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The indiscreet jewels of Victoire de Castellane

February 6 2018

[Click on the image to see the gallery]

The latest high jewelry collection of Dior cultivates the cult of the secret. Inspired by the secret corridors of the Palace of Versailles, which led from one royal apartment to another, the artistic director of Dior Joaillerie reveals some secrets about these jewels with dangerous beauty. - Isabelle Cerboneschi, Paris.


ictoire de Castellane likes to create jewels to stories: the ones she has wanted to tell, but also those that we tell ourselves, when we look at his creations. One can spend time observing rings, bracelets, earrings, and trying to decipher symbols as in the painting of the Middle Ages, which replaced the writing.

Certain figurative features recur in the jewelry of Victory of Castellane. We recognize them. There are the flowers of course, a love that she shares in a post-mortem way with Christian Dior, the symbols of luck, because a jewel is a talisman, and the skulls, which come back to haunt the windows of a season to another.

It's been twenty years since Victoire de Castellane designed the Dior jewelry line and took us into her imaginary worlds. His jewels are worth signing. The proof? Some clients expose them as works of art, without wearing them. She slips in her jewels a bit of her enchanting magical power that would turn the world into beautiful, if possible, and if that were not possible, well she would try anyway. Who knows?…

The last collection she created cultivates the cult of the secret in the great tradition of the history of the jewel. No poison ring, but drawer rings where you can slip, memento mori earrings, hidden watches, mystery jewels.

IC: Why all these secrets?
Victoire de Castellane: There was a flap missing from the collection dedicated to Versailles and it seemed important to me to create jewels around the idea of ​​the hidden closet, the secret passage that leads to the room of the favorite. There are rings that open, which rotate, pendants where we discover a skull, a little like the appearance of the ghosts of Versailles.

The jewel in your eyes, it remains a treasure?
Yes, I wanted to play with this idea of ​​treasure, which remains archaic: when one buys a jewel, it is a small treasure that one offers oneself. This translates to cassette rings, drawer rings, jewelery rings, a pendant with a lock engraved behind, engraved gold. There is something so enjoyable when you have a small jewelry collection, and you search in to find what you are going to put! An intimate relationship is established with a jewel that is worn on the skin. Everything is symbol. Nothing is bland with a jewel: it can represent passion, death, theft, the violence of a rupture, love, interest. A jewel has many meanings that are not studied enough, I think.

Each of the pieces presented seems to carry some magic in it. Do they have power?
Yes, we can do a double reading: they are ornaments but also talismans. All I create are weapons to protect women. Including the protection of the invisible. I'm thinking of rings with skulls. We always think that the shadow world is scary, but we should see it differently. It's a part of our life, death, and we could learn not to tame it, but to think it differently. The idea of ​​no longer dying, I would find it terrible.

Unlike previous collections you have not used acid colors, no paraiba tourmaline, no sapphire padparadscha ...
To express this idea of ​​mystery, I chose to use colors that are duller, darker, less vivid. The reds tend towards purple or purple, the blues are night or gray, the yellows are less bright. I was looking for faded tones, a little past. And also in the sizes of stone, I looked for different things: I did crimp some with the breech in the air, because it lent itself better with the secret compartments that were below. I did not want to be hindered. I also liked these mirror diamonds, like a puddle of water. It's a pretty romantic collection, finally ...