The latest high jewellery collections unveiled in Paris during Haute Couture week brought some serious sparkle to the City of Light. Esteemed maisons and designers presented their dazzling new masterpieces at Place Vendôme, showcasing ravishing jewels, exceptional craftsmanship and technical savoir-faire. From glittering tributes to nature to statement pieces bridging haute joaillerie and haute couture, here’s everything you need to know about the SS23 high jewellery collections.
Late January in Paris is always a frosty, grey-skied affair but the annual high jewellery presentations during Couture Fashion Week never fail to bring a temporary burst of dazzling colour and light to stir the spirit. And this year was certainly no exception, with storied Maisons including Cartier, Boucheron, Dior and Chopard looking to their surroundings and into their archives for visual inspiration behind their sparkling, one-of-a-kind creations. From contemporary spins on historic motifs to incredible displays of artistry and eye-catching gemstones in fruit sorbet shades, we’ve curated the most dazzling high jewellery trends of SS23 and the collections worth dreaming about (and investing in) right now.
The sheer array of magnificent gemstones on display stole the show at Couture this year. Gucci’s new additions to its exuberant Hortus Deliciarium were resplendent with sizeable gemstones of all species, including one rainbow-bright necklace crafted with over 540 carats-worth of garnets, beryls and tourmalines, and another pendant necklace with a central cabochon spinel weighing 84 carats surrounded by neon blue Paraiba tourmalines.
Over at Graff, there were exceptional diamonds of all sizes, including a 50-carat flawless oval-cut diamond set at the heart of an extraordinary necklace, framed with over 100 further carats of diamonds in pear, emerald, round and baguette shapes. Chopard has dedicated its entire new high jewellery collection to the beauty of rare gemstones, including a pair of vivid yellow Sri Lankan sapphires, weighing 151.9 and 127.70 carats respectively, which are destined to adorn an opulent cocktail ring and cuff bracelet.
Ceylon Yellow Sapphires by Chopard
The world’s most respected jewellers have never been afraid to innovate, especially when it comes to mixing precious gems with other materials to showcase their virtuosity. At De Beers, combinations of textured white, yellow and rose gold were layered and embellished with an array of diamond settings, including snow and knife edge, to symbolise each of the four seasons. In one signature ear cuff, each different strand of gold was even tipped with a colourful titanium bead shaped like a chrysalis, in a nod to the power of transformation in nature.
At Dior Joaillerie, sprays of elegant diamond blooms were edged with lacquer, juxtaposing classic elements with contemporary ones to create a stylish tension that characterises creative director Victoire de Castellane’s touch. Meanwhile, Master jeweller Cindy Chao looked beyond precious metals when designing a sapphire-studded dragonfly for her latest White Label collection, choosing instead to set the glittering gemstones along a piece of natural ox horn to form the insect’s exoskeleton.
The jewels forming the latest chapter of Cartier’s lauded Beautés Du Monde collection all draw inspiration from the natural world, including humankind’s interpretations of it within our culture. Its new Obi necklace owes the shape of its luminous emerald, diamond and onyx motifs to the ‘rising sun’ pattern of exquisite Japanese kimono.
True to its fashion house roots, many of Gucci’s high jewellery pieces took the form of glistening, diamond-strewn ribbons, their delicate asymmetric forms belying their stiff metallic makeup. Dior, too, looked to its origins as a couture house for its new Dearest Dior collection, with remarkably supple layers of gold mesh evoking the finest guipure lace, studded with diamond ‘stitches’, sparkling ‘sequins’, and gemstone flowers.
Event dressing is officially back. That is, if the sheer number of red carpet-worthy necklaces on display were to be believed. At Louis Vuitton, Francesca Amfitheatrof’s bold collars resembled glittering armour for the modern woman, whilst at David Morris, dazzling gemstones like opals and sapphires set in opulent bibs evoked everything from the windows of London’s soaring skyscrapers to ancient Egyptian talismans.
The pendant necklaces crafted by the Italian house of Buccellati for its Macri high jewellery collection display a sumptuous oval-cut garnet or blue zircon set in engraved gold so exquisitely finished, it resembles fine silk.
Macri High Jewellery Collection by Buccellati
Main image: Radiance Necklace by Louis Vuitton