New Wave: the winds of change in French jewellery 

Things are changing in the world of French jewellery. There’s a new creative vision, fresh, sparkling and packed with inspiration. New, uninhibited designers are riding the wave of timeless Art Deco trends and clean lines, producing architecturally sophisticated collections. We take a closer look at the whirlwind of inventiveness coming out of the French New Wave as it shakes up conventions and brings future classics to life.

Jolly Bijou, Art Deco in a New York state of mind

Caroline Denis, French jeweller and founder of Jolly Bijou, draws inspiration from the clean lines and geometry of architecture. Now settled in New York, she boldly combines the stylish Art Deco mood with the majesty of New York’s grid-like spaces. This is one of the characteristic features of New Wave jewellery: taking architectural lines and applying them to geometric, smart, and refined pieces.

When she draws, Caroline Denis always starts with a geometric shape. She mixes sizes, plays with contrasts, and integrates baguette- or princess-cut stones depending on her preference. Her jewellery perfectly reflects her approach to design, which comes through in the Orb collection, a range of pieces that began with a bracelet. The collection showcases the astronomic beauty of an opal cabochon on a solid gold cuff, facing two tourmalines set in a bezel. Extending the space metaphor, the ring features two central emerald-cut stones, surrounded by two satellite cabochons to create a cosmic experience.

Qitteri, a kaleidoscope of gems  

Qitteri doesn’t seek originality at all costs. Rather it strives to move the wearer of its jewels, to create a delicate thrill triggered by striking beauty. The brand is all about clean and simple lines. Why? To focus on the essentials and create the “classics” of tomorrow: universal jewellery that transcends time and fashion.

In its bid to highlight true beauty and forge a new and colourful world, the brand has called on the alchemist of light: architect and designer Michel Tortel. His research opens up new aesthetic avenues by marrying shapes and combining rare gems selected for their colour and brilliance. The architect’s master stroke is that he reveals the shine and nuances of gems, no matter what time of day.

That is the essence of all the collections, including Classymetry in which Michel Tortel has explored asymmetrical dialogue and a range of solutions to frame the stones, presenting them from as many angles as possible. He allows light to enter in a multitude of different ways and reveals the sides of the stones that are usually hidden by mounts.

Sibylle Von Münster, architectural miniature jewellery

Sibylle Von Münster is one of those people who make their mark early on. Her signature is an alluring quartet: fragmented curves, architectural shapes, movement and finesse. Resolutely contemporary, each piece revolves around the ideas of openness and closure to suggest movement in the shapes. Around this central axis, the main themes unfold and her refined style is inimitably delicate and light. The piece is not only a decorative object, it is an ode to movement.

With her nods to and suggestions of modular and mobile forms, Sibylle Von Münster is deeply inspired by architecture and draws on her sources of inspiration to create jewellery that she describes as “architectural miniatures”.

Her hallmark Fragment collection is a breathtaking illustration of the power that a minimalist graphic style can wield. Her fragmented circle creations belong to the refined and sophisticated architectural trend that is so beautifully expressed in French New Wave jewellery.

Van den Abeele, eccentric academic art  

Delphine Crech’Riou loves colour, contrast, breaking with convention and setting a tone. This comes as no surprise, because with her first brand, Hipanema, she had already set these golden rules in place! At Van den Abeele, the Parisian questions the academic character of Parisian know-how and blends it with the uninhibited boldness of costume jewellery. Her idea is that perfection lies somewhere between the classic and the eccentric.

In the Rainbow collection, the jeweller revisits the elegance of 1920s shapes. Symmetry and graphic lines celebrate their union with a palette of zesty colours that draw you into the sophisticated and uninhibited world of the Roaring Twenties. The collection exudes the scent of summer, elegant evenings at quirky parties.

And that is New Wave. A jewellery movement that oscillates between curved lines and assertive geometry. A movement where nothing is impossible. A movement that turns established codes upside down, constantly questioning the limits of existing style. A movement that could be seen in pieces created by the brands attending the summer event at the Precious Room on 3 and 4 July. While this New Wave brings the touch of timelessness that fine jewellery holds so dear, elegance and know-how are still the watchwords for these master jewellers of a new era.

In its aim to accelerate the development of French watchmaking, jewellery and tableware, Francéclat studies and understands markets, drives creativity, stimulates innovation and brings the right people together to boost their international reach.