Chopard, the Swiss fine jewelry and watch firm with a red-carpet tradition, is tapping into one of the season’s highly anticipated movies, the musical “Nine,” for a special collaborative collection.
This story first appeared in the November 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, Chopard’s co-president and artistic director, worked alongside Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood to create pieces for the characters played by Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard and Kate Hudson.
“Nine” focuses on film director Guido Contini, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who struggles to balance his work, life and mostly women — in relationships with his wife, mistress, muse, agent and mother.
The jewelry pieces are geared to each of the leading actresses and range from a line bracelet with 24 carats of heart-cut diamonds worn by Cotillard, who portrays Contini’s wife, Luisa, to a choker comprising 20 carats of emerald-cut diamonds backed on black lace.
Kidman, who plays his muse, Claudia, wears striking chandelier earrings set with Asscher and oval-cut diamonds and a cuff with 97 carats of Ashoka cut diamonds. Hudson, who plays Stephanie, an American Vogue editor, wears more playful pieces, such as a white gold ring with a large golden pearl partially enclosed with spiraling diamonds. There also were pieces created for Sophia Loren, Contini’s mother, and Judi Dench, who plays his confidante and costume designer. No items were designed for Penélope Cruz, who portrays Contini’s mistress.
“It has been really interesting to create pieces that reflect the different women’s personalities,” Gruosi-Scheufele said. “In addition to that, the story takes place during the 1960s in Italy, and for this, the jewels had to reflect not only each character, but the style of that particular historical era.”
Chopard will invite top clients to preview the pieces the week of the film’s New York premiere on Dec. 15. They then will go on sale to the public.
Gruosi-Scheufele and Atwood were introduced by Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the Weinstein Co., which is producing the film.
Through Chopard, Gruosi-Scheufele long has supported the cinematic arts. The firm sponsors the Cannes Film Festival each year and tends to dress top actresses for their Academy Award moments — Cotillard and Cruz each won Oscars while wearing Chopard. Gruosi-Scheufele also has designed the Palm d’Or trophy and Trophee Chopard, which are given to winners of the annual film festival.
While the “Nine” pieces, meant to reflect each actresses’ character, are precious — values can escalate into six figures — they also had to be worn while the women were dancing and hold up to vigorous physical activity. So Gruosi-Scheufele created copies of the jewels for the big dance numbers. The authentic ones are used in close-ups and lower-key scenes.
“[Director] Rob Marshall is a perfectionist,” said Gruosi-Scheufele, noting that he stressed the costumes and jewels should not limit the movements or natural expression of the actresses.
The lace-backed choker created for Cotillard’s character, for example, is a key prop in a striptease scene.
“She has to take it off and throw it in the middle of the crowd,” Gruosi-Scheufele said. “For sure, she couldn’t do that with a real diamond necklace.”