High Art – Boucheron & Chopard Unveil Creative Couture Creations

Global high-jewellery brands Chopard and Boucheron are diversifying their creativity by merging the traditional boundaries segregating two of the fashion world’s most dominant disciplines – Couture and Jewellery. Boucheron recently launched an innovative jewellery collection inspired by 19th-century couture, while Chopard’s artistic director, Caroline Scheufele, presented the Swiss brand’s first-ever couture collection at the 76th Cannes Film festival, in partnership with expert artisans from India.

Boucheron Histoire de Style – The Power of Couture Jewellery Collection

Boucheron’s new high jewellery collection called ‘Histoire de Style – The Power of Couture’ is inspired from the works of founder Frédéric Boucheron’s jewellery collection from the second half of the 19th century where he used couture aesthetics like ribbons, tassels, and laces in his jewellery designs.

Frédéric Boucheron’s father Louis Boucheron was a draper in Paris in the early 19th century. Growing up in a surrounding ornate with silk and laces, Frédéric’s jewellery designs were influenced by the delicate, supple adornments that were a luxury on haute couture ensembles, back in the day.

Fast forward to 2024, Claire Choisne, Boucheron’s current creative director has designed an avant-garde rendition of the founder’s couture-inspired heritage jewels in the new Power of Couture collection. Made primarily with natural diamonds, white gold and rock crystals, the collection consists of 24 high jewellery pieces depicting ceremonial ornaments.

The Bow or the ‘le nœud’ by Boucheron.

A noteworthy piece is ‘le nœud’ or The Bow, made with rock crystals that are processed to become as supple as a grosgrain ribbon. To achieve the look of the fabric, 435 frosted rock crystal tubes were sandblasted and assembled in the shape of a bow. The bow is brought together with a lightweight and refined white gold framework studded with a row of diamonds and finished with a large diamond pendant to enhance the look of the unique jewellery piece that took 2,600 hours to make.

‘Le tricot’ or ‘the Knit’ is another piece of inspired work. An imitation of fourragère (knit style) braid is created with rock crystal, where each strand is shaped by hand and then sandblasted creating a monochromatic elegance. White gold is used on the inside of the necklace.

The Aiguillette ornament by Boucheron.

When designing the collection, Choisne also looked at ceremonial uniforms worn by the Maison’s prestigious clients and reinterpreted them in a contemporary way. About 750 hours of work went into materialising ‘L’aiguillette’ or The Aiguillette, an ornament usually seen on military uniform. The cord with a frosted effect is made with moulded supple rock crystals. The ornament’s aiglets are paved with natural diamonds.

Announcing the launch of the collection on social media, Boucheron CEO, Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, says, “The Power of Couture shows once more that heritage is a formidable source of inspiration in creating contemporary collections. I am convinced that we can pay tribute to the past while inventing the future of High Jewellery.”

Chopard’s Debut Couture Collection

The 164-year-old luxury brand has already strengthened its position in the global jewellery and watch spheres, and has even branched into making accessories such as bags and sunglasses. However, it was only in 2023 that the brand launched its first-ever couture collection, designed by the Swiss brand’s artistic director Caroline Scheufele, inspired by Chopard’s jewellery legacy.

Caroline Scheufele (centre), President of Chopard, designed Chopard’s first Couture Collection seen with Natalia Vodianova, Eva Herzigova, Naomi Campbell, and Helena Christensen. Image Source: Instagram/Chopard

Presented at the 76th Cannes Film festival, the 50 couture silhouettes were crafted partly in India at 2M Atelier and Kalhath Institute, founded by Maximiliano Modesti. “All of the embroideries done in this collection were made in India,” Chopard proudly declares in a statement, adding that the brand sourced the noblest materials, “harnessing the skills of master artisans, and experimenting with fabrics to create unique textures akin to the opulence of a fine jewellery piece.”

“Caroline Scheufele’s love for India’s crafts is not new,” Modesti tells Solitaire International, who has been dressing Chopard’s artistic director since 2017, when she wore one of 2M Atelier’s creations at the Cannes film festival opening that year. So when Kalhath Institute opened at the end of 2016, Caroline was immediately attracted to the initiative. “When the idea of a Chopard couture collection came up in early 2022, it was very clear for her that the Institute had an important role to play and Caroline created that bridge for us,” Modesti explains.

Modesti opened 2M Design Studios Atelier in India around the turn of the century to utilise India’s legacy of arts at a global level. “India’s unique craftsmanship is now at the core centre of today’s luxury world business as no one can afford to not produce in India,” he says proudly, adding that what is growing is finally the acknowledgement from luxury brands that they rely on India’s unique savoir faire to create unique products.

Caroline ushers in a new chapter for Chopard and bridging the worlds of Haute Joaillerie and Couture. Image Source: Instagram/Chopard

The special couture Chopard show was closed by a string of 90s supermodels: Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, Helena Christensen and Natalia Vodianova. Unlike most couture collections that are designed to be seasonal, Chopard has made this collection to be timeless, just like its jewels.

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