The concept of the six-piece collection at first appears simple enough. It’s based on the twists and turns of a ribbon using diamonds and gold in contrasting black and white colors. But this simplicity ended with Tarpin’s artistic flourishes combined with the skills of the artisans at de Grisogono’s Creative Studio inside its Geneva headquarters.
All of the pieces show contrast and volume. Long, asymmetrical black and white diamond earrings represent two ribbons in a coiled shape that give the illusion of going through the skin using 18k white gold paved with white and black round diamonds on all sides. This design theme and use of materials continue with a ring and bracelet in which the twisting fluid lines continue beyond the base of the jewel.
The other set of pieces—composed of hoop earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace—are even simpler in concept, consisting of a two interlaced 18k white gold cords paved with black and white diamonds. The braided pattern symbolizes love showing two lives that are linked together. The tiny cords used for the earrings and bracelet become looser and tighter “like in the flow of life,” says Tarpin.
The necklace, as is often the case, is the largest and boldest piece of the collection with its black and white intertwined cords coming to a rounded point. According to de Grisogono, Tarpin gave its craftsmen the technical challenge of creating a piece that would sit sensually around the neck, expressing a fluid movement, but that would also retain its shape.
The use of materials and the design concept were a conscience choice in more ways than one. Black diamonds and the Chiaroscuro art technique of using contrasts between light and dark are the signatures of de Grisogono.
Céline Assimon, de Grisogono CEO, chose to go with the young designer as its artist in residence for a number of reasons.
“There is a definite link between Emmanuel Tarpin’s universe of creation and ours, at the heart of which is great freedom to create, to dare and to surprise,” Assimon said in a statement. “Emmanuel is one of the few artists to have the technical knowledge as well as the understanding of the process of making high jewelry in the atelier…. But most of all, it is Emmanuel’s sensitivity for the physical and sensual aspect of a jewel. Few designers have such a deep connection to the art of the craftsmen and women throughout the entire process of creation, from initial sketch to the finished masterpiece.”
Tarpin’s rise in the world of high jewelry has been remarkably quick. A native of Lake Annecy, France, situated between Lyon and Geneva, he took his initial artistic inspiration from the rural alpine surroundings of his home. After graduating from jewelry studies at Geneva’s Haute École d’Arts Appliqués, he worked for three years in Van Cleef & Arpels’ high jewelry ateliers in Paris, learning his craft from some of the most respected masters in their field.
In 2017, at just 25, he launched his first capsule collection and by December 2017, his life-like Geranium Leaf aluminum earrings were sold at Christie’s. This is when he made the transition from “one to watch” to a sought-after name in the rarified world of high jewelry.
With the two years that followed, he received the “Rising Star” award from Fashion Group International and was named “Designer of the Year” at the Town and Country Jewelry Awards. He has earned an impressive reputation for developing a range of sculptural styles, some of which are abstract in nature. In addition, his work has attracted widespread attention, from Rihanna wearing his matt black aluminum Seashell earrings to being on the shelves of prestigious New York dealer Siegelson.
His material of choice is aluminum, which can be produced in multiple colors and shapes (such as folds, ripples, dimples, textures).
“I think we are very complementary,” Tarpin said in a statement. “There is a unique connection between my vision of jewelry and that of de Grisogono. I like Maison’s notion of volume as well as its exuberance, which makes each of its pieces so interesting.”
He adds that he particularly likes de Grisogono’s ability to be “independent” and “daring,” saying it is a “very rare” trait these days.
“I find there is a similarity between the contrast of shapes, colors and textures in de Grisogono’s creations as well as in mine. The volumes really come to life, not just thanks to the actual shapes of the jewels but also because of the stones and the craftsmanship with which it all comes together. We also share a common notion of innovation and design and a love of delighting with surprise. I very much need to experiment, and I am looking forward to carrying out these experiments within de Grisogono’s ateliers.”
The Prologue collection will be followed by the “Chapter 1” and “Chapter 2” collections in 2020.
Tarpin’s residency is the first part of de Grisogono’s “Creativity in Resident” program designed to ensure that luxury brand builds “on its daring creativity essence by inspiring, unleashing and fostering creativity.”
Credit to: Anthony DeMarco
Read more: Forbes.com
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