In our new world of social distancing, casual embraces with family, friends and colleagues have become a strict no-no, as elbow bumps give way to 2m distances. The good news, however, is that we can still get our snuggle fix through gemstones, and Dior has a brand new line of Moi et Toi jewellery that is all about intimate couplings.
Toi et Moi can be translated from French as ‘you and me’. In jewellery, it refers to rings that have two gemstones of significant size that sit close to one another to represent two lovers. It is a style that has thrilled lovers for centuries, including famous couples like Napoleon and Josephine, and Jackie and JFK.
Victoire de Castellane, the famously audacious creative force behind all Dior’s fine jewellery collections, has taken this classic motif and given it a colourful twist, in more ways than one.
The 39 designs in the Dior et Moi collection, released during Paris Couture Week earlier this year, offer up a kaleidoscopic blast of colour thanks to a bold mix of gemstones – emeralds, opal, malachite, red spinels, tourmalines, rubellites, kunzites, turquoise, pearls. Lacquer also adds a further pop of chromacity, with 15 shades – specially created in house at Dior’s atelier – sprayed directly onto brushed gold to create solid or gradient effects.
Moi et Toi, traditionally reserved for rings, has spilled out into asymmetrical earrings and necklaces in Dior et Moi. The collection also includes through-the-finger rings with three main gemstones, perhaps hinting at more modern relationships that stretch beyond a couple. Meanwhile, pendants on strings of pearls with one much larger oval-cut opal, surrounded by lacquer outlines and rainbow sapphires or diamonds, could be a comment on relationships of unequal balance, or even kinkier dom/sub affairs.
Then, there is a ring with a sensuous solo pear-shaped diamond, looped with suggestive pink enamel and a halo of diamonds, and one with a smooth, round rubellite cabochon. Could these perhaps be a nod to the concept of self love? If so, it’s especially timely in this new culture of self isolation.