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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Boucheron: Seduction In The Air

Performance art brings the spirit of the gemstones to life

21 Июля 2016

A model receives Boucheron’s Plissée Diamants necklace, which replicates a scarf in white diamonds and jet black spinels
A model receives Boucheron’s Plissée Diamants necklace, which replicates a scarf in white diamonds and jet black spinels

A man wraps his arm gently around his female partner, she throws her head back in ecstasy as the ring/necklace/bracelet is slipped against her skin. 
When the protagonist is Olivier Saillard, the Director of the Musée Galliera in Paris and the inventor of many abstract fashion presentations, the effect was artistic. 

The models who starred in the Boucheron 2016 Haute Joiallerie presentation at the Place Vendôme boutique in Paris
The models who starred in the Boucheron 2016 Haute Joiallerie presentation at the Place Vendôme boutique in Paris

Boucheron decided to break out from the familiar style of displays in the epicentre of jewellery in the Place Vendôme. So in front of François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering – which owns the jewellery house, Saillard aimed to bring the cold gold and frozen stones to life through performance art.

An ecstatic response to the Blé d’été diamond and white-gold wheatsheaf necklace with matching ring
An ecstatic response to the Blé d’été diamond and white-gold wheatsheaf necklace with matching ring

The movement of humanity and flesh against the static gems was powerful and occasionally seductive, although I would have liked to see a variety of links between human and jewel: for example, why not mother or father making an offering to a daughter? Or a young woman shyly receiving a gemstone? Instead, the body language seemed to suggest that the bigger the stone, the more the passion, which I would describe as a sexist vision.

The presentation took the form of performance art. Here a model responds to the Hôtel Particulier necklace - an Art Deco-inspired piece in pavé-set yellow and white diamonds, grey moonstones, and white mother-of-pearl and onyx that reference the parquet o
The presentation took the form of performance art. Here a model responds to the Hôtel Particulier necklace - an Art Deco-inspired piece in pavé-set yellow and white diamonds, grey moonstones, and white mother-of-pearl and onyx that reference the parquet o

Yet there was something mesmerising about seeing two or three figures reacting to the stones and to each other. Under the sparkle of a chandelier or lights reflecting on mirrors, there seemed to be an intent to enchant and embrace with diamonds in the hand.

из
Rather than a static display for its collection, Boucheron commissioned avant-garde curator Olivier Saillard, Director of the Galliera Musée in Paris, to conceive a novel, emotive presentation

Rather than a static display for its collection, Boucheron commissioned avant-garde curator Olivier Saillard, Director of the Galliera Musée in Paris, to conceive a novel, emotive presentation

A ringside view of the presentation in Paris

A ringside view of the presentation in Paris


What the presentation needed was a layout of the jewels after the live demonstration, allowing the audience to see the stones, not just to feel the magic. 

But I was handed sheets with detailed drawings so that I could see themes and shapes in this new Haute Joiallerie (“high jewellery”) season. Once again, as with other high jewellers, wheat sheaves came to the fore in a graceful bracelet with pavé diamonds on white gold. Other effects were white-gold feathers in which rose-cut diamonds snuggled. 

The Cape de Lumière seen from the back
The Cape de Lumière seen from the back

This was a case of admiring Saillard’s imaginative presentation and Boucheron’s craftsmanship — but wondering which message to take. 

The Cape de Lumière or
The Cape de Lumière or "Mantle of Light" is a masterpiece of couture-meets-high jewellery: inspired by peacock feathers, it was created on a dressmaker’s dummy to ensure perfect drape. suppleness and fit, then "hand sewn&quo

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