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This story first appeared in the July 5, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Even as austerity measures continue to dominate headlines, Victoire de Castellane’s latest high jewelry collection for Dior dished up a moment of sugary escapism. Dubbed Le Bal des Roses, the line evoked 12 “flower women” dressed for a ball.

Honoring Dior’s couture tradition and the house’s emblem bloom, the rose, de Castellane said she wanted the petals to emulate the embroidered folds of an extravagant ballgown’s skirt. “Seeing as the rose is a flower that dances, I thought it lent itself to the idea of a dress,” said the designer. With each one-of-a-kind piece named for a legendary Fifties ball, the heady collection includes seven rings, two necklaces and three pairs of earrings, their skirt petal shapes made from sculpted colored ornamental stones, such as chalcedony, and glittery gold set with myriad rocks. They were presented in individual windows in a darkened structure in the gardens of Paris’ Musée Rodin on Monday following Dior’s couture show there, with each piece lit from beneath to better intensify their colors.

The delightful Bal Champêtre, which translates as “Bucolic Ball” in English, ring features a diamond-set rosebud sprig and opaque pale green chrysoprase petals on the main flower, while the asymmetric Bal Bleu Nuit (Night Blue Ball) ring has curved sea-blue chalcedony petals. “For me it’s the tormented rose. I imagined a stormy night, with her dress blowing back,” said de Castellane, who herself was a fixture on the ball scene in the Eighties. “Balls don’t exist anymore. They were really these occasions to wear a dress. Now it’s just parties, people don’t go out to dance any more. These flowers will dance.”


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