The Maison Cartier Unveils a Glittering New Line of Jewels Inspired by the Design Traditions of Africa and Asia
Coloratura, the Maison Cartier’s new symphony of high-jewelry creations, debuted with a chic cocktail party aboard a péniche—a French barge—draped with garlands of light and docked on the Quai Debilly along the shores of the Seine. Just above, the Eiffel Tower scintillated at the top of each hour, as Cartier’s guests milled around to the sounds of a Latin band playing recognizable classics. Meanwhile, a DJ who was flown in from New York for the occasion mixed an eclectic fusion of African, Balkan, Swing Jazz, and Funk—a nod to the theme of diversity that underscores the line. Add in a divine grenadine-verbena cocktail (shaken by a smiling barman) and the breezy dusk scene was as close to perfection as a summer night in Paris could be.
The magic continued with Cartier’s preview of Coloratura at the Shangri-La Hotel the following day, just a stone’s throw from the barge, where a selection from the 240-piece jewelry collection was on display. The high-fashion gems were encased in glass vitrines and adorning white-gloved mannequins who were swathed in cabaret-inspired dresses.
For those unfamiliar with the term, Coloratura refers to a florid style of operatic singing usually associated with sopranos; it is also referred to as the instrumental equivalent of “ornamentation.”
“The Coloratura High Jewelry collection reinvents the world’s diversity, and Cartier affirms its vision of style,” said a representative for the Maison Cartier ahead of its presentation.
The collection explores the “correlations between past and present, the connections between cultures and generations all viewed through the human values of celebration, sharing, and joy,” the maison representative told artnet News. The result is a line varied in style and high in color and craft, with the diversity of the world directly reflected in its rich palette of colors.
The vibrant colors of India are rendered in the Tutti Frutti bib necklace, revisiting a classic icon of the maison with carved emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. The magnificence equals that of the pieces Cartier once made for the Maharajas, with the added benefit of versatility, as this one could be transformed and worn eight different ways.
A fresher version of the Tutti Frutti style is the Holika ring in white gold, with a 15.05-carat cushion-shaped red rubellite, enhanced by blue tourmaline and chrysoberyl beads. The delightful color combination is also found in the three remaining pieces of this demi-suite—its matching earrings and bracelet.
The contrasts of Asia and the subtle hues of Japan are captured in the Yoshino necklace in white gold (which appears softly pink) with two emerald-cut morganites weighing 55.18 carats, set with three cabochon-cut opals of 8.13 carats, tourmaline beads, pink sapphires, and brilliantly cut diamonds. An extra chain allows the necklace to be fashioned in three different styles.
For those seeking an immersive experience into the sources of inspiration for the Coloratura collection, Cartier will welcome the public—from July 15–21 and on reservation—to its historic flagship at 13 rue de la Paix. The store will be transformed into a temporary exhibition space where the Maison plans to reveal some of the secrets behind its creative craftsmanship, its know-how, and its inimitable eye for combining colors. It is an opportunity not to be missed given that Cartier will also host daily roundtable discussions, open to the public, that will cover topics as wide ranging as cinema, architecture, and the culinary arts.
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