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PEARL JAM: “Clever, clean and modern. She just had everything,” said Christian Lacroix at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris on Tuesday night, where an award ceremony was under way for Century Xie.


The Shanghai-born designer was the winner of the Edgard Hamon Prize for Costume Jewelry for her collection of rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces inspired by the works of British architect Richard Rogers. Xie worked with blue Swarovski pearls and lithium-painted brass to conjure functional pieces with an Art Deco vibe.


“I’m a dreamer; I want to set up my own accessories brand as soon as possible, but I’m not naïve. I know it’s not enough to win a prize,” said Xie, a women’s shoe designer, as well, whose résumé includes stints at Dior, Lanvin and Paco Rabanne. Xie revealed she had just joined the Zara footwear design team, hoping to learn from the versatile high-street brand about all aspects of the business.


Prototypes of Xie’s collection will be manufactured by Edgard Hamon and exhibited at Paris’ Le Bon Marché department store in September. The award also includes 15,000 euros, or $20,529 at current exchange.


Yao Yu, who studies jewelry design at the BJOP in Paris, meanwhile, won the company’s Future Hope Prize of 3,000 euros, or $4,105, for her Paul Andrieu-inspired costume jewelry.


Lanvin’s jewelry designer Elie Top, who sat on the judging panel along with Lacroix and former French Vogue editor Franceline Prat, explained that no one was working on “nurturing the next generation of fancy costume jewelers really, but we are trying to give it a push.”


“Without costume jewelry, there is no couture,” added Jean Bergeron, owner of Edgard Hamon, which has supplied many couture houses since its founding in 1919.

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