Eccentric gemstones and innovative technology are at the heart of French luxury jeweller Boucheron’s new high jewellery collection, Carte blanche, holographic. It takes colour-infused jewellery to new heights.
Last week during Paris Haute Couture week, renowned jewellery Maison’s gathered to reveal exceptional jewellery creations. One release that took Centre stage was Boucheron’s new high jewellery collection as it debuted a refined sense of joy, colour and innovation.
With this collection Creative Director Claire Choisne, was inspired by the colours of the rainbow that emerge when light disperses through water droplets. In traditional Boucheron style, the group pushes the boundaries of conventional high jewellery to depict the full-colour spectrum. The creativity in the Holographic collection strays from the traditional use of gemstones such as emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and round diamonds in high jewellery. Each piece depicts endless colour through flashing opals, coloured gemstones, and holographic ceramic and rock crystal. Choisne selected holographic materials to have every colour on every detail, rather than showing the colour spectrum by using different stones in isolation. She states, “The holographic effect gives you all of the colours, on all of the pieces…I wanted a collection that would be positive, full of wonder.”
The iridescent effect achieved across the collection is a groundbreaking achievement for Boucheron. Its successful execution results from thinking beyond the jewellery industry and taking unconventional inspiration from the airport. The effect was created by experimenting with the holographic techniques used on landing strip markings from airport tarmacs and applied to ceramics and rock gemstones. Choisne states, “I think it’s cool not necessarily to stay in your industry but to look at what others can do.”
Partnership with billion-euro French aeronautics company St. Gobain, leaders in holographic airport runways, lenses, glass materials, led to creating a patented jewel coating. Choisne explains the process behind the revolutionary coating involves “oxidizing titanium and silver and then crushing those metals to create a powder, and they then moult the powder down and spray it at a high temperature on rock crystal and white ceramic to add the coating…They do ten layers of really thin spraying for this effect. And you can play with the colour with the number of layers applied.” The effect, an industry-leading play on traditional materials, techniques and gemstones.
Carte Blanche Holographique comprises nine sets, including twenty-five unique pieces that evoke the lustrous rainbow theme. But the highlight of the collection is the exceptional statement necklace. The report features exquisite wedges of rock crystal trimmed with white gold diamonds to emphasize the crafted holographic coating. The band is accented by an octagonal, 20.21-carat Ceylon yellow sapphire suspended in the middle of the front wedge. The slices are reminiscent of prisms, so when light hits them, the rainbow colours are radiant and everchanging. Artistically, Boucheron created the necklace under the natural sunlight of Maison’s workshops for artisans to study and create around the structures and shadows the reflections produced. The light not only guided the design of the slices but inspired the final form of the necklace. “The crafting of the piece is totalizing – the necklace is flexible, but the traditional work on it is exceptional,” says Choisne. Another star in the collection is the illusion trio, which depicts an organic expression of the holographic theme through opals. Three central opals from Australia and Ethiopia are Centre front of a trio of aesthetically united rings. In a spectacular display of colour, each ring features a large Centre opal surrounded by complementary gemstones that mimic the natural hues of the primary rock.
The 163-year-old jewellery house is no stranger to experimental design and boundary-pushing innovation. Last year the Maison released the contemplation collection, which featured a unique use of Aerogel, a material used by NASA to capture stardust while in space. While the jeweller is not here to break all the boundaries of high jewellery, the vision is to bring an element of mystery and innovative creativity to traditional approaches. “As we say in French, we are pugnacious. We are very enterprising; we want to find solutions and innovate.