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PARIS — Job one for Camille Miceli, Dior’s new artistic director for costume jewelry, was to plunge into the house’s immaculate archives.

This story first appeared in the January 27, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“This first pre-fall collection was about taking the codes from Dior and interpreting them for today, and to give a couture touch,” said Miceli, who is responsible for churning out jewelry for the company’s couture and ready-to-wear collections. “I think it has to be recognizable as a Dior piece without writing Dior. I’d love to achieve that.”

Her designs, which include a few hair ornaments, were unveiled this week at Dior’s Avenue Montaigne headquarters and are scheduled to be in stores by May. Highlights include curling ribbon earrings in pale gold metal dotted with ceramic roses and a mixed-media pearl range, Mise en Dior, with pearls nestled in metal cups that jangle like bells when shaken. In both bold and itsy-bitsy versions evoking Dior’s beloved lily of the valley, Mise en Dior was also developed for Dior’s couture collection, which launched this week as well.

In an effort to develop new iconic pieces, Miceli created a faceted, oval metal clasp that carries the letters CD, which will also appear as hardware on certain bag and shoe designs for which she is the artistic adviser. In a more delicate vein, the Diorose grouping, inspired by the garden, includes embroidered pink ribbon bracelets dotted with tiny handmade ceramic roses, save for one metal rose symbolic of Miceli’s love of imperfections.

For the Diorchester line, bunches of metal cones — a modern interpretation of the lily — form sculptural bracelets, rings and necklaces, some coated in enamel or filled with resin. Prices range from around 150 euros, or $210 at current exchange, for a pair of simple earrings, to 1,900 euros, or $2,700 at current exchange, for a bold necklace.

Miceli, who is known for her playful sensibility and funky experimentation with materials, hinted that more radical creations are to come. She has already developed for the couture collection a process involving large Crystallized-Swarovski Elements crystals that are heated in an oven until they explode.

“They kind of resemble semi-precious stones, but they’re not,” said Miceli of the fragments that she arranged on cagelike settings accompanied by shards of mirror, leather and pearls. As for the future, she hopes certain couture designs can be sold as numbered pieces in Dior boutiques, which is emblematic of her commercial drive. “I think it’s a shame when you design extraordinary pieces that they stay in the salon,” said Miceli. “It’s OK that everyone loves it, [but what counts most] is that it goes out of the stores.”

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