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March 28, 2024

The Edit, Around the World: France Edition

E
ffortlessly chic, refined, sophisticated, elegant—these are just some of the ways French fashion is (often breathlessly) described. The allure of that country’s sartorial style has been lauded and admired for over three centuries, and its stronghold has only grown since the reign of the “Sun King,” Louis XIV, and his well-known penchant for fine attire established France as a center of the textile trade at the end of the 17th Century.

Each of the pieces featured here have those je ne sais quoi characteristics for which French style is celebrated.

Lauren Rubinski

Image courtesy of Marie Litchenberg

For those of us who grew up in the U.S., and more specifically, in some cases in the middle of the country (ahem…), capturing that elusive sense of easy breezy sophistication is much more effortful than it may appear. Yet with the rapidly increasing number of French designers and brands who have joined the COUTURE community, embodying French style has entered the realm of possibility.

Image courtesy of Rainbow K

Each of the pieces featured here have those je ne sais quoi characteristics for which French style is celebrated. Intricate or unadorned, full of flourishes or straightforward, they are all uncompromising in craftsmanship, materials used and distinctive design direction. And they all make this writer feel as if I could throw on one of these pieces, hit Le Marais or the 6th, and maybe, just maybe, be mistaken for a Parisian.

Image courtesy of CHRSTNS

CHRSTNS:

While grounded in traditional craftsmanship, Paris-based brand CHRSTNS showcases a fondness for experimentation in its incorporation of unusual cuts, provocative silhouettes and dynamic designs. Crafted exclusively in workshops in Beirut, Lebanon, the brand’s pieces are a reflection of the lived experiences of its Founder and Creative Director, Steffie Christiaens, who strives to articulate the complexities of an examined life through her work.

  • Image courtesy of CHRSTNS

  • Image courtesy of CHRSTNS

Image courtesy of dinh van

dinh van:

Iconic Parisian-maison, dinh van, is rooted in a sense of rebellion. The brand’s founder, Jean Dinh Van, originally followed in his father’s footsteps and had a vibrant career designing jewelry for a well-known, traditional jewelry house, before deciding to strike out on his own in in 1967 with a goal of creating jewelry that could be worn every day, everywhere, by everyone.

  • Image courtesy of dinh van

  • Image courtesy of dinh van

Image courtesy of Lauren Rubinski

Lauren Rubinski:

Lauren Rubinski’s eponymous brand embodies the perfect union of French elegance and Italian savoir-faire. The French designer’s passion for craftsmanship is reflected in each piece she creates, where gold is shaped with unrivalled precision using exclusive techniques that result in jewelry that boasts exceptional lightness while retaining a rich complexity and detail.

  • Image courtesy of Lauren Rubinski

  • Image courtesy of Lauren Rubinski

Image courtesy of Lydia Courteille

Lydia Courteille:

Artist, scientist, collector, gemologist, antique jewelry dealer and world traveler, Lydia Courteille’s jewelry is illustrative of the magical universe of curiosities and wonder she’s created since launching her eponymous brand in 1998. In Lydia’s universe, symbols, archaeology, flora and fauna reign supreme, and colorful gemstones, precious metals and adeptly envisioned enamel showcase Lydia’s spirit, imagination and multitude of passions.

  • Image courtesy of Lydia Courteille

  • Image courtesy of Lydia Courteille

Image courtesy of Maison Alix Dumas

Maison Alix Dumas:

The breadth of knowledge, talent and experience designer Alix Dumas applies to her self-named house, Maison Alix Dumas (aka MAD JOAILLEIRIE), is rivalled only by her seemingly infinite well of creativity. While still a relatively new brand, each piece of Maison Alix Dumas jewelry showcases a depth of emotion and an exceptional level of design acumen garnered from the artist’s years of experience as a bench jewelry for a prominent, traditional French house and the intimate expressiveness she infuses into her work.

  • Image courtesy of Maison Alix Dumas

  • Image courtesy of Maison Alix Dumas

Image courtesy of Marie Litchenberg

Marie Lichtenberg:

The jewelry of designer Marie Lichtenberg, while diverse, shares one important commonality:  it sparks joy. From provocative messages of endearment rendered in 14k gold and vibrant enamel to puffed up hearts to bespoke, highly visible collaborations, her work has the gravitas of an heirloom while still evoking a sense of buoyancy and devil-may-care style. In bringing her unique vision to life, Marie relies on the expertise of some of the world’s most renowned ateliers, the finest artisanal enameling and guilloché professionals, talented diamond and gem cutters and polishers, and seasoned master gem-setters.

  • Image courtesy of Marie Litchenberg

  • Image courtesy of Marie Litchenberg

Image courtesy of Messika

Messika:

Growing up surrounded by diamonds gave creative director and founder of Messika, Valerie Messika, an ease and comfort around the precious stones. Her diamond-first collections embody an ethos of everyday wearability, and her designs are uniquely cross-generational in their appeal, including among an entirely new generation of young people who seek to embrace the lure of diamonds without compromising their contemporary sense of style.

  • Image courtesy of Messika

  • Image courtesy of Messika

Image courtesy of Nouvel Heritage

Nouvel Heritage:

Founded by Camille Parruitte, Nouvel Heritage blends Parisian chic savoir-faire with an edgy, urban confidence in pieces that push the boundaries of traditional jewelry design. Under her creative direction, classics are reimagined and redefined to suit the sensibilities of a contemporary wearer. Her impeccably crafted 18k gold pieces capture the essential appeal of classic silhouettes, while also celebrating the freedom inherent in boldly expressing one’s individuality.

  • Image courtesy of Nouvel Heritage

  • Image courtesy of Nouvel Heritage

Image courtesy of Persée Paris

Persée Paris:

The lightness evoked in the work of Persée Paris belies the depth of its intention. The brand’s founder, Nawal Laoui, has a profound appreciation for art, sighting works by Picasso, Brancusi, Calder and other modern artists as ongoing sources of inspiration. Her collection is also an expression of her unique worldview, which has been impacted by her global travels and influenced by Greek mythology. She also takes aesthetic and cultural nods from her Moroccan homeland, and strives to create dazzling patterns of light and brilliance through subtly intricate applications of cuts and settings.

  • Image courtesy of Persée Paris

  • Image courtesy of Persée Paris

Image courtesy of Rainbow K

Rainbow K:

The designers behind Rainbow K, Kelly Souied and Kelia Toedano, apply their diverse yet complementary expertise and vision to the creation of their prolific collections. The duo’s shared passion for jewelry as the “ultimate” accessory is evident in their inventive and imaginative approach to the design process, with Kelly showcasing her training in gemology and Kelia’s creativity informed by historically relevant design. Their combined perspectives culminate in pieces that juxtapose classic and contemporary, seamlessly blending vintage influences with an impossibly modern aesthetic sensibility.

  • Image courtesy of Rainbow K

  • Image courtesy of Rainbow K

Image courtesy of Rouvenat

Rouvenat:

The story of Rouvenat begins with a mystery. In 1851, a young Leon Rouvenat exhibited his talent as a jeweler at the first ever Universal Exposition in London. He received instant acclaim and established his reputation as a trailblazer in the art of fine jewelry, later opening up a manufacturing facility that gave enthusiasts from all over the globe an inside view of the design and fabrication process. With the designer’s death, his designs disappeared, until 2022 when more than 3,000 period gouaches and 12 leather-bound notebooks were discovered in a Parisian antique shop and are now being brought back to life.

  • Image courtesy of Rouvenat

  • Image courtesy of Rouvenat

Image courtesy of STATEMENT Paris

STATEMENT Paris: 

Nods to Art Deco style and a unique, Decopunk aesthetic are evident throughout the STATEMENT Paris collection. The brand’s founder, Amélie Huynh, developed a strong foundation of knowledge while working for a prestigious jewelry house in Place Vendôme, which she used as a springboard for creating a brand more concerned with convictions rather than conventions. With sleek lines and bold silhouettes, the play of light and shadow are illustrative of the designer creative influences, as well as her contention that her work serve as an expression of inner strength.

  • Image courtesy of STATEMENT Paris

  • Image courtesy of STATEMENT Paris

Image courtesy of Viltier

Viltier:

Launched by friends Iris de La Villardière and ThomasMontier Leboucher, Viltier’s jewelry evokes a sense of joyfulness and curiosity. The brand’s jewelry evokes a sense of joyfulness and curiosity. The duo does not feel beholden to traditional constructs of beauty, which results in a spontaneity in their creative process. Free to design with abandon, they find inspiration all around them, taking cues from art, architecture, nature and humanity. With Iris sketching and Thomas rigorously overseeing every minuscule detail of production, the collections are a reflection of individuality working in graceful tandem.

  • Image courtesy of Viltier

  • Image courtesy of Viltier

Image courtesy of Yvonne Léon

Yvonne Leon:

Designer Yvonne Leon’s background in style and fashion is evident throughout her collection. Her pieces embody an effortlessly chic aesthetic while still embracing the sentimentality of the art form. Hailing from a long line of jewelers, the Parisian has always been attracted to precious things, immersing herself in flea markets, museums and her grandmother’s jewelry box as a child. Her eponymous collection showcases her connection to her heritage and her determination that fine jewelry serve as both accessory and heirloom.

  • Image courtesy of Yvonne Léon

  • Image courtesy of Yvonne Léon

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