Presented at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, House of Dior’s new collection Archi Dior pays homage to the New Look of 1947. Once again, Victoire de Castellane has outdone herself and turned her gaze towards a glorious past in which the great couturier regarded evening dress with the eye of an architect. This was de Castellane’s point of departure, taking the silhouette, the cut of a skirt or jacket, the richness of embroidery and fringes, and the structure of a garment, and interpreting them in her ingeniously creative way, giving life to a majestic and supremely elegant jewellery collection.
«I began working on this collection two-and-a-half years ago», says de Castellane. «Twenty-three unique pieces, plus 21 of fine jewellery, each of which required between 18 and 24 months’ work. For example, the ‘Corolle’ choker required 2500 hours to be cut into 160 sections so as to set 300 baguette-cut diamonds, one by one, and 560 hours were needed to complete the setting of 4500 stones for the ‘Bar’ bracelet. But the greatest challenge has been to treat the metal as if it were fabric, obviously with a completely different weight and softness. For Archi Dior I worked with the jewellery’s primary colours, those of the four most ancient stones, matching white diamonds to yellow and orange fanta stones, emeralds with blue and pink sapphires, and every now and again putting the ‘cousins’ Paraíba, tsavorite and demantoid garnets here and there. In all, a great family!»
The Corolle collection, which in 1947 marked the beginning of new direction in fashion, is rewritten in a language of diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies. The evening gowns ‘Cherie’ and ‘Aladin’ come alive in the pleated effect of the ‘Milieu du Siècle’ pavé ring and earrings, in the sumptuous ruches of the ‘Ailée Diamant’’ bracelet, the definition of the ‘Bar’ cuff, and the volume and drapery of the‘Envol Drapé’ ring.
A unique concept that creates intriguing synergy between two universes of excellence, those of Haute Jewellery and Haute Couture.
Text by Federica Frosini
September 29th, 2014