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It’s couture week in Paris, and fine jewelry houses think that’s a perfect time to unveil their newest temptations, many inspired by nature or their own archives.


California dreaming in Place Vendôme? Van Cleef & Arpels sure is for its latest fine jewelry collection, a charming, retro-chic homage to the great outdoors of America’s West Coast. Chanel Jewelry stayed closer to home, showcasing its collection on a luxury Lego replica of Place Vendôme, built from 150,000 Perspex bricks. The concept chimed with the house’s collection of light, modern, wearable riffs on house motifs, including bows, ribbons, tweed and the sun. Also looking back, Bulgari presented its new Serpenti line of articulated snake bracelets, rings and watches, inspired by Seventies archive pieces. Meanwhile, Cartier’s Secrets et Merveilles (Secrets and Wonders) collection explored four themes — peacocks, snakes, diamonds and pearls.


Fine jewelry collections have also taken a playful turn here, from Pomellato’s mouthwatering new collection of one-of-a-kind Pom Pom couture rings and earrings, presented in porcelain cake plates like desserts to Maison Martin Margiela’s conceptual double-takes on the game (think a fused half signet-half solitaire ring, or a string of pearls suspended from a chain necklace). Flexing new jewelry techniques, Lorenz Bäumer unveiled the first design in his brewing titanium jewelry line, while Fabergé introduced a sneak peak of its fine jewelry relaunch.


Adding a romantic closing note to couture week was a new line of stylized couture flower brooches by 29-year-old Jean Yves Franch that were presented on LBDs in Didier Ludot’s La Petite Robe Noire store. Made from artsy combinations of materials such as leather, feathers and silk, the collection, dubbed Monsieur Jean Yves, is available on the boutique’s Web site. It also features pieces by a series of guest designers and artists, including furrier Quentin Veron and Israeli artist Mona Oren. The line, produced by French craftsman Lemarié, is priced from around $500 for a silk flower to $1,400 for a fur and feather creation.


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