The creation of the universe is one full of mystery and magic. Louis Vuitton's Deep Time High Jewellery Collection, the brand's largest to date, takes us on a journey to the exact time and place these cataclysmic events happened through two chapters. Chapter one – Geology - tells an exciting story of the birth and formation of our planet, first through lava and molten rock, followed by oceans, tsunami waves and shifting tectonic plates. Chapter two – Life - explores the origins of living organisms, from the spiral formation of DNA cells to the creation of flora and fauna. Let's take a closer look at the three design elements that Amfitheatrof uses to bring this incredible story to life.
Amfitheatrof illustrates the epic tale of the birth of our planet and the creation of life by setting contrasting materials together within a single piece. Throughout the collection, Amfitheatrof's vision unfolds through the melding of platinum and yellow gold. This is first seen in chapter one's Volcano High Jewellery earrings, where bars of platinum and gold are set with pavé diamonds and two pear-cut spessartite mandarin garnets, accentuating the different tones of the metals. The use of the alternating metal bars motif is continued in the matching Volcano High Jewellery cocktail ring. The next piece to feature this mixing of metals is the Rupture High Jewellery necklace. It is a physical representation of the seismic movements and signals of tectonic plates that caused, over hundreds of millions of years, the separation of the supercontinent known as Gondwana into the continents we know today. Here, Amfitheatrof uses platinum and yellow gold to create "one of Deep Time's most daring and audacious jewels".
Moving on to chapter two, the Fossils High Jewellery necklace is composed of tubular-shaped strands of platinum and yellow gold set with an impressive display of pavé diamonds. The matching earrings follow a similar design pattern created by two interlinking hoops of platinum and yellow gold. Also included in chapter two is the Plants High Jewellery necklace, which uses the two metal shades to accentuate the vivid colours of the rubies and emeralds present throughout the piece. The combining of different metals in a single jewel is something we don't see very often in the high jewellery world. It is proof positive that design rules are being left behind, allowing clients and admirers to appreciate not just the gemstones but also the frames they are set in. This also allows designers to experiment beyond traditional methods.
Louis Vuitton's Deep Time High Jewellery Collection not only pushes design boundaries but also features a record number of rare stones. When dealing with something as important and vast as the history of the planet, Amfitheatrof felt that there needed to be an unprecedentedly strong emphasis on coloured gems. This collection certainly achieves this goal: "The stones – these treasures that span millennia – will bring you right there, to the beginning of the planet and into a history of the world and its mystical geological legacy." Says the Artistic Director.
We see colour introduced in the collection in the very first suite of chapter one. The High Jewellery necklace in the Gondwana suite features seven exceptionally rare no-oil Colombian emeralds, weighing in at 11.54 carats. These gems are spread dovetail across the seven platinum and diamond spheres of the chocker-style necklace. In the following suite called Volcano, the High Jewellery cuff boasts a 53.49-carat cushion-cut tourmaline accentuated by diamond sprays. Next comes an incredible oval-cut 40.80-carat sapphire from Sri Lanka set to represent the colossal waves of tsunamis in the Wave High Jewellery necklace. With its rare velvet-like royal blue hue, this gem draws one into the beauty and wildness of waves.
However, perhaps the collection's most important stone is featured in The Flight ring, from the largest suite of the Deep Time collection - a 7.67-carat pigeon's blood Mozambique ruby.
While the Flight ring contains that impressive gem, it is the Bones High Jewellery necklace which is the most complex creation ever made in Louis Vuitton's history. The materials of the bib-style piece take you on a geographical journey, featuring a 43.58-carat opal from Australia, a pear-cut 20.93-carat Paraiba tourmaline from Mozambique and 91.74-carats of emerald-cut tanzanites from Tanzania. Furthermore, the matching bracelet also features 19.64 carats of impressive emerald-cut tanzanites. "At Louis Vuitton, we are adventurers, travelling to extraordinary, unexpected places", says Amfitheatrof, and this piece allows all who see it to travel alongside her.
A final defining design element of the Deep Time High Jewellery collection by Louis Vuitton is versatility. There are many pieces in this collection that are transformable or can be worn in several different ways. Over the last five years, there has been a directive around transformability under Amfitheatrof's reign, one which has continued to gain momentum in each of her High Jewellery collections. The first transformable piece in the collection is a medallion-style necklace from the Volcano High Jewellery suite, which can be worn as a brooch. The Flight High Jewellery ring can be worn as either a pure solitaire or with a dazzling diamond jacket. It is the only transformable ring in the collection. The 40.80-carat sapphire from the Wave High Jewellery necklace can be worn as a pendant on a separate chain. The pear-cut 20.93-carat Paraiba tourmaline from the Bones High Jewellery necklace can also be worn separately. The Rupture High Jewellery necklace can be split, creating two different necklaces. This is also true for the Fossils High Jewellery necklace.
Full of vivid gems, intriguing settings, and a variety of styles, it's safe to say that Louis Vuitton's Deep Time High Jewellery Collection is exciting and delightfully fresh. Let's see what breathtaking gems the second instalment will bring!