There was plenty of sparkle in Paris this week to brighten up the grey January weather. As couture clients descended on the city to take in the latest in high-luxury fashion, the jewellery houses unveiled dazzling creations that also represent the very best in artistry, creativity and exceptional craftsmanship. Keep reading to discover Vogue’s pick of the best high jewellery collections.
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Victoire de Castellane weaves jewellery with the lightest touch, designing pieces that tell the story of Dior’s fashion heritage while still being eminently youthful, contemporary and wearable. She returns here to Christian Dior’s obsession with lace, capturing its intricate patterns in gossamer threads of gold through which peek sensuous glimpses of skin. A host of coloured gems, from pink spinels to blue sapphires to grass-green tsavorites, complete de Castellane’s colourful, ultra-feminine vision.
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De Beers continues its journey to establish a design identity as strong as its offering of exceptional diamonds. It was in Paris to unveil the opening chapter of Metamorphosis, its high jewellery collection for 2023. Borrowing from its signature talisman style of mixing polished and rough-cut diamonds in a seductive range of hues, it threads them here in lines of mixed metals from white to yellow to rose gold, and in an array of textures that beg to be touched. A striking ear cuff alternates these lines down towards the shoulder, each ending in a drop of vibrant titanium that can be detached and worn as bracelet charms. A sautoir necklace combines them in layers with an ingenious clip system that means it can be worn in three different ways.
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The work of les petite-mains, the highly skilled seamstresses behind Chanel’s couture creations, are celebrated in the maison’s playful new Mademoiselle Privé Pique Aiguilles watches. Translating the pincushion that dressmakers wear on their wrist into the dial of a watch, these oversized pieces bring the couturier’s handiwork to life under a curving sapphire dome in the form of tiny tweed jackets, camellias on lace and Byzantine brooches. Chicness is guaranteed by counterbalancing scale with a strict and oh-so-Chanel palette of black, white diamonds and pearls, and yellow gold.
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Few jewellery houses are more romantic than Chaumet. Ever since Napoleon Bonaparte fell for Josephine, it has been celebrating the irresistible magnetism that exists between two lovers. For its new Liens Inséparables collection, it views love with all its twists and turns. Diamonds and sapphires intertwine to elegant, wearable effect in short necklaces that hug the collarbone, and in negligée necklaces that hint towards the décolletage.
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Inside the hallowed halls of the Ritz, Cartier presented the third chapter of its Beautés du Monde collection, continuing its journey around the world for bejewelled inspiration. A stylised serpent wraps itself around the wearer’s neck, its tail hugging a giant orb of pink tourmaline. The magnificent, undulating tail of a Siamese fighting fish is suggested in a necklace that alternates cascading spinel beads with diamonds and pear-cut gems. The intense colour contrasts of tutti frutti in some pieces are set against equally sophisticated yet subtle combinations, like one Art Deco-inspired set that contrasts vibrant green emeralds with black onyx and translucent tawny carnelian.
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An eternal object of fascination for humankind, the night sky is given a fresh twist at David Morris with ancient beliefs in the stars counterposed with a 21st-century vision of cityscapes twinkling with the glossy facades and night lights of soaring skyscrapers. Curving marquise-cut diamonds collide with clean parallel lines and chevrons, trillion-cut stones flash like shards of light against the skin to luminous effect. In one pair of bold earrings, rose-pink tourmalines are nestled in a vortex of arching black onyx and lines of white diamonds.
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The Taiwanese jeweller returns to Paris for the first time since the pandemic to share her latest creations, which combine for the first time her love of painting in oils with her signature sculptural finesse. Like layers of paint, she uses coloured gems—one pair of dramatic cardamom pod brooches centre on emerald seeds surrounded by a harmonious cacophony of blue, green, yellow, purple brown and even colour-changing sapphires—to create depth and bring her objets to life. “I wanted to use the gemstones to paint the pieces,” she explains.
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The Italian house unveils additional pieces from its Hortus Deliciarum collection this week. Translating as the “Garden of Delights”, it is a celebration of the animal and plant kingdoms as imagined in exuberant, ornate Gucci form, with plenty of delicious, unexpected colour combinations. Like the Schiaparelli couture show, this is another collection inspired by Biblical themes. Lions also make an appearance here but rather than fake fur, they are of the diamond variety, with vibrant coloured gems in their jaws.
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Gaia Repossi’s aesthetic is steered by her passion for modern art and minimalism. With a nod to her father’s sparing designs of the early 2000s, Repossi was also inspired by the reductionist work of Donald Judd and Sterling Ruby to create La Ligne, her first thematic high jewellery collection in three years. It is instantly recognisable as her work but takes it to a new, even stricter level of asceticism in which bold lines of mirror-polish and pavé white gold contrast with exclamation marks of pear-shaped diamonds. The good news for the wearer is that these lines elongate the wrist or neck in flattering fashion.
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Few brands do big diamonds quite like Graff. The London jeweller came to Paris with a stonking great 50 carat flawless oval diamond as the star of its show. The stone is the centre of a statement necklace that is an ode to symmetry, mixed cuts of diamonds from geometric baguette cuts to tapering pears coming together in a jigsaw of perfect harmony.
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The Swiss jeweller offered a sneak peek of what might appear on the red carpet at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with an array of emerald-cut stones that echoed Julia Roberts’s stunning yellow diamond necklace at last year’s extravaganza. Other show-stopping pieces included a necklace that is a wedding cake confection of carved rose gold, pink sapphires and diamonds.