Collection histoire de style – The power of couture

Medals, buttons, embroideries, aiguillettes… Claire Choisne, Creative Director of Maison Boucheron, revisits the couture heritage of Frédéric Boucheron, taking inspiration from ceremonial attire. She takes a new approach to the concept of ceremonial ornaments, metamorphosing them through the ingenious application of rock crystal and diamonds. This precious deconstruction brings to light 24 High Jewelry pieces that open the way to a new vision of couture.

Lesson 1: Les boutons – The buttons
Small round pieces used to fasten clothing.​
The studio brief: create a set of fifteen buttons in rock crystal.​
To do this, frost the material by hand using an abrasive powder that whitens the button. Select just the right grain to produce the desired creamy shade. Thanks to an old-fashioned spiral-shaped fastener, coil each button into the hair or onto a garment to adorn a collar or a sleeve. ​
120 hours of work.

Lesson 2: Le nœud – The bow
An ornament consisting of a tied strip of fabric.​
The studio brief: craft a rock crystal bow that is as supple as a grosgrain ribbon.​
To do this, cut, sandblast, and then assemble the 435 frosted rock crystal tubes. Refine the white gold framework as much as possible to lighten the piece and guarantee its flexibility as a whole. Create discreet, ingenious fastening mechanisms that allow the bow to be transformed.​
2,600 hours of work.

Lesson 3: Les broderies – The embroideries
An ornamentation technique that consists of creating a design on a fabric by stitching it with cotton, silk, or gold thread using a needle or hook. ​
The studio brief: reinvent traditional ceremonial embroidery by introducing a fern design crafted in white gold and diamonds.​
To do this, shape the framework in white gold to reach the desired volume. Set each diamond one by one. Add articulations that ensure that the leaves are supple and that they nestle against the body’s curves.​
980 hours of work.

Lesson 4: Le tricot – The knit
A regular meshwork made of a textile material crafted with knitting needles.​
The studio brief: craft rock crystal into a knit design that imitates a fourragère braid.​
To do this, cut and then hand-shape each piece of rock crystal. Sandblast the rock crystal to reproduce the appearance of braid. Balance the rigidity of this hard material with the suppleness of articulation.​
1,070 hours of work.

Lesson 5: Les épaulettes – The epaulettes
Fabric bands that adorn each shoulder to accentuate the shape of a garment.​
The studio brief: craft epaulettes that may be transformed into bracelets.​
To do this, sculpt the white gold framework into the desired volumes. Set each volute with closed-set diamonds. Guarantee the suppleness of the structure with articulations. Create ingenious clasps that transform the epaulettes into cuff bracelets.​
960 hours of work.

Lesson 6: L’aiguillette – The aiguillette
An ornament of a military or civilian uniform featuring several braided cords.​
The studio brief: craft rock crystal into a piece that appears to be a supple cord.​
To do this, cut and then sandblast the rock crystal to create the desired frosted effect. Create a sparkling diamond pavé on each aiglet and overlay it with rock crystal so that the diamonds shimmer through the crystal. ​
750 hours of work.

Lesson 7: Les médailles – The medals
Generally round pieces of metal that are minted or cast in honor of a specific person or event.​
The studio brief: reinvent the way a medal is worn through a High Jewelry necklace.​
To do this, cut each of the 15 pennants and medallions that they carry from a single piece of rock crystal. Engrave the medals according to the principle of glyptic art, which consists of sculpting a mineral by hand in hollow or volume. Carve grooves mimicking a grosgrain texture into each pennant using a diamond-tipped tool.​
2,230 hours of work.

Lesson 8: Le col – The collar
The part of a garment that surrounds the neck.​
The studio brief: create a diamond lace collar.​
To do this, set diamonds on razor-thin strands of metal so fine that the stones appear to float in mid-air. To individually craft the articulations that enable the two parts of the collar to be worn together or as two separate necklaces. To create three fastening mechanisms that secure the pieces as a whole and yet remain inconspicuous. ​
1,900 hours of work.

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