“Jewellery as a category has the ability to completely define a brand identity,” says image and content strategist Ann-Marie Voin. “Jewellery can be used to explain brand codes – colour, shape and overall zeitgeist – it’s an essential component that can describe an entire aesthetic.” This is something that British fashion designer Kim Jones – artistic director at Dior and Fendi – understands well.
Kim has unleashed the seductive power of jewellery by leveraging the expertise and creative direction of some of the most iconic jewellery designers and brand signatories of our time. By harnessing the creative genius of Dior Jewellery creative director Victoire de Castellane, Ambush founder Yoon Ahn and jewellery designer Delfina Delettrez, Kim has taken a strategic approach, using the power of jewellery to both inform an aesthetic and to affirm brand codes by focusing on craftsmanship.
Not only did Delfina design the jewellery for Kim’s inaugural spring/summer ’21 couture show at Fendi, she also walked alongside a star-studded cohort of iconic models to celebrate the highly anticipated collaboration. Her supersized Murano glass droplet chandelier earrings, sculptural hair combs and orbital ear cuffs that adorned each look at the show supported Kim’s storytelling.
Delfina Delettrez’ jewellery on the Fendi Couture SS21 catwalk
A focus on artisanal practice and materials harnesses the skill of local craftspeople in Fendi’s Hand in Hand initiative that honours Italian craftsmanship. The project calls on local artisans to use skills passed down through generations to recreate the iconic Fendi Baguette bag in precious limited editions. Versions have included a silver bag with coral clasp crafted in Trapani, a silver filigree bag made on the Ligura coast, and a bag decorated with micro-mosaic tesserae.
Driven by a respect for timeless craft expertise, this initiative supports local artists and traditional production methods that not only explores material innovation through jewellery but also plays a part in environmental responsibility through preservation of heritage.
For the ready-to-wear autumn/winter ’21 Fendi jewellery collection, Delfina focused on more blatant iconography – the F monogram. This time it was interpreted as a seamless mirror-image cutout, incorporated into the sensual profile of a lozenge-shaped frame, used as the central focus point of heavy chain necklaces or as drops in earrings. This Fendi O-Lock hardware is integrated across the jewellery collection, injecting wit and surprise through playful iterations of scale and stone-set flourishes.
Monogram jewellery on the Fendi AW21 catwalk
Fendi’s autumn/winter ’21 Couture collection was a return to Italian craftsmanship. Delfina’s nod to heritage within the jewellery offering appeared to be inspired by Roman artefacts and architectural details. Sensual, scroll-like Carrara marble ear cuffs and colliers wrapped around the ears, wrist and neckline – to sublime effect.
This architectural sensibility was echoed elsewhere. Micro-mosaic stone vitrines in scallop settings and geometric arrow-shaped elements carved out striking silhouettes on the neckline and hung suspended from lobes as earrings, giving an impression of armour. A nod to the double F monogram, skilfully yet subtly integrated into the design throughout, showed welcome confidence that the future of Fendi was in good hands.
Pivoting back to Dior, with a focus on Kim Jones’s role as artistic director for Men’s Dior, we have seen a sublime shift away from monotony and brand fatigue towards hype, reinvention and reimaginings of brand signatures. For the past couple of seasons, Kim has harnessed the discerning eye of Tokyo-based Yoon Ahn, co-founder of cult jewellery brand Ambush, to create seasonal jewellery collections aligned with his vision. Her spin on men’s jewellery was to celebrated the overlooked, creating jewels that elevated everyday jewellery motifs such as padlocks, line bracelets and curb-link chains with a fashion-forward spin.
Jewellery on the catwalk at the Fendi AW22 Couture show
For the most recent Dior x Travis Scott’s men’s spring/summer ’22 show, Kim enlisted the skill of Victoire de Castellane who, during her 20-year tenure with Dior, had until then never designed a piece for the catwalk. The setting for the show was a nostalgic nod to Christian Dior’s childhood rose garden, which transformed into a cactus garden reflecting Texan-born rapper Travis Scott’s home in Houston.
Victoire’s statement sautoir incorporated the show’s two key motifs – the cactus and the rose – as well as signature Dior elements: flower clusters and even a butterfly. Banded diamond-encrusted cactus arms are offset with shimmering pearls, enamel colour pops and deep-hued emeralds. The intelligent interpretation draws on the designer’s playful aesthetic alongside the symbolism of home, street culture and the integrity of the collaboration.
Through the skill of these women, Kim recognises the power of adornment and the significant role it plays in brand building. He is giving jewellery the opportunity to shine and revel in the glory it so rightly deserves.
Victoire de Castellane designed this cactus necklace for the Dior x Travis Scott SS22 collection
This article was originally written for Insight, the editorial division of leading jewellery consultancy Adorn. The author Juliet Hutton-Squire is the co-founder of Adorn.