Autumn - Winter 2010-2011 Haute Joaillerie in Paris



Van Cleef & Arpels Les Voyages Extraordinaire



This Autumn - Winter season Van Cleef & Arpels invite you to join them on a Voyage of Discovery. Inspired by the novels of Jules Verne, Van Cleef & Arpels President Stanislas de Quercize and Creative Director Nicolas Bos kindly allowed some of us a sneak peak at the Haute Joaillerie collection that will be shown in full at the Paris Biennalle in September 2010.


This is Couture Jewellery created using the adventure of travel as it's theme and I think that the beauty of the creations reflect the joy and richness of the memmories that we treasure from travel. It is made possible by The Young Talents and Mains d'Or.


It is also important to note the deep romantic association that Van Cleef & Arpels have with Travel as the young Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef travelled the world in search of new experiences just as their clientele did. The boutique they founded oposite the Ritz in Paris also brought the world to them.


These pieces are groupled around 4 novels, Five Weeks in a Balloon, Journey to The Centre of the Earth, From the Earth to The Moon and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. 


































Above is the Maximus Brooch and the White Nile Earrings inspired by the novel Five Weeks in a Balloon. (C) Van Cleef & Arpels.


I love Elephants and Maximus is a very unique Elephant. As with all the other pieces he is a one-off couture piece.









































To the right is is the Galactee Transformable Long necklace that can be shortened to

create a bracelet, shown to the left. Below the bracelet is the Autour de la Lune clip.

(C) Van Cleef & Arpels.


These pieces sparkle with the magic of the heavens and I

love the use of blue stones and diamonds together. I think

the idea of a transformable necklace is fun and you can

wear the piece in different ways. The necklace when

shortend can be worn beautifully with the bracelet.





Below, these 3 clips explore the maritime world and are among my favourites from the collection. I love the way that the Maison has depicted animals in their couture creations. 

I love the Polaire clip, it's both opulent and very cute and he is accompanied by many sea creatures such as a little Whale that blows a water jet when the secret of the Jewel is activated. The Octopus of the Olindias clip below has a mysterious Medusa like quality according to Nicolas Bos and I think what is extraordinary is that the piece does caputure a real sence of movement.


























                         Polaire Clip





                                                                                                                                                            Olindias Clip



                                                                                                                                    These marine themed pieces also 

                                                                  give an opportunity to mention the 

                                                                                                                                 Peace Parks Foundation that the Maison

                                                                  supports. It protects Loggerhead and

                                                                  Leatherback turtles creating a network of 

                                                                  protected areas that connect ecosystems

                                                                  beyond international borders. The project

                                                                  will see surveillence posts set up

                                                                  along the East African Shoreline. 







                      Balaine Bleue Clip. All above images (C) Van Cleef & Arpels.




I found this collection inspirational and there are

many, many more pieces from the Haute Couture

Joaillerie collection to see. I will leave you with

another piece from the collection, the plancton

earrings. They are an amazing example of the

beauty of High Jewellery craftsmanship.  


I would like to thank Van Cleef and Arpels for the

introduction to their atelier in Paris and would like

to thank Frederic Morales for showing me the collection

in such great detail. 






                                                                                                                                                                       Plancton Earrings. (C) Van Cleef & Arpels.





Boucheron Le jeu de la seduction


At Boucheron across the Place Vendome I had the pleasure of speaking with the lovely Laura Schuetz who guided me through the Maison's Autumn - Winter 2010-2011 Haute Joaillerie collection. Love is in the air at Boucheron.


The collection is based around several different themes of the game of seduction. So to get you in the mood for some romantic times with a special person this Autumn and Winter enjoy the collection below and please contact Boucheron if you would like to know more.



I begin with a beautiful piece themed

'Hour-Glass Figure' (Taille de Guepe) the

essential attribute which most men cannot

resist for long. This is a very beautiful

necklace that will suit the curves of any

woman who wears it.


Boucheron says of this piece " The white diamonds

and cultured pink pearls used in its design hint

at the hues of a blush pink corset outfitted with

silk ribbon laces that crisscross up the body.

On one side of the necklace, rivulets of diamonds

move freely as if to echo silk ribbons that have

released a cinched waist."


"The pink pearl topped pendants that adorn

the necklace are embellished with leaf shaped

diamond petals. The hourglass shapes of the

pendants are a subtle reminder of the inspiration

of the set." The beauty of this necklace is that

the pendants are detachable and it is possible

for several ladies to wear the pieces as a set ensemble    (C) Boucheron. Hourglass Figure necklace.

or on separate occassions.


I remember thinking as I saw it that a lady could allow her daughters or granddaughters

to wear the pendants individually for example.


Below are two pieces from the Fatal Attraction theme. I love the marine blue, it's mesmerising like the sea around Greece and Italy also for me the shapes suggest marine life. I think it's beauty is very inviting. These pieces are created using saphires, diamonds and white gold.






























                                                                                       (C) Fatal Attraction Pendant earrings (L) & Fatal Attraction Ring (R).









For the Fatal Attraction Haute Couture Joaillerie pieces

Boucheron have channelled the theme of water to

capture the sence of the rushing, pouring and cascading

like the feelings of love that lead to attraction.


The centre piece of the Fatal Attraction pieces is this stunning

long necklace. It can be worn down the back with an open -

back dress or as a traditional necklace worn long at the front or

wrapped more close about the neck. The jewel feature can be

detached as a brooche and worn alone. This piece can also be

worn about the waist or in the hair.



                                                                          (C) Boucheron. Fatal Attraction necklace. 











The Stolen Kiss collection was created using a voluptuous selection

of rubies, red saphires and diamonds. These pieces have the warmth

and excitment of the quick moment of passion that is aroused by that

most fleeting of romantic interludes. With one of these pieces gracing your

hand, ears or decollette you will have a memory of that special kiss forever.































  (C) Boucheron. The Stolen Kiss Ring                                                             



                                                                                                           (C) Boucheron. The Stolen Kiss Brooch



Using teardrop emeralds and a flower features of the 'Chic Lingerie' collection express the delicate feminity of those secrets that we keep closest to our chest. Boucheron sum it up very well "The diamond paved flower motif of the set evokes the idea of delicate lace lingerie. While a second double strand of diamonds on the necklace echoes the silk ribbon details often used on intimate apparel. A series of nine teardrop cut emeralds are a clever addition to the design and should resonate with any woman who is a connoisseur of fine lingerie."
































                                                            (C) Boucheron. Chic Lingerie Necklace


























                (C) Boucheron. Chic Lingerie Ring.                                          (C) Boucheron. Chic Lingerie Bracelet




Further romantic guestures are made by the Pretty Puff piece that references the woman's time spent making up. Curlicue celebrates the crowning glory of women, our hair and Heavenly Aroma captures the mystique that women create from their perfume. I was given Boucheron's Fragrance Initial a few years ago and it's still one of my favourites.


I said farewell to lovely Laura and her colleagues at Boucheron and left wondering what my favourite romantic moment would be surmised by this collection. I think it would be one of the pieces from the Stolen Kiss collection.







Chaumet - Bijoux de Tete.


The legendary Maison that brought the Tiara to the modern age opened it's doors for an amazing Catwalk show of Haute Joaillerie in the parfect setting. The Maison's own palatial home in Place Vendome.


Chaumet had the opprtunity to show it's collection in it's traditional setting. 

Here is a picture of one of the models that I met in the Grand Salon of Chaumet

before the show.  (C) Angela Cliffe 2010 at Chaumet.

























I found it really wonderful to see the tiaras and 'Bijoux de Tete' shown in this way.

It was like stepping into history or seeing history coming to life in front of me. I was fortunate to be able to speak with Beatrice de Plinval who is the Curator of the Museum

of Chuamet and 'The memory of this great House'.



Beatrice was kind enough to explain to me the significant role that Josephine Beauharnais played in building the renown of the House.


The entrance to the salon was a beautifully decorated ante-room decorated with two large portraits of Josephine Beauharnais and Marie Lousie of Austria, respectivly the first and second wives of Emperor Napoleaon. There, in the drawing room that could have been a room in Josephine's Palace, Beatrice explained to me the important role that Tiara's had in court ceremonial and also told me about Josephine and her role in European history.



She was a clever lady who understood the

politics of the Drawing Room and the Grand

Theatre of Europe equally well. She probably

played a larger role politically in her husband's

career thatn will ever be known and even

arranged her husband's second marriage with

care for what would be in the best interests of

France. She found him a new wife as she

could not give him children.



Josephine had a crucial role in the early decades 

of Chaumet. She commissioned her tiara for the

coronation of her Husband from the house and

as a leading light in Paris fashion this prompted

all the ladies of the Napoleonic Court to follow

suit. The end result was that the House of

Chaumet became intimately associated with 

Bijoux de Tete, Ornaments of the Hair.




Right. Josephine Beauharnais Empress of France.  

She was originally born as Marie Joseph Rose Tascher de la Pagerie to a Creole family in Martinique with

ancestry from the French gentry and Anglo-Irish plantation families. She was known as Rose until her marriage to Napoleon.


Josephine's influence lives on in modern Royal Europe and beyond as women still wear tiara's at special events. Beatrice told me that they still create tiara's and tiara models each year for clients. As the models below show hair ornaments have never gone out of fashion. The last time that tiara's where seen on a large scale in the UK was at the coronation of Elizabeth II. This collection shows that hair ornaments of varying types from the tiara to the beautiful bijoux bumble bee (see below).  





























 (C) Above images Chaumet.      L - Model - Arrape Moi.                  R Model Le Grand Frisson     




At the Chanel Haute Couture show in July 2010 Daphne Guinness was noted for wearing diamonds in her hair. Hair ornaments will never go out of fashion and I think day to day it's a fun way to decorate your hair. When I'm reporting from Fashion Weeks I try to wear a Rose emblem in my hair. 


Here are two pieces from the Autumn - Winter 2010-2011 collection. Chuamet's pieces are Haute in the truest sence as you cannot wear Haute Joaillerie any higher than on the head.









(C) Chaumet Attrape-Moi tiara. Bijou de Tete A-W 2010-11.








                                                                                                                                        Left (C) Chaumet Josephine tiara 1.

                                                                                                               Bijoux de Tete A-W 2010-11.

                                                                                                                                        Center: Pear cut Yellow diamond.












The Haute Couture Joaillerie show was held in a room with the most amazing display. The walls where lined with 'vitrines'. These cabinets displayed both tiara's and the equally beautiful models and casts that are made, to full scale before the finished tiara is produced. The defiles danced to a mixture of classical music exerpts interspersed with modern dance music. The music was synchonised to lights over them as they danced as chess pieces on their squares and one by one as the music changed and they had their cue to move from the light above. 

 Image below from  Haute Couture Joaillerie at Chaumet. Defile Bijoux de Tete (C) Angel Cliffe.












































 (C) Chaumet. The Josephine collection tiara 2. 2 Periots, 2 Pink tourmalines, 1 Green Tourmaline and 101 brilliant-cut diamonds.


I would urge as many people as possible to discover Chaumet and it's wonderful history. They have created a whole genre of Haute Joaillerie in the last 200 years.




CHANEL Bijoux de Diamants 1932.


At CHANEL for Autumn - Winter 2010 they have chosen to recreate and expand the collection of Jewellery that Coco Chanel created. This collection like the others above was prepared ahead of the Biennale des Antquires in September 2010 in Paris.  




                                                                  Many people don't know that Coco Chanel 

                                                                  actually created her own collection of                                                                   diamond Haute Joaillerie and it was                                                                   launched in November 1932.


                                                                  This was the only collection of Jewellery

                                                                  that was designed by Coco Chanel and

                                                                  like many areas of her life it is a mystery as                                                                  to why she did not continue. 


                                                                 The original pieces where and are to this    

                                                                 day very beautiful and capture the essence                                                                  of classic CHANEL style.     





 (C) Above the Broche Plume CHANEL.                                                                     






































































































































































































A Blush of Rose


       Paris July 2010


Beauty, Grace & Style


I think there is a delicate feminity in all these pieces that will appeal to most women, whether they are in love, hope for love or have lost love and remain alone. Beautiful things are always a pleasure to behold and radiate light into the spirit.


I really believe that diamonds, just like crystals can be very relaxing and cleanse the spirit.


These pieces of Haute Couture Jewellery show craftsmenship and artistry at it's hight. These pieces where the first emeralds that I've seen person that absolutely gripped me in their glowing green gaze.


As I watched them dance I drew a comparison between the girls moving around the chess board and Josephine herself who was a skilled at understanding the movements on the European political stage but perhaps I was overthinking things.


The show was breathtakingly beautiful and I am very gratful to my hosts.


In the half-light of the ball room, the tiaras and hair ornaments shone just like they would have done under candle light in the past.


Josephine's spirit lives on perhaps in many women today who are able to dance into the night wearing such beautiful pieces both newly created and antique.


The original bold symbol of the feather has been expanded

to include the sun, moon and bow. The collection to be

shown at the Biennale des Antiquaries in September 2010 will

contain a further 30 new pieces and be displayed in a space

designed by American Architect Peter Marino.


To the right is an image from the original Plume collection

of Madam Chanel in 1932.


Below is a drawing of the 'Aigrette Brooche', to be shown in

September 2010. It features a 2 carat Rose-cut diamond at

it's center and a Briollette cut 8 carat diamond.                           Picture by Andre Kertesz

                                                                                                                                     (c) Vogue Paris. Jan 1933

The stones are set in 18k White gold.   

I have found that this is the best choice for working with diamonds in Haute Joaillerie as White gold enhances the luminosity of diamonds even further.































        (C) CHANEL Brooche Aigrette                                                                  (C) CHANEL Collier Plume. 



Below is a final picture to illustrate the Savoir

Faire of the work shops. This image shows

how the pieces have been crafted with the

aid of original photographs of the 1932

collection. This collection took 14 months

to develop for presentation at the Biennale

in Septemebr 2010 and it is the third time

that the House of CHANEL have exhibited there.



I think that this collection is something to be

treasured by people who admire not only the

House of CHANEL but the memory of the founder

herself.This collection based on the Plume is from

her inspiration, her thoughts her passions. The

feather can symbolise many things, freedom,

written ideas, luck, innocence, all evoke hopes and

wishes and the beautiful potential of ideas. Yet this

is such a simple moteif that it retains it's own

natural simplicity and elegance.


Coco Chanel herself had many way to describe

simple elegant style and in the feather I think she

found a very perfect symbol.                                   (C) CHANEL Savoir Faire.






It was wonderful to visit Paris for Haute Couture and Haute Joaillerie week in July and I would like to say a big Thank You to the Houses of Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, Chaumet and CHANEL for such a warm welcome and a wonderful guided tour of their collections.


I know that many pieces from these collections have been sold ahead of the Paris Biennale and that Haute Joaillerie is very much in demand. I've seen many inspiring visionery pieces of Joaillerie that are simply the most magnificent form of High art. I am very glad that Haute Joaillerie has been designated a part of Haute Couture week and can take it's rightful place alongside fashion in Paris.









(C) Angela Cliffe 2009-2010