While we’ve been sitting at home keeping each other safe, Cartier has been busy bringing our fantastic journeys to life. In the House’s latest fine jewellery collection, we embark on a fabulous journey to the ends of the earth, along with all the splendour of nature that can be encountered along the way.
“This collection was created during a pandemic and the need to travel was very important to us,” says Jacqueline Karachi, Director of Creativity at Cartier. “In fact, we created this fabulous journey because we couldn’t travel physically.” The Beautés du Monde collection, a vivid embodiment of Cartier’s design prowess, is indeed a journey, and not just one. It combines a yearning for travel with the intoxicating influence of the natural world and the geometric and figurative sensibility of Cartier’s craftsmen.
“The designer was interested in the civilisations of Mesoamerica, so she used the triangle motif, which is often found in that culture, and the bluish green colour illustrating the river,” says Karachi. “She was inspired by the Aztec fertility goddess Chalchiuhtlikue, whose name partly means jade, the two rows of beads symbolise the river and the rubies carry the streams of the Amazon. In fact, it’s a meeting of goddess and nature, and you can see how the designer went on a far-flung, quite extreme, dreamy journey to create this jewellery. But what’s interesting is that once you know the story behind this jewellery, you can see it, and you can see the dynamics of the ruby in the flow of water.” This enigmatic imagery is a hallmark of Cartier, and it is used in the collection in many fascinating ways. In Apatura, for example, the fire of Australian opals is used to depict the fine detail of a butterfly’s wing. As well as the textural dimensions of Ivana’s geometric layers. “We love the fact that the same piece can have several interpretations, and we tried to capture the essence of each inspiration in the design,” says Karachi.
So what is the Cartier way? Items such as the Water Aspis, which is as close to a snake as you can get without being a snake at all, are a great example of how Cartier designers are able to evoke emotion without being too literal.
Something new and unique about Beautés du Monde also has to do with the choice of stones – in particular, the hot combination of onyx, diamond and rubellite. The Stria, Palmea and Aporia sets are a revelation, each consisting of four pieces: a necklace, bracelet, ring and earrings. But when considered together, these three sets form a kind of super set of 12 pieces thanks to the use of white gold and the combination of three stones in each piece.
All in all, Beautés du Monde exudes a lightness and brightness that is not always inherent in fine jewellery – the very nature of working with such expensive materials can limit the creative flight of fancy. But this is not the case with Cartier. The collection is a riot of colours and contemporary forms, a true celebration of all that life has to offer, which is simply a pleasure to look at. “In every collection we like to propose new combinations of stones, and for this collection it was very important to create a very joyful collection, and for that we needed colour and energy,” says Karachi. “It symbolises life and we wanted to create a playful collection because we really need it because of the pandemic. We, as women, need the energy that is encapsulated in the power of colour.” And if colour is the place to find energy, Beautés du Monde is simply bursting with it. Whether it’s the power of the designers’ imagination or the magic of stones, one thing is for sure – Mother Nature has never looked so good.