Jewels at the Paris Biennale: luxury jewellery trend analysis
At this year’s invitee-only event, Cartier, Chanel, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels and Dior were joined for the first time by Louis Vuitton and Piaget.
“The Paris Biennale is a rendezvous of all the world’s jewellery connoisseurs,” said CEO of Harry Winston, Frederic de Narp. “As a French person, I’m thrilled to be part of it. We meet with all our important clients here.”
Rubbing shoulders with diamonds and emeralds were lesser known gemstones, from rough chrysoberyl beads to imperial topaz from Brazil, morganite, mandarin garnet, spinel, and grey and orangey-pink padparadscha sapphires.
Cartier’s jewellery designs, including a new interpretation of the house’s largest historic commission, the 1948 Maharajah of Patiala’s necklace, were complemented by one-off precious objects for the home.
Chanel’s most expensive piece was the intricate Plume necklace, which retails at €1.6 million and is a variation on a theme from Mademoiselle Chanel’s 1932 first fine jewellery collection. Chanel’s display at the biennale was created by New York architect Peter Marino, who also designed Louis Vuitton’s London flagship store.
Dior’s collection included pieces designed in 1999, including intricate cocktail rings by Dior designer Victoire de Castellane, which later sparked a trend for enormous statement rings. Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton artistic director Lorenz Bäumer was inspired – suitably for a luggage company – by journeys to faraway places, ranging from the Garden of Eden to Cambodia.
At Van Cleef & Arpels, certain pieces skirted the €3 million mark. Some items from the collection of over 100 pieces were already been snapped up by July on drawings alone. The collection, entitled Les Voyages Extraordinaires, was inspired by the books of Jules Verne and its Grand Palais exhibit resembled a fantastical stage set – perhaps unsurprisingly, given the Argentinian artist behind it, Alfredo Ari, has created sets for La Scala and the Paris Opera. The display included a submarine illuminated by an octopus lightpiece, three-metre-high statues, and portholes displaying bejewelled fish, dolphins, squid and spearfish.