When the first high jewellery collections of 2021 started rolling out of historied maisons in January during Paris Couture Week, there was a unifying theme: escapism. Some offered up sartorial transportation through lavish party jewels, others with fantastical creations inspired by beloved travel destinations. Chopard, meanwhile, read the room, and the what it presented was not exuberant excess but dialled-down, timeless glamour.
Losing ourselves in wild jewels is fun, but the reality for many is that the past year has been a sombre one that has divided the haves and have nots. Perhaps sensing this tone, Chopard’s high jewellery offering, Precious Lace, gives us classism and stability and a sense of longevity with diamond jewellery that pays homage to some of its most trusted motifs.
As Chopard pointed out, its charismatic co-president and artistic director Caroline Scheufele “has always understood and anticipated what women want in their jewels, and how they want to wear them”. Precious Lace, it says, reflects Chopard’s drive to blur the boundaries between haute joaillerie and fine jewellery, “thereby dismantling the formality”.
Chopard 18ct gold and diamond Precious Lace Vague earrings, £21,300, available at Chopard
Chopard Precious Lace – as worn by country music star Ingrid Andress at the Grammys 2021 – is a celebration of diamonds, with a strong focus on elegant pear-cut diamonds. Set in ethically sourced 18ct rose or white gold, the white diamonds have been set out in romantic formations to create earrings, necklaces, rings and a cuff. The sizes are very wearable and, as such, the pricing makes it one of Paris Couture Week’s most accessible high jewellery launches. These are jewels to be worn and loved, not invested in and hidden away in safes.
The name of the collection refers to the jewels’ mimicry of the floral patterns, scrolls, swirls and scalloped edges of fine antique lace. It also reminds us that, like lace, such decorative flair in goldsmithing is the work of a very skilled hand. And just as fine lace was a status symbol denoting wealth and power when it first emerged from Venetian workshops in the 16th century, so too are classic diamond cuts of top qualities.
Just as Chopard Precious Lace has stuck with a classic combination of gold and pear-cut diamonds, accented by round brilliants, the shapes of the designs are also well loved: the floral Mini-Froufrou, the oceanic Vague, cloud-like Nuage, the heart-shaped Cœur.
Chopard 18ct gold and diamond Precious Lace Mini-FrouFrou cuff, £14,300, enquire at Chopard
“The effect of exquisite handmade lace is recreated by the interplay of pear-shaped and round brilliant-cut diamonds, using their shapes and their silhouettes within the openwork space in each design, to bring a lilting rhythm, playful fluidity and contemporary stylisation to the essential classicism of the theme,” said Chopard in a statement.
“The delicacy of lace is replicated by the extreme precision of the gold work, the slender mounts and airiness that serve to highlight the radiance of the diamonds, and at the same time, showcase the supreme skill of the maison’s in-house artisans. Expertise similar to that of the nimble-fingered seamstresses referred to as petites mains in the field of Haute Couture, with which Chopard shares a number of core values: an array of eminently noble materials, a flair for details, a commitment to wearer comfort, and above all, an authentic love for women.”