LUCKY CHARM: Guests stood in line under the arches of the Palais-Royal in Paris on Monday night for a peek at the first high jewelry collection by Hong Kong-based Qeelin, which had transformed an art gallery into a series of darkened rooms where the pieces were dramatically displayed on Buddha sculptures.
Clusters of people were allowed inside, where Qeelin chairman and creative director Dennis Chan presented the collection inspired by the Mogaoku caves on the edge of China’s Gobi Desert, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas.
Some of the pieces were rooted in existing designs, such as goldfish pendants and rings, but Chan also introduced new materials like silver pearls, which appeared in a set dubbed Dragon Paw. The presentation culminated with three diamond and emerald necklaces symbolizing the union of sky, earth and people – one with a cloud-shaped medallion set with more than 1,600 diamonds and three emeralds.
“Usually, I find high-jewelry pieces are very big and sometimes a bit stiff, so I wanted to make something very flexible,” noted Chan, who founded the company in 2004 with Frenchman Guillaume Brochard. “You can have different ways of wearing it — you can combine all three together, or you wear it separately.”
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering, which acquired Qeelin in December 2012, arrived late after watching France make it through to the quarterfinals of the World Cup following its 2-0 win over Nigeria.
“Normally, the quarter final should be against Germany, which is going to be tougher,” he noted.
Turning to business, the executive said high jewelry was a creative expression of Qeelin’s Chinese culture. “When we held talks before investing in Qeelin, it was really Dennis and Guillaume’s ambition to one day be able to produce a collection of high jewelry in order to express the know-how of the brand and to make the brand even more aspirational for its customers,” Pinault noted.
Among the guests enjoying Champagne in the leafy gardens of the Palais-Royal were Boucheron ceo Pierre Bouissou, ballet dancer Benjamin Pech, singer Nolwenn Leroy and Caterina Murino.
The Italian actress makes a guest appearance on television series “Taxi Brooklyn,” which premiered on NBC last week. “I had a huge amount of fun because they put me in these gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana dresses, but I am a total nut. I show up and I have this massive meltdown in the police department,” she said.
Vahina Giocante stopped by on her way to celebrating her birthday. The French actress has a cameo as a soccer agent in “Le Monde de Fred” (“Fred’s World”), which hits French screens this week. “It’s totally unlikely,” she confessed. “To be honest, I only know the names of one or two players.”