It has develop into extra apparent than ever in recent times simply how valuable our planet is, together with the treasured gems produced by the earth’s fixed geological actions which will have taken billions of years to type. Unbiased French haute joaillerie designer Lydia Courteille is forging her personal path by eschewing the mainstream designs of huge, established manufacturers to make jewels which can be unconventional but uncommon, lovely and very subtle. After visiting an vintage jeweler within the hope of repairing an previous wristwatch, she found a ardour for jewellery, which led her to develop into a licensed gemologist and begin accumulating 18th-century and 19th-century jewels, artist jewellery by the likes of Niki de Saint-Phalle or Man Ray and well-known 20th-century designers resembling Suzanne Belperron and David Webb. Founding her eponymous model 34 years in the past in Paris, she has been creating custom-made items for loyal purchasers since 1998.
In 2008, Courteille’s creations appeared on the catwalk alongside Alexis Mabille’s high fashion assortment and through the Prada boutique presentation, gaining her worldwide publicity, and in the present day her one-of-a-kind creations are offered worldwide. Promoting each her personal creations and classic jewellery in her store at 231 Rue Saint-Honoré that’s full of extravagant and uncommon treasures, the designer and antiquarian’s purchasers embody Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Janet Jackson and Nicole Kidman.
An knowledgeable in jewellery historical past, Courteille’s collections usually incorporate classic jewels, resembling cameos set in baroque-styled rings or a bunny ring set with vintage diamonds, and are adorned with valuable or uncommon supplies like Hair of Venus rock crystals and laguna blue opals from Peru. “As a result of I come from the antiques enterprise, I re-employ gold and stones coming from the oldest items,” she explains. “After 20 years of creation and greater than 55 collections, I really feel higher making fewer items and taking my time to make issues. Not being in a rush to create is a luxurious. As an unbiased designer, no person tells me what to do. I observe my very own emotions.”
Courteille’s jewels have a baroque spirit and duality which can be without delay unsettling and reassuring, because the wearer steps into an unknown, surreal universe impressed by flora, fauna, archaeology and historical past. There’s the crab ring set with an opal, haüynites, hessonites and sapphires from the Sahara assortment, and the seahorse necklace adorned with diamonds, sapphires, amethysts and blue opals from the Deep Sea collection. In her Amazonia assortment reinterpreting the Amazonian rainforests, frogs, snakes, creepers and butterflies are reworked into rings, brooches, earrings, bracelets and necklaces, mixing inexperienced garnets, emeralds and diamonds.
“My inspiration course of is lengthy and fairly advanced as a result of it requires being extraordinarily attentive not solely to what occurs round me, but additionally to what occurs inside me,” Courteille notes. “I accumulate concepts, phrases, recollections. Nature is a major supply of inspiration. Because the Greek thinker Plato theorized that artwork is imitation, nature invents and man copies. My jewellery is a mixture between nature, legends and archeology, attempting to reconcile man and nature, taking part in with the great thing about designs, stones and the workshops’ technical capacities.” Manufacturing is proscribed to roughly 200 items per yr, with costs starting from €10,000 to €500,000.