Social distancing restrictions might have put a dampener on this year’s Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week with some major fashion houses postponing and shows moving online, however, high jewellery continued to shine. An array of spectacular designs showcased that vibrant colours are currently centre stage.
Pomellato La Gioia
Despite not being in the most ideal circumstances, Pomellato’s high jewellery debut did not disappoint. La Gioia, which translates to the joy, is a delectable 165-piece collection which pays homage to Pomellato’s signature designs. The collection marks a historic point in Pomellato’s story with haute couture being previously uncharted territory for the Milan-based jewellers. In an interview with Vogue, creative director Vincenzo Castaldo described the significance of the collection as a “bridge between our past and our future”. Founded by Pino Rabolini in 1967, the business quickly drew popularity from its innovative philosophy that fine jewellery should be able to be worn in everyday life. In keeping with their prêt-à-porter designs, the La Gioia collection is a modern take on haute couture: bold but not garish, striking but not intimidating. The collection celebrates what makes Pomellato great but also carves out an exciting new identity for the jewellers.
A standout piece of the collection is the Gourmette Caméléon choker necklace, inspired by Pomellato’s infamous love of voluptuous chains. 29 gold links have been set with a selection of the finest gems including sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds. A skilful blend of stones creates a stunning rainbow effect across the necklace as 27 shades seamlessly transition into one another. The avant-garde creation was a labour of love, taking almost 200 hours to complete and is testament to the craftmanship of Pomellato’s artisans.
Another piece that is easily identifiable as belonging to the Pomellato brand is the Nudo Collier Plastron necklace. Showcasing a variety of stones including amethysts, lemon quartz and mandarin garnets, the rose gold statement necklace is an impressive piece. The Clessidra-cut stones with vibrant colours and transparent hues are also characteristics of Pomellato’s best-selling Nudo collection, established in 2001. Transforming the design’s signature simplicity into haute couture, individual links in the necklace have been pavé-set with white diamonds which emboldens the gems’ vibrant colours.
Piaget Wings of Light
Since their foray into high jewellery in 1959, Swiss jewellers Piaget have gained a reputation for their elaborate use of colour and spectacular gemstones; such a reputation is certainly not lacking in their newest collection. Through “vivacious colour, captivating textures and fascinating movement”, the Wings of Light collection is a wearable journey through a tropical paradise.
Ethereal designs, daring use of colour and exquisite gemstones, characterise a collection so extravagant it has been split into three chapters; Enchanted Flight, Magnificent Haven and Ecstatic Dance.
Undeniably, the most impressive creation is the Majestic Plumage necklace. Whilst the showstopper is yet to be revealed, a watercolour painting of the design tantalized viewers. The audacious asymmetrical design represents the shape of a tropical bird’s wing. An exotic colour scheme of blues, reds and yellows has been created using a selection of the finest coloured sapphires and diamonds. The colour of the stones is replicated by delicate feathers that make up the body of the stunning detachable bird pendant. As such a daring design calls for expertise, Piaget collaborated with Parisian feather artist Nelly Saunier, a specialist in feather-work. Completing the elaborate design is a very rare 7.49-carat Paraiba tourmaline which forms the head of the bird.
No Piaget collection is complete without an elaborate watch to pay homage to their horological roots. In their signature manchette-style, the Secret Cenote cuff watch represents flowing tropical rivers. A rich colour scheme of greens and blues has been created using the finest baguette-cut diamonds, Madagascan and Sri Lankan sapphires. Sourcing the stones was a difficult task, taking the gemmology department almost a year to find the highest quality gems for the Secret Cenote series alone. Their devotion to quality paid off as the centre stone of the watch is an infamous Australian black opal, considered the most valuable opal due to their internal vibrancy.
With overtly decadent designs, Bulgari’s latest high jewellery collection, Barocko, may be their most indulgent yet. Inspired by their Roman roots, the new collection combines traditional Baroque design with modern and daring creativity. The 50-piece collection showcases Bulgari’s unrivalled capability of working with lavish colours and designs.
Every inch of the grand Lady Arabesque necklace is a spectacle of meticulous design and quality craftmanship. The impressive creation is a modern take on Bulgari’s signature “bib” style and took artisans almost 1,000 hours to craft. Multifaceted cuts of pink sapphires, Paraiba tourmalines and white diamonds are intersected by flowing gold arabesques which embodies Baroque feminine opulence.
Bulgari’s signature use of colour is a focal point of the Cabochon Exuberance necklace. The theatrical design is a tribute to Rome’s stunning architecture and has been inspired by the multi-shaped windows of the Horti Farnesiani, a ‘spectacular secret heaven in the heart of the Eternal City that hosted luxuriant parties during Baroque’. Tanzanites, aquamarines, tourmalines and one rubellite are the spectacular gems that form the necklace; each rich with exceptional colour and transparent hues. The one-of-a-kind creation is the result of almost 700 hours of hard work and, like the rest of the collection, will no doubt become an iconic Bulgari jewel.
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By Holly Johnson