In Boucheron’s Latest Collection, Holographic Effects Meet High Jewelry
“I’m constantly looking for new links between light and color, but my collections always start as a dream,” says Claire Choisne, creative director of the Parisian jewelry house Boucheron. “Then we use research from our in-house R and D to turn that dream into a concrete idea.” While jewelry houses usually look to their pasts to give life to new creations, Choisne has her sights firmly set on the realm of the unexpected when designing accessories for the 163-year-old company. Her latest collection, Holographique, unveiled this week in Paris during the city’s fall/winter 2021 haute couture fashion shows, is yet another foray onto a terrain of experimentation, where traditional craftsmanship meets technology in a series of audaciously radiant, one-off creations.
The 27-piece line is striking not only due to the generous volumes of Boucheron’s signature rock-crystal pieces and opal cabochons, but also the mesmerizing color spectrum that Choisne achieved by enhancing natural materials with techniques derived from manufacturing and science. Its most showstopping pieces, such as the Holographique necklace, use an industrial process to spectacular effect: Composed of rounded slices of rock crystal and edged in white gold and diamonds around a 20.21-carat central yellow sapphire, the collar is covered in a holographic coating—made from tiny particles of molten titanium and silver oxide by Saint-Gobain, the seasoned French producer of high-performance industrial materials—that’s typically used on airport runway lights, lenses, and mirrored glass. Transparent and imperceptible to the touch, the compound brings a special luminescence to many of Holographique’s baubles, and varies in intensity depending on the number of layers applied.
Other pieces dazzle with a similar space-age energy. The collection’s Opalescence and Ondes pieces feature white Ethiopian opals that are juxtaposed with diamonds, mother-of-pearl, or strands of graduated opal beads, intensifying their chromatic allure. “To bring out the fire of opals, we created the optical illusion that their color was ‘spilling over’ onto gemstones that we set to imitate their appearance,” Choisne says. The Faisceaux brooch, featuring faceted, conical rock crystals and diamonds set in pink gold, and the flower-shaped Chromatique rings, formed by curved ceramic petals developed from digital scans of peonies and pansies, shine with an unusual luster, exemplifying Choisne’s penchant for reinterpreting classic motifs in Boucheron’s lexicon through an ultramodern lens. “We wanted to capture the colors of the rainbow, the hues of the aurora borealis, or the reflections of a soap bubble,” she says. Surveying Choisne’s iridescent designs, it appears that she succeeded in expressing the magic of the tones, too.