In 1893, Frédéric Boucheron was the first jeweler of the Place Vendome, opening a salon in a mansion at number 26. For 123 years, this historic building had been the keeper of the style and heritage of the House of Boucheron. It was here in the light-filled rooms where its founder worked. It was here where members of the European royal families, Indian princes, American millionaires and Hollywood stars made their purchases. After more than a century in these halls, in addition to retail space there are design studios, jewelry ateliers and archive rooms of the House. Thus the new Haute Joaillerie collection was easily named — 26 Vendôme.
Claire Choisne, the creative director of Boucheron, continues to explore its archives, bringing its history to the jewelers’ canvas. The new collection consists of three fundamental themes: nature, architecture and high fashion. They are embodied in 56 one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.
Nature Triomphante is an ode to nature. There is a reference for landmarks of the House such as a peacock feathers motif and lily. The last one is a transformable necklace with a 20 cts yellow vivid diamond in the center.
The architecture of Boucheron
The “Architecture Inspirée” chapter is inspired by the architecture of Parisian mansions, where the founder of the House lived and worked. For example, the Hôtel Particulier necklace is devoted to the very first address of the jeweler in the Palais Royal. There was a beautiful view of the garden from its windows. Inside the four volume pendants made of rock crystal (the latter is located on the clasp in the back) the brand’s designers placed a tiny diamond composition in the theme of nature, such as an ivy-covered garden, birds soaring in the sky, and two deer hiding among the trees. With this they created the effect of windows. And the tracery of parquet was transferred into a geometric pattern made of onyx, mother of pearls, diamonds and moonstones.
Another interesting jewelry piece is the Vendôme Chromatique bracelet. The cuff is crowned by a yellow beryl of 94.15 carats at the lower edge, of which is Vendôme Column-engraved.
Porté Couture, the third part of the collection, is devoted to Haute Couture. Boucheron’s parents were the manufacturers of cloth. Thus the jeweler loved draperies, bows and ribbons. The brand’s designers showed this theme by employing a pleated necklace and earrings, and bow-rings. But the main figure of the Couture chapter was without a shadow of a doubt a woven kilogram of a gold Cape de Lumière, decorated with a citrine of 81 carats. It was framed right on the mannequin, building a balance between the parts. Totaling such work took about two thousand hours. This piece closed the by-invitation-only presentation of the collection on the third floor of the Vendôme mansion.
Toward the end of the sensual and very French performance, produced by Olivier Saillard, the Dutch model Saskia de Brauw appeared to the public wearing the Cape de Lumière. In the hall sighs of delight resonated. I think Claire Choisne once again surpassed herself — Frédéric Boucheron would be very proud of her!