An ode to the modern woman’s timeless style
At the recent Haute Couture week in Paris, legendary French fashion house Louis Vuitton embodied the essential image of its ideal woman in a stunning new high jewellery collection aptly named Conquêtes, French for ‘conquests’. The pieces combine two of the Maison’s emblematic signature motifs — the V and the Monogram flower — for the first time ever, in an homage to what it perceives as the seductive independence and free-spirited confidence of the modern woman.
The collection sees the sharp corners of the first motif harmoniously balanced with the softening, rounded forms of the second, resulting in highly complex yet beautiful designs. The highlights, as with any Louis Vuitton high jewellery showing, are the carefully sourced gems themselves. Here, they include sublime tourmalines from Africa, emeralds from Colombia, fiery mandarin garnets, tsavorites of impressive size, opals of ravishing depth, and rare imperial topazes. Headlining the 60 or so pieces in the collection are three exquisite necklaces, each designed around a central coloured gem.
The first necklace interlaces the motif of the letter V and the monogrammed flower in a design of emblematic resonance. An impressive 37.07ct imperial topaz hangs at its centre, and its chain glows softly with 17 opals. The lines are elegantly assertive, forming a sort of modern coat of arms. They are softened by the colours of the gems — white-pink with notes of blue. The faceting of the baguette diamonds directly on the pieces, resulting in a flawless line connecting each bend on every item, speaks of the virtuosity of the Louis Vuitton artisans.
The second necklace features a tourmaline pendant on a string of pearls and diamonds. The tourmaline at the centre of this talisman-like design is a 54.30ct Paraiba from Mozambique, rare because of its size and its mesmerizing blue-green colour, which beams out even when the stone is not in direct light. Paraiba-type tourmalines derive their colour from the content of copper and manganese, giving them a palette ranging from swimming pool blue to bright green.
What makes tourmaline so precious is the difficulty of finding more than one of each kind. Unlike emeralds, sapphires, or diamonds, they’re incredibly difficult to match. Having found the match, Louis Vuitton re-cuts all their gems to ensure that light passes through at the right angle and speed, so that the most beautiful and dazzling results possible are achieved.
A cushion-cut Mandarin garnet weighing 16.82 carats is the centrepiece of the third necklace, which celebrates the theme of victories in love. This gem is surrounded by the motif of an abstract heart and held in place by a round, structured band consisting of the familiar motifs of the letter V and the flower monogram in repeated links that are embedded with diamonds.
Accompanying these three necklaces in the Conquêtes collection are a medley of chokers, bracelets, rings, earrings, and a jewellery watch — all expressing in jewels, design, and craftsmanship the ineffable quality of contemporary feminine allure, the LV way.