Cheering rose like a tidal wave as Naomi Campbell closed Messika’s high jewelry show, flashing her enigmatic smile and the house’s 2,550-diamond Akh-Ba-Ka necklace.
They were the glittering finale that saw the likes of Cindy Bruna, Taylor Hill and Alton Mason take to the runway wearing some 150 high jewelry pieces — and Adidas sportswear.
“Messika’s success has always come from thinking out of the box, so I thought it would be fantastic to showcase the most expensive collection I’ve ever done in a place that’s a bit rough,” founder Valérie Messika explained.
Though a diamond’s throw away from Place Vendôme, the gutted inside of a building under renovation was a far cry from last year’s “very chic” display in the gardens of the Ritz, where designs in collaboration with Kate Moss had paired with Alexandre Vauthier’s amped-up and vamped-up looks.
Which led to athleisure because the founder felt that if there ever was a brand that “would not [look] completely ridiculous in Adidas and in high jewelry,” that could be Messika, given its track record for being “disruptive with diamonds.”
The result felt as elevated as Valérie Messika hoped. Exhibit A: the way the geometric motifs of the Rising Soul set worn by Bruna found an echo in the elasticated cuff of her silver windbreaker. Elsewhere, the Golden Shield collar necklace gave Hill’s black tank top and golden pants a casual cool yet utterly luxurious twist.
Other PYTs wore combinations that included everything from headdresses and ear cuffs to chokers and anklets, all part of the extended “Beyond the Light” high jewelry collection that made its debut in July with “more audacious wears, adding body jewelry, lip ornaments and belly chains,” Valérie Messika explained.
“Rather than appropriate little Cleopatras and hieroglyphics from Ancient Egypt, I taped into its energy, its ways of wearing jewelry,” she continued.
As for Campbell, she certainly looked as regal as any Egyptian queen and as ready to rumble as today’s powerful women in a minimal black blazer, nylon trousers and the collection’s masterpiece set.
The front row, which included Nina Dobrev, Carla Bruni, Emiliy Ratajkowski and Gigi Hadid, who had run here after walking the Isabel Marant catwalk, was no doubt taking notes.
Dobrev described the juxtaposition of diamonds and athleisure “fresh and exciting” and said she’d be open to trying that, although she’d slipped into a glamorous red number this time.
With four projects coming out next year, and the resulting red carpets, she joked that she’d need “at least four workout options — with diamonds.”
Moments after the last model had sashayed away, along with the security detail for the jewels, the crowd surged forward to congratulate Valérie Messika before making their way to the building’s top floor, where Diplo mixed the after party soundtrack.
“Good thing I have a human tripod,” joked French YouTube star Léna Mahfouf, aka Léna Situations, as her taller videographer hoisted their camera above the photographer scrum.