PARIS – For Victoire de Castellane, Dior’s haute couture tradition is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Evidenced by its latest collection, Dior Print, which achieves the technical feat of transposing fabric patterns such as stripes, floral motifs, checks and tie-dye onto three-dimensional fine jewelry pieces.
The French fashion house unveiled the line, which at 137 pieces is its largest high jewelry collection to date, at a gala event at the Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina, Sicily, on Saturday.
Models wearing ivory-colored dresses designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of women’s fashion at Dior, posed like Greek statues during the cocktail portion of the event. The dinner, held on a terrace above the Mediterranean, was followed by a fashion show where monochromatic dresses showed off ornate necklaces shaped like colorful ribbons.
During a fitting in Paris two weeks before the event, de Castellane said she loved the idea of showing her designs on live models.
“All of a sudden, the jewel takes on its full meaning because it is worn, because the light captures the gestures of the models, it’s alive. Since we’re a fashion house that makes jewelry, there’s no reason not to combine the two. For me, it’s a no-brainer,” she said.
Movement is at the heart of his creations, which represent a new challenge for the Parisian workshops of the house, which must adapt the size and setting of the stones to reproduce the patterns printed in miniature on curved surfaces. “When the ribbons wave, the print must follow”, specifies the designer.
Interlocking ribbons of floral prints and rainbow stripes of gemstones form the masterpiece necklace, which comes in three gold colors and is articulated using a specialized technique borrowed from watchmaking.
“I love playing with house codes in each collection. Since we are a fashion house, I have played a lot with the movement of the ribbons,” explained de Castellane. “We’ve never done printed ribbons, and I thought it was fun to mix up the different patterns.”
Other pieces are set around dazzling center stones, such as the 8.02-carat lilac sapphire from Madagascar on the pistil of the Dior Print Emerald necklace.
De Castellane mixed the new designs with variations on previous collections, such as 2018’s Dior Dior Dior line, which explored lace; Tie & Dior, the 2020 collection focused on textile dye effects, and its most recent, Galons Dior, inspired by braids.
“I like to mix collections from different families because I think it also shows customers that they can live together,” she explained, noting that she had taken a cushion shape for a ring with a plaid pattern. composed of diamonds and sapphires.
Her playful touch was evident in a diamond and emerald piece with a briolette center stone that she said looked like “dipped in mint syrup.” Another featured a sapphire center stone, with the blue flowing through an asymmetrical arrangement of diamonds and smaller sapphires. “I designed it as if the stone were on blotting paper. It “leaks,” she says with a smile.
In addition to the seasonal collections, de Castellane produces a steady stream of one-of-a-kind creations, which can be ordered through the haute joaillerie workshop that is now housed in Dior’s renovated flagship store on Avenue Montaigne. “We make sure unique pieces arrive throughout the year,” she said.
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