Experience the excitement of jewelry
25 September 2022
Unlike other great figures in the history of jewelry, Cardinal Mazarin has not hitherto been honoured by brands. Yet it was he, so they say, who passed on his passion for diamonds to Louis XIV, bequeathing him the 18 extraordinary specimens in his collection. Today, Louise de Rothschild and Keagan Ramsamy, two gemology enthusiasts, have given his name to their shiny new recycled gold and synthetic diamond brand. But apart from the use of diamonds, there’s no other real reference to Mazarin – the inspiration is contemporary. They showcase an ultra-realistic elephant, seen from the front, on a yellow or white gold cuff. The stylized version represents a brushed gold tusk that wraps around the wrist or finger. This abstract piece is my favorite.
02 September 2022
The app wasn’t always flooded with ads to the point of nauseating its users, as explained in the fascinating recent Arte documentary Instagram: the vanity fair. In April 2012, when Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram for $1 billion, it had 25 million users and no ads. It still wasn’t turning a profit – in fact it was losing money! Eighteen months later, the day the app passed the 150-million user mark, Mark Zuckerberg imposed advertising to make his purchase profitable. At first, there was only one advertiser and one ad per day! The first to go for it, in November 2013, was Michael Kors promoting a lady’s watch. The brand’s account then gained nearly 34,000 followers in 18 hours. The rest is history…
21 August 2022
The Balmain fashion house launched its first jewelry collection during the last Paris Jewelry Week. Unsurprisingly, it covered a wide range of prices (from €1 500 to around €30 000) and followed the company’s traditional look. This first opus in yellow gold features the maze symbol dear to Pierre Balmain along with the Balmain coat of arms, formed by a crown and two lions framing a rectangular emerald. The precious mesh, worked in gold and onyx, is reminiscent of the Fabergé egg – a strong source of inspiration for Olivier Rousteing. While Rousteing of course oversees the creation of the jewelry, the company also relies on the expertise of Adorisa. This brand new group, founded by two seasoned professionals (François Delage formerly of De Beers and Albert Ben Soussan who worked at Louis Vuitton jewelry), supports brands wishing to enter this segment – a sector that’s more buoyant and competitive than ever.
01 August 2022
For the 50th anniversary of the legendary R5, of which 5 million were sold between 1972 and 1984, Renault is publishing a unique model in collaboration with interior designer Pierre Gonalons. The Frenchman is fascinated by the world of high jewelry, which inspires much of his work: “Take for example the Bouquet chair formed by an assembly of metal branches reminiscent of a jewel from the 1940s, or the 70s-style sofas with brushed golden brass details”, he explains. For its part, the hi-tech electric R5 Diamant comes in a shade of pink mixed with gold pigments and covered with a frosted varnish, resulting in a finish that’s almost like enamel. The headlights and lights are faceted like precious stones. The wheels are adorned with a golden “jewel” in the center, representing the sun, while the steering wheel and storage compartments are made of recycled marble. This unique model will be auctioned off at the end of the year.
22 June 2022
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs continues to open up to contemporary creativity: the Jewelry Gallery collection now features a creation by Taiwanese designer Anna Hu. This articulated bracelet – or rather, hand jewel – is made up of two serpents symbolizing East and West. Each on their respective sides bites into a circle of black and white mother-of-pearl, representing yin and yang. Owner Cindy Sherman, the artist who is Anna Hu’s friend and patron, gifted this piece – highly typical of Hu’s rich and exuberant style – to the museum. It joins that of her compatriot Cindy Chao but also those of French artists such as Gilles Jonemann, Lorenz Baümer, Marie-Hélène de taillac, Italians like Giampaolo Babetto, Australians like Carlier Makigawa and Robert Baines…
27 April 2022
The nose ornaments in this exhibition are nothing short of sumptuous! Whether with pendants, crab-shaped, bimetal, rounded, hammered, these decorations either stand alone or form part of majestic ensembles. They’re sometimes so big that they mask almost the entire face! “These were important jewels in pre-Inca cultures. In 2006 , they discovered 42 of them in the tomb of the Lady of Cao*, sovereign of the Moche civilization. But until now, they haven’t been the subject of any scientific study,” says Carole Fraresso, the exhibition’s curator. Dating back several millennia BC, these nose ornaments herald the ultra-contemporary fashion for face jewelry.
*Discover this tomb during the trip to Peru organized with Carole Fraresso and TFJP, next October.
13 April 2022
Seeing jewelry in museums seems natural enough, but that wasn’t the case for the longest time! Until the end of the 19th century, such institutions were dedicated to painting, sculpture or even goldsmithing. No museums, galleries or even showcases were specifically dedicated to jewelry. The Victoria & Albert Museum (London) was the first to buy a jewel in 1851, during the world fair in London known as the Great Exhibition. Meanwhile, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris received its first jewel in 1878: a necklace donated by the jeweler Émile-Désiré Philippe. Jewelry was at last seen as heritage – better late than never!
13 February 2022
The Comité Colbert is sounding the alarm: certain typically French skills are in danger of disappearing in the next 10 years! The luxury industry has 80 such sectors and each year 10,000 jobs are left vacant for lack of candidates. Jewelry is very much concerned, which led Van Cleef & Arpels to organize “De Mains en Mains” in Lyon last December – a series of days in which to discover its trades: setters, polishers, jewelers, etc. Bénédicte Epinay, General Delegate/CEO of the Comité Colbert, offers several explanations: a generation born in the 1960s that will soon be retiring, people over 50 years of age who represent 36% of the workforce and people under 25 years of age who represent only 0.4%! Épinay also suggests two other reasons: the sector is in a blind spot torn between 3 ministries (Culture, Education and Industry), vocational training courses are not valued and their syllabi are out of date. To ensure the future of its know-how, the Colbert Comité is tackling the problem head on and is to convene a General Assembly of Artistic Métiers next fall.
16 December 2021
Cartier was not merely inspired by motifs from distant cultures: the jeweler’s new creations have also often incorporated elements from old jewelry or precious objects. So-called “apprêts” such as clasps, enamel plates, etc. Two pieces of jewelry not to be missed in the exhibition illustrate this approach perfectly. Firstly, this magnificent bracelet created around 1925, which was originally a shoulder ornament: it is composed of five Iranian chalcedony seals/amulets, engraved with a Koranic script dating from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Almost a century later, in 2017, this bracelet also features a a beautiful 18th-19th century Iranian nephrite jade amulet engraved with a surah from the Koran. Thanks to the designers and craftsmen, these Islamic elements have had several lives.
12 December 2021
It’s that time again, when the jewelers unveil their Christmas windows! I’ve photographed the most beautiful ones, from Cartier and Tiffany&Co. to Chanel and Christian Dior. Join me on a magical journey to the Place Vendôme and the Rue de la Paix.
Experience the excitement of jewelry
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