The haute couture collections in July are as much about fabulous jewels as they are about £100,000 dresses. The grand Place Vendôme jewellers, such as Chaumet, Boucheron and Bulgari, are increasingly showcasing their high jewels with intimate catwalk shows – all the better to illustrate how these spectacular gems might be worn. One or two are collaborating with the couture houses also in a synergistic coupling that we hope to see more of in the future. Read on for the best jewels from the catwalk Autumn/Winter 16/17.
A longtime friendship between Maria Cristina Buccellati and Giambattista Valli resulted in pretty young things wearing micro-hemmed empire dresses with puffy sleeves adorned with sparkling jewels from Buccellati’s high jewellery collection. The colours of the sweet flower-bud print dresses were picked out in ruby, emerald, kunzite and tourmaline pendant earrings, or a peridot pendant brooch, all twinkling with diamonds. A yellow and white gold diamond necklace adorned the neckline of a parrot print coat, while wrists were encircled with flexible diamond bracelets or the satiny regato-engraved cuffs that are so much a signature of Buccellati. It looked so breathtakingly pretty that we can only hope they collaborate again.
Given that Christian Dior and Chanel present exquisitely crafted high jewellery and haute couture collections in Paris at the same time, it would be wonderful to see them combine the two on the catwalk in the future. In the meantime, Donatella Versace’s sculptural dresses worn by va-va-voom models Bella Hadid and Irina Shayk offered the perfect moment to flaunt her new V Forever collection of seven fine jewellery rings. These stunning clear-cut solitaires are set in white gold “V” shape settings, surrounded by pavé set diamonds featuring the signature Greek key pattern, a shield and the iconic Versace studs.
Many couturiers, however, collaborate with artisans to create artistic costume jewels for their haute couture collections. The designers at Valentino, for instance, commissioned Alessandro Gaggio to produce Elizabethan punk jewels studded with pearls for their Shakespearean-inspired collection. Bertrand Guyon at Schiaparelli dipped into Elsa’s archives to revive Calder’s Circus motifs for brooches from her 1938 Circus collection. And Lebanese couturier Georges Hobeika came up with his own enchanting jewels: silver butterfly and flora earcuffs that encircle the ear. Wouldn’t it be divine to see them cast in pure 18ct gold. Next season, maybe.