Go Galaxy Hopping With Cartier's Cosmos-Inspired Collection
As we ascend the steps of the Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology in the Jardin des Plantes, pass its grand columns and wade into a dark gallery guided only by the illumination of the specimens, we are prepared for an otherworldly experience. The Paris museum, founded in 1635 under Louise XIII, houses one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious mineralogical collections. On this occasion, displayed alongside its ancient crystals, gemstones and minerals are the exquisite pieces of Cartier’s latest jewellery collection, Les Galaxies de Cartier.
It is an apt location to present a high jewellery collection inspired by the wonders of the cosmos, and the rings, pendants and earrings, though dwarfed by the magnificent raw crystals on display, easily capture our attention. Inventive, unexpected and interactive, Les Galaxies de Cartier comprises 14 pieces to be produced in limited numbers.
More than lavish accessories, the brand describes each piece as an “out-of-this-world” experience—literally. A cuff, for instance, charts the axes of planetary alignment uniting the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn using lustrous bronze-green Tahitian pearls in “cages” made of white gold. Beneath the cuff these cages are open so you can feel the pearls rolling on your arm as you move.
Adding a playful element to the galactic suite is a ring that represents the Milky Way—its solar systems, black holes and all. The diamonds are mounted using a trembling setting—a patented Cartier technique previously used in its watches—enclosed in a hollow rock crystal dome. The discs containing the “trembling” diamonds rest upon a base of metaquartzite, a metamorphic rock with golden inclusions of pyrite that add sparkle to the piece.
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A personal favourite is a ring, earrings and pendant in which pink gold is sculpted to form an irregular mesh of square cones, set with diamonds, moonstone and milky quartz, that reflect one another. Inspired by meteors and comets, its geometric, contemporary design experiments with shapes and combinations of precious materials.
To celebrate the launch of the collection, Cartier hosted an equally out-of-this-world gala in an adjacent gallery. An experiential dinner executed by scenographer Charles Kaisin, it involved everything from orbiting entrées to edible moon rocks, with a series of brilliant costume changes by food servers, a performance by Jackson and His Computerband and an imprompute chorus of Happy Birthday for Haider Ackermann. Other guests included Tilda Swinton, Sofia Coppola, Bianca Brandolini d’Adda, Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, Iris van Herpen and Lauren Santo Domingo. The evening concluded with dancing into the morning.
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