Bold Women Take Center Stage in Cartier’s New ‘Cactus’ Collection
The new, prickly, line is not for everyone.
Since the dawn of haute jewelry, the natural world has provided unlimited inspiration to the industry’s artisans; and Cartier, the French luxury-goods house founded in Paris in 1847, has always been celebrated for its bold and original use of floral motifs from wild roses, narcissus, and parma violets, to simpler poppies and daisies.
Now, Cartier has turned for inspiration to a more adventurous kind of plant for its latest jewelry line, called “Cactus de Cartier,” which went on view Saturday night in a custom-designed venue beneath Paris’s Palais de Tokyo. Slated for sale worldwide in September, the line puts an edgy twist on more conventional floral muses, opting for something, well, a little prickly.
Indeed, the rings, necklaces and bracelets in the Cactus de Cartier line rather brilliantly transform the hardy desert flower known for its resilience into soft curves and delicately proportioned cut-outs, softening the areoles and spikes into rounded domes that elegantly conform to a wrist, earlobe or finger.
Some of the pieces are simple, featuring 18-carat gold and diamonds, while others are brazen and full of color. A double-headed cuff bracelet features a geometric network of 18-carat gold planes, while the small petals of the flower are made from lapis lazuli. The range of designs starts at $15,000 for a ring to $342,000 for the line’s crown jewel, a necklace made from yellow-gold beads and topped with emerald and diamond flowers. A series of double rings, meanwhile, which find their counterpart in a pair of earrings and a pendant necklace, remind us of the connection between land and the ocean, evoking sea polyps and urchins.
The launch event fully carried out the line’s desert theme, from the exhibition design down to the hors d’oeuvres. Installed throughout a vast open space just off Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, which runs along the Seine River in Paris’s chic 16th arrondissement, small, mirrored viewing booths containing shimmering displays of the jewelry punctuated a landscape of orange sand piles, climbing up mirrored walls. Green ottomans and poufs evoked succulents scattered among the dunes; waiters circulated trays of green foie-gras balls, dipped in nuts — clever continuations of the cactus motif.
A cactus flower is not the most glamorous or romantic flower, and it’s not for everybody. But that’s exactly what strong and independent women will like about it.
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