Victorie de Castellane has been one very, very busy woman. Not only is the Parisian designer the head jeweller at Dior Joaillerie, a position she has held since 1998, but last month she also debuted her independent exhibition of psychedelic haute joiallerie, Precious Objects, at Gagosian‘s uptown New York Gallery. This follows hot on the heels of an exhibition in February, Fleurs d’excess at the gallery’s London branch.
A more poetic exhibition title would have been superfluous. Precious Objects is just what de Castellane presents us with; the pieces are neither just jewellery, nor quite art objects. Her creations are a hybrid of the two, made of precious stones and metals, both wearable and a beautiful sculpture. “There comes a point when the piece is no longer primarily an accessory; it becomes something larger. It speaks about concept and form as opposed to objective value,” she explains.
For three decades de Castellane, a self-taught designer, has been putting a contemporary spin on couture jewellery referencing pop culture, fairytales, flora and fauna. This latest new exhibition combines 20 pieces from her animalvegetablemineral and Fleurs d’excès collections. Precious Objects fuses the designer’s inspiration from “the synthetic wonders of Technicolor, the Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney, Hollywood screen idols and manga characters, the trash and fizz of pop culture, and the darkest depths of the subconscious,” she states. “It’s a mix of my inspirations… of nature, of the feminine universe, of romanticism,” she says.
These flamboyant jewels are not for the faint of heart. But beware, even the most dazzling of wearers may be outshone by these fantastical creations as narcotic and seductive flowers, shimmering serpents, and hallucinogenic technicolour lacquered blooms – set with flawless brilliant-cut diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies or opals – take on a life of their own.
Exhibition extended until 26 April. Check it out if you’re in New York.
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