physical integrity,” she says. For, as an admirer of Edgar Morin, Frédérique Mattei never sees a component without its context and associations.


Frédérique Mattei 27 rue de Varenne – 75007 Paris

Most popular articles

Sprague, the jewelry squat

Surprising as it may seem, I discovered Sprague during one of my visits to the Cartier Institute of High Jewelry.

"The Vendôme Column" under the microscope, published by Norma

“When I was asked to photograph the work of the bronze patinas, I had a sudden conviction: the time was now or never to capture this gigantic body of work”,...

Crédit Municipal: discreet but surprisingly powerful

In 2020, a hundred auctions of antique or pre-owned jewelry and watches at the Crédit Municipal in Paris generated over 10.6 million euros. By...

The rings of the Serenissima

Around the year 1000, the Doge is said to have thrown a gold ring into the waters of the lagoon for the first time, pronouncing his words: “We marry you,...

The Pala d'Oro in St. Mark's Basilica with Alberto Nardi

Concealed behind the high altar, this sumptuously refined piece of goldwork was commissioned from Constantinople craftsmen in 916, when the city was the...

The Georges Fouquet store at the Musée Carnavalet

Shored up by the success of his jewelry created by Mucha for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, Fouquet asked the famous Czech artist to design his new store at...