The 6 biggest high jewellery trends we discovered at Paris Haute Couture Week 2022
As Valentino’s hot-pink designs were going viral and Kim Kardashian and Nicole Kidman were sharing a catwalk at Balenciaga, there was a part of the French capital that was quietly playing to host to one of Paris Haute Couture Week’s other big talking points – the High Jewellery Presentations. From Bulgari’s jewel-encrusted collars to Van Cleef & Arpels’ extraordinary oversized diamonds, the collections more than matched their spectacular fashion counterparts. Here we’ve rounded up the key haute joaillerie trends to know about.
Bejewelled lace collars are officially a thing
The latest chapter of De Beers’ high jewellery collection, Alchemist of Light, featured the Midnight Aura collar necklace, inspired by the hues of shimmering green stardust. Hundreds of bezel-set diamonds in an articulated black rhodium mesh create a soft, flexible collar, embellished with a central 20.57 carat pear-cut white diamond drop and cabochons of African chrysoprase – the first time the jeweller has used the gemstone.
Bulgari’s Emerald Venus collar, part of its paradisical Garden of Wonders collection, has reimagined the lacy fronds of Mediterranean ferns as elegant ‘branches’ of brilliant-cut diamonds studded with polished emerald beads, surrounding a central 20-carat Colombian emerald.
Meanwhile, Chopard’s new Chopard Loves Cinema collection featured a glamorous, red-carpet-worthy collar adorned with 188 carats of rosy-hued Indian rubellites and a glittering pink sapphire pendant.
Mega rocks took centre stage
Gucci has launched the latest chapter of its fantastical high jewellery collection, Hortus Deliciarum, which is inspired by everything from the 18th Century Grand Tour to Art Deco architecture. Chief amongst the kaleidoscopic array of over 100 new jewels were pieces set with gemstones of astonishing size and beauty, including one diamond necklace with a 172-carat hexagonal-cut emerald and another with a 84.59-carat rubellite pendant.
There were XL diamonds aplenty this season, too. Van Cleef & Arpels’ entire high jewellery collection was crafted around 67 extraordinary diamonds cut from a single 910-carat rough which the house acquired back in 2018. Its Atours Mystérieuse necklace, for example, features one of the diamonds (a large, 79.35-carat oval-cut stone) set amidst romantic scrolls of Van Cleef’s signature mystery-set rubies.
Messika has been similarly inspired by a huge rough diamond, this time a 110-carat stone which yielded 15 exceptional brilliants. These have been incorporated into an Egyptian-themed parure named Akh-Ba-Ka which consists of a dramatic white gold collar adorned with a 33-carat central stone and a pair of asymmetric winged earrings with graphic-cut diamond drops.
It’s all about the light (and dark)
Hermès unveils its haute bijouterie once every two years, but it is always worth the wait. This year, creative director of jewellery Pierre Hardy has envisioned a set of striking jewels accompanied by their own (entirely detachable) ‘shadows’, as if lit from above with a spotlight. One of the stars of the collection is the Collier Fouet: a rose gold and brown diamond necklace shaped like a horsewhip with an accompanying dark blue ‘shadow’ created from midnight-hued sapphires.
Rather than electrical lights, the Milanese jeweller Pomellato has been inspired by natural daylight this season. Its La Gioia collection celebrates the evolution of the sky from dawn to dusk, with polished gold and slate-grey spinels evoking the intensity of a summer storm, or ombré sweeps of rubies and pink sapphires replicating a fiery sunset.
Piaget also looked heavenwards when designing its new Solstice jewels. White diamonds and vibrant pink gemstones have been used suggest the joyful vibes of longest day of the year, whilst Australian black opals and deep blue Sri Lankan sapphires nod to the hues of the longest night.
Oceanic blues are this year’s must-have hues
With its latest Atelier Tasaki collection, the Japanese jeweller Tasaki has imagined a veritable water world. For one set of earrings and a necklace, tumbles of glossy white Akoya pearls and marquise-cut diamond drops perfectly capture the movement of cascading water, while its Radiant collar is composed entirely of aquatic-coloured gemstones, including turquoise, aquamarines, Paraiba tourmalines, and blueish South Sea pearls.
The house of Chaumet has also set sail on a marine-themed odyssey for 2022. Its Ondes Et Merveilles high jewellery is dedicated to the movement of the sea in all its glory. A necklace inspired by the Gulfstream is made up of breezy whorls of minty-hued emeralds, Madagascan sapphires and diamonds, as are its matching rings and earrings, giving the impression of swirling winds and waves.
Harry Winston has taken its cue from altogether calmer shores. Its new Shades of Blue suite is an elegant riff on the crystalline waters of Santorini, with diamonds, sapphires, and aquamarines, whilst its St. Barts necklace is set with gemstones the exact hues of a tranquil Caribbean coastline.
Jewellers are looking backwards to go forward
History lovers will adore Tiffany & Co.’s latest Blue Book jewellery (named for the catalogue in which the New York jeweller traditionally advertised its wares). Entitled Botanica, many of its pieces pay homage to the great Jean Schlumberger, who designed for Tiffany throughout the 1960s and 70s. New takes on his ornate, floral-inspired creations can be seen throughout the collection, such as the diamond-strewn Fleurage bracelet, which was reimagined from an original sketch that Schlumberger first considered as a setting for the iconic Tiffany Diamond.
Chanel has also looked to its archives, namely at Coco Chanel’s very first (and only) foray into the realm of diamond jewellery. The couturier’s celestial-themed ‘Bijoux de Diamants’ collection from 1932 was the jumping off point for 77 spectacular new pieces, including showers of diamond comets, blazing suns and glowing moons embellished with blue tanzanites or pearls.
Buccellati has gone one historical step further. The Italian jeweller’s ‘newest’ collection consists of 41 vintage jewels, ranging from a 1940s brooch all the way to an elaborate cuff from 2002. These precious pieces are now available in just six Buccellati stores worldwide and represent some of the finest craftsmanship ever produced by the house.
Fashion houses are now serious high jewellery contenders
Alongside the classic Place Vendôme-based jewellers, the biggest names in fashion are now proving their mettle in the increasingly competitive arena of High Jewellery – with female artistic directors excitingly leading the way. Dior’s Victoire de Castellane showcased a virtuoso collection of 137 new jewels called Dior Print, in a nod to the house’s iconic patterns. Delicate ‘ribbons’ of white gold have been embellished with multicoloured gemstones to emulate the floral prints, checks, tie-dye and stripes of its iconic catwalk creations, with mesmeric results.
Over at Louis Vuitton, Francesca Amfitheatrof (formerly of Tiffany & Co.) has introduced Spirit, the brand’s largest-ever high jewellery line, with 125 pieces that reflect its founder’s values of ‘liberty, grace, fantasy, radiance and destiny’.
And Fendi chose to reveal its debut high jewellery designs, created by Delfina Delettrez Fendi, on its Couture Autumn/Winter 2022 runway. A one-of-a-kind parure consisting of a necklace, earrings and cocktail ring was crafted from white and yellow diamonds, mirroring the sunny hues of the Roman house’s iconic logo. An inverted FF monogram (designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 1965) also appeared within each design, crafted from baguette diamonds. A capsule collection, perhaps, but one that points to bold ambitions within the world of high jewellery. Watch this space.