While other jewellers may look to haute couture for inspiration, Lydia Courteille goes a step further and unzips the secrets of the allure of Paris and its famously seductive women. Lydia herself explains: ‘This collection is a tribute to Paris, the capital of glamour and amour.’ The idea of creating a jewellery collection so closely referencing boudoir-wear came to Lydia while looking in the windows of Chantal Thomass, a famous Parisian lingerie house. Although for many years Lydia had provided Chantal with jewels for her photo shoots, it is only now that she created a collection directly linked to the aesthetics of lingerie and the erotic cabaret shows of Paris from the Crazy Horse to the Moulin Rouge.
The entire collection is in dusty pinks and black, evocative of dark lace lingerie on pale flesh. Lydia uses morganite, pink sapphires and tourmalines off-set against black diamonds and warm rose gold to create this seductive illusion of the most under-dressed jewellery collection on Place Vendôme.
Ribbons, corset ties, bows, lace, bunny rabbits, feathers and masks find their way onto rings, earrings and bracelets that evoke the frisson of the Paris of Edit Piaf’s La Vie en Rose. But never one to take a theme too literally, Lydia takes us on a voyage full of twists and turns to reveal Paris’ playfully kinky spirit. The most obvious reference to the capital of l’amour are the chandelier earrings (below) that are a voyeuristic glimpse at the lacing of a corset. Topped with little bows begging to be undone, pink morganite drops complete the coyly seductive jewel. But there is more: look again and the form of the Eiffel Tower is evident in the criss-crossed structure of the earrings. In contrast to this elaborate statement, the slender black diamond bow bracelet, is a simple coquettish hint of intention.
Ribbons and bows adorned with pink sapphires and diamonds weave around a large morganite in the Bath of Dita ring (below) inspired by the 1954 Crazy Horse act in which Miss Candida frolicked in water in an outsized champagne coupe; an act replicated by the striptease artiste Dita von Teese some 50 years later. Still in the world of cabaret, the Dali Lips sofa, used as prop in the Crazy Horse cabaret, finds its way onto the finger in the Canapé de Dali ring (below). Invisibly-set baguette-cut morganites form a pair of pink lips with a surreal touch.
Never one to hold back, Lydia looks to Ancient Greece and the myth of Leda, who was seduced by Zeus. Disguised as a swan, Zeus slipped into her bed at night. The moment is captured in the Leda bracelet (below). The bird’s wings set with pink sapphires wrap around the central morganite.
Perfect to wear with not very much else, La Vie en Rose perfectly captures the allure of Paris’s naughty side.
Credit to: Maria Doulton