If you’re even remotely plugged into the world of fashion you’ll know that Haute Couture Week, with all its jaw-dropping gowns and exquisite craftsmanship, returned to Paris this week — bringing with it, as is tradition, the latest high jewellery collections.
Distinct from their fine jewellery counterparts by way of elevated skill, design innovation, quality of stones and, inevitably, price tag, this is jewellery in its most esteemed and rarified form. Just like a couture gown, these are pieces most of us can only dream of adding to our jewellery boxes — but that doesn’t mean window shopping isn’t still fun. From fantastical designs from big-name houses to independent jewellers displaying their wares right here in the capital, read on for the most dazzling high jewellery collections of 2024.
De Beers Forces of Nature
As is often the case with high jewellery collections, De Beers will be unveiling its new range — Forces of Nature — in chapters over the coming seasons, so consider this merely a sneak peek at what is to come. Comprised of eight exceptional solitaire diamond rings, each of which can be transformed via the addition of a crown or jacket, De Beers has packed some serious jewellery-making expertise into this concise collection.
Each ring takes its cues from a different African animal. A lion finds form in a 5.09 carat brilliant-cut diamond surrounded by a mane of beaded gold; a giant kudu is created via a stack of cushion-cut diamonds and pavé-set antlers; and an elephant’s trunk clutching a Fancy Pink oval diamond comes twirling from beneath a stunning 3.2 carat heart-shaped diamond.
“The eight featured animals are an ode to the natural intoxicating beauty of the African continent, whose earth yields jaw-dropping natural treasures,” said De Beers CEO Céline Assimon. “When designing the rings, we had no constraints: we were guided by the individual character of eight extraordinary diamonds. Their incomparable beauty challenged us to create strikingly modern, abstract interpretations of the majestic creatures that roam the environment.”
Few are the brands that possess the talent and expertise to create both couture fashion and couture jewellery — but Dior is one of them. This season, the brand pays homage to its illustrious catwalk history with Dior Délicat: a new high jewellery collection designed to hug the curves of the body like a bespoke gown.
Bringing together motifs previously seen in the house’s Galons Dior and Dearest Dior high jewellery lines, coloured stones play an integral role here. White diamonds, as elegant and light as lace, provide a backdrop against which vivid rubies, emeralds, sapphires, rubellites and tanzanites shine. With 79 pieces to choose from, those with pockets deep enough to treat themselves may well find it difficult to narrow it down to just one.
Unusually, British brand Graff hasn’t given its latest high jewellery collection a name. All the better to let the pieces do the talking, we suppose. And what pieces they are. Highlighting Graff’s mastery in sourcing, cutting and setting truly exceptional gemstones, every stone within the new high jewellery collection was hand-selected by a member of the Graff family and underwent a rigorous process to ensure absolute perfection.
The designs, naturally, take their cues from these natural marvels. “Each creation is bold and contemporary, featuring graphic lines while retaining a design sensibility synonymous with Graff,” explains design director Anne-Eve Geffroy. “When I was first presented with this collection of gems, it took my breath away. I knew immediately that we needed to experiment, to push the boundaries of our design language while remaining true to our stone-led design philosophy.”
The result is a bold collection that blends graphic lines with fluidity and movement. Think a necklace and earring suite which sees knotted ribbons of white diamond accented by Fancy Intense Yellow pear-shaped diamonds or the fanning feathers of a bird picked out in round-cut white diamonds. The star of the show? A truly colossal 118.17 carat cushion-cut unheated Sri Lankan sapphire set on a bangle featuring another 39.7 carats of round and baguette white diamonds. Trust us, you’ve never seen anything quite like it.
While the majority of the new collections are displayed in the boutiques of the Place Vendôme – the historic home of high jewellery – for Spring 2024, Brazilian jeweller Fernando Jorge has chosen our fair capital as the place to showcase his latest line – and you’re invited. On display to the public from 22 January to 2 February 2024 at Sotheby’s New Bond Street, Jorge’s unique pieces are more daring than what we’ve come to expect from many high jewellery collections.
Pushing the boundaries of the materials we define as precious, alongside the usual diamonds, gold and coloured stones are Brazilian river pebbles, marble and fossilised amber. The overall effect is softer and more organic than classic cut-stone designs, lending each piece a show-stopping quality guaranteed to have onlookers asking ‘from where did you get that?’
Un Air de Chaumet
Following on from 2023’s Le Jardin de Chaumet, the Parisian jewellery house continues its exploration of the natural world by turning its attention to the skies — and, specifically, the birds that populate them — with Un Air de Chaumet. Eschewing the gobstopper stones seen elsewhere, Chaumet looked to its archives, where pieces in the form of peacock feathers, hummingbirds and kingfishers, some created by Joseph Chaumet himself, provided endless inspiration.
Among the highlights are a series of transformable hair ornaments and tiaras, each of which can also be worn as a brooch. Rendered in white diamonds and white and yellow gold, on one a flight of swallows flutters in a graceful ballet, while on another a spray of majestic feathers demands to be admired. Also present on statement ear cuffs, the plumes of a bird of paradise unfurl flamboyantly and feathers ruffle as flapping wings swoop elegantly through the breeze. Pure poetry.
Boucheron Histoire de Style: The Power of Couture
For the fourth instalment of the house’s Histoire de Style collection, Claire Choisne, creative director of Boucheron, has looked to ceremonial dress to inspire the house’s new 24-piece high jewellery collection. Taking inspiration from the medals, embroideries and buttons traditionally found on military garb, these are translated into rock crystal and diamond to create a series of statement designs that playfully toy with the disparity between feminine and masculine traditions of ornamentation.
“I decided to deconstruct the symbols of power to reappropriate them,” explains Choisne. “This collection is designed like a precious kit that may be worn in a multitude of ways, choosing among various elements to create an individual style.” Among the standout pieces is Médailles: a choker-style necklace formed of 15 white gold, rock crystal and diamond medals and pendants representing 2,230 hours of labour. Elsewhere, Aiguillette sees a braid of white gold strung between two diamond brooches and Noeud reworks grosgrain ribbons in incredibly lifelike frosted rock crystal. The most unusual of the set, however, is undoubtedly a pair of epaulettes inspired by the 1902 diadem created for Mary de Teck, Princess of Wales. Ingeniously crafted to be worn on the shoulders or as bracelets, this is the truest expression of the magic of high jewellery.