PARIS — The high jewelry showcases held during couture week in January tend to be more low-key affairs than those in July: A wet and wintry Paris attracts fewer wealthy clients than in the summer months, when much of the 1 percent flocks to France from all over the world.
Still, some of the biggest houses could be relied upon to put some showstoppers on display. Here are a few highlights of the week:
What does one do in Paris when turning 160? To kick off a year of celebrations around this anniversary, Boucheron unveiled its latest couture collection as part of Vendôrama, an exhibition in a courtyard of the Monnaie de Paris that opened this month. Inside, visitors are guided around the retrospective via a smartphone app with an augmented reality rendering of Wladimir, the black cat owned by Gérard Boucheron, the house’s founder. There are interactive opportunities to learn about the craftsmanship required for high jewelry, or haute joaillerie; see historical documents like ledgers and early advertisements; and admire some famous creations from the Boucheron archive. The maison’s latest pieces are also on display. Textured gold necklaces and bracelets from the signature Serpent Bohème collection are followed by exquisite animal-inspired pieces: diamond vixen and wolf rings, finished in aquamarine or malachite, and glittering parrot brooches with feathers in stones of exotic hues. A secret watch, with a white and black diamond husky perched on a white-jade ice ledge and looking into a rock-crystal lake, was a highlight, as was a 1920s-style headband, the Lumière de Nacre, made from 574 round diamonds set in mother-of-pearl and white gold. The exhibition closes on Sunday in Paris, and will be traveling to Asia later this year.