Poetry of diamonds
After designing fashion accessories - hats and jewellery - Tatiana Verstraeten launches her first jewellery collection, inventing new weaves. His gems are like crazy poetry pieces, halfway between Hollywood and a tale of Perrault. Sotheby's New York is selling one of her 3 necklaces at 14 May and she will present her creations as early as the 9 May at the show GemGenève show. Meeting.- Isabelle Cerboneschi, Paris.
It was when I saw the photograph of a Boticellian blond woman wearing what could be diamond wings, or the extension of her hair, that I wanted to meet Tatiana Verstraeten, the creator of the necklace. And when I finally meet her, I wondered if she was not the result of a casting. It was if she was not chosen to play the role of the jeweller in a film of which I would be the involuntary actress: she embodied the character perfectly.
Before January, only the insiders knew about her. But sometimes a single collection can be enough to remember a name. Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue, first spotted her last August. From the XNUMX May, all visitors to the show GemGenève show *, will be able to discover her creations.
Before embarking on the world of jewellery, Tatiana Verstraeten designed jewels and hats. Like Victoire de Castellane before her, the young woman went through the creative studios of Chanel. When one enters a fashion house, one is at the service of the vision of the artistic director, one is the interpreter. And when you decide to come out, you can not rely on everything you've learned, but you can use it, and that's what she did.
The craft is infusioned: we feel the influence of fashion and style on her creations. She has a sense of the moment. "I wanted to create something sustainable, says Tatiana Verstraeten. Fashion has a particularity: one collection drives the other. There is a beauty in the ephemeral, but it is not something that attracts me. I do not like things to go away. I needed a slow creative time, while the pace of creation of the "fashion jewellery" goes very fast. We can create a collection in 30 days, while it can take years with high jewellery »
The slow pace of jewellery is better suited to the kind of woman she would like to be tomorrow. "I would like to become a mother, to start a family. So I need to do things thoughtfully. The rhythm of fashion, the eight collections a year, all suited my youth, but now I need to be more of who I am today. I already worked for 34 years! "
Tatiana Verstraeten does not come from the seraglio. She was born in Belgium, traveled extensively with her parents who worked for Médecins sans Frontières She studied Marketing and Finance in Belgium and then in London, worked in a private bank and then diversified before entering Studio Chanel as a designer. A perfectly eclectic path. "I grew up in a family environment where everyone goes to university and I went to university like everyone else. My parents had done medicine, but that did not stop my father from loving the mountain and being a great mountaineer, nor my mother from loving painting and sculpture and doing fine arts at XNUMX years old. They did not impose anything on me, nothing was prevented. They let me reconsider my journey. My parents are my roots. "
At the Chanel studio, Tatiana Verstraeten was designing jewels and hats alongside Karl Lagerfeld. He gave her a sense of rigor and elegance, she says. And it's in the house of the rue Cambon that she discovered the Métiers d’Art. It is one thing to work for one of the most prestigious houses in the world, it is another to decide to create for oneself, in one's own name, and to enter the light.
Canadian film producer Nancy Grant convinced her to launch her own line and offered to become her financial partner in this venture. "She discovered other talents before me! The biggest is the filmmaker Xavier Dolan. She is also fortunate to be supported by an Antwerp diamond dealer.
The young woman had to learn everything in a short time: professional networks, production, sales. "I come from the jewel of fashion where I had the chance to work with a lot of different materials, reinvent volumes," she explains. In fine jewellery, there is less room for experimentation: the slightest mistake costs in grams of gold. We do not do much in way of tests: we can only go forward. We must bring very precise drawings to the workshops because we know that the result will be exactly what we presented. The creative process is very different, but because I trained a lot in my previous experience, it helps me to be daring in high jewelry volumes, shapes, worn not at all classical. "
The Barbara necklace for example. Despite its 700 grams and a hundred carats of diamonds, this necklace with angel wings is easy to wear because its weight is distributed around the neck and the top of the shoulders. As for her earrings flowing like precious fringes, her signature piece, they hang behind the ear and a clip keeps them at the front, while the fringes of gold and diamonds are housed in the neck. As we do not see the clasp, they give the illusion that a little precious rain is flowing onto the skin.
For her first collection, Tatiana Verstraeten focused on diamonds. "The size of the stones was not important: what I wanted was to translate a desire, to put my style out there, to do something new." The necklace Vienne, which is on sale by Sotheby's New York from XNUMX to XNUMX May, evokes Art Nouveau, and Lalique pieces, but with a spirit of today. It is formed of a circle of butterflies that might as well be flowers, arrested in their flight. The wings are painted enamel. "I learned the technique and I painted it myself, so I can completely control the colour. I start from a transparent enamel to which I add pigments of nude or pearl, varying a little each time to give them life. The necklace features XNUMX crimped diamonds and diamond-cut moonstones to give an aquatic look to the paving.
"We no longer wear high jewellery in the street, at least not in Paris," she said. It is the cinema that has made room for these moments of adornment. And I'm happy to have Nancy Grant at my side so I can draw pieces that will be worn by artists. At elegant dinners in high society, we can see very well the rings of our neighbors, but on the red carpet, everything is far away. We look above, at all the face: it is there that an expression is born, that a woman can show her strength, and I wanted to frame her face more than her hands. "
Tatiana Verstraeten creates Hollywood pieces, huge, wonderful while wishing very hard not to shock nor disturb. She hopes her jewellery will be noticed, but it's not extravagant. It's strange this desire to want to enter the light at once, but discreetly, as if we could shine in the shade ...
GemGeneve, from 9 to 12 May, Palexpo, Geneva.
Poetry of diamonds
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GemGeneve, from 9 to 12 May, Palexpo, Geneva.