Red carpets and fawn pendants: Chopard at the Cannes Film Festival

From Chopard’s 2021 Red Carpet Collection  

The Cannes Film Festival opened its 74th edition earlier this week. The first fully-fledged film festival to be held since the pandemic began, it not only rings in the revival of cinema, but also the red carpet — albeit, a smaller, sober and greener carpet. Leading the green charge is Chopard, the luxury jeweller behind some of the most iconic jewellery pieces on the French Riviera, as well as the design of the Palme d’Or award.

“The story began in 1997,” says Caroline Scheufele, the artistic director and co-president of Chopard, over e-mail. “During a meeting with Pierre Viot [then president of the Cannes Festival], he invited me to redesign it for the 50th anniversary.” Given her love for cinema, she accepted the “fantastic challenge” and, as she recently shared with Variety, took the statue to her office in Geneva. The result: the Palme d’Or as it stands today — a piece of haute joaillerie in its own right, featuring the palm leaves motif (that represent the trees that line the famous Boulevard de la Croisette, as well as the Cannes coat-of-arms). The leaves, fashioned out of 118 grams of 18 carat gold, look like they’ve just been ruffled by a gentle breeze and are cushioned by a rock crystal in the form of an emerald-cut diamond. No two crystals are the same, which means that every trophy is one-of-a-kind.

Caroline Scheufele, artistic director and co-president of Chopard

Caroline Scheufele, artistic director and co-president of Chopard   | Photo Credit: Alex Teuscher

Scheufele adds that each of the pieces is crafted with consciousness and a focus on sustainability. The gold is fair-mined and “five of our Chopard expert artisans devote no less than 40 hours to hand-crafting the festival’s most coveted treasure in our Geneva workshop”.

Jewels like berries

Chopard’s focus on sourcing ethically-mined gold can be traced back to 2012, when Scheufele met Livia Firth, the founder of Eco-Age, at the Oscars. “When Livia asked me where our gold came from, my reply was ‘from the bank’, but that wasn’t the expected answer. There are millions of people digging up gold, often working in unsafe conditions and unfairly compensated for their work. From that moment, I was determined to embark on a mission to change not only Chopard as a company but also the entire industry,” she says.

The Palme d’Or

The Palme d’Or  

Today, Chopard sources all of its gold and diamonds through traceable routes and is working to put in place a system that can ensure the ethical mining of coloured gemstones. These practices are the bedrock of all the jewellery they produce, including the 2021 line. The theme, says Scheufele, is Paradise “where precious stones are picked like berries, and plants and animals offer their songs and spectacular colours”. Seventy four exquisite pieces come together to form this collection inspired by a lush Garden of Eden, including an elephant brooch encrusted with diamonds flanked by a solid emerald dome; ruby earrings that resemble tropical flowers; and an emerald necklace with a pendant featuring a sleeping fawn fashioned from yellow sapphires.

Conscious storytelling

Speaking about post-pandemic jewellery buying trends, Scheufele says that “conscious offerings and eco-friendly narratives will be of top priority”. Which is in line with a recent McKinsey research that indicates that nine in 10 Gen-Z consumers believe companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues.

Chopard’s 2021 Red Carpet Collection

Chopard’s 2021 Red Carpet Collection  

It is also expected that brands will be increasing the number of collection releases and creating dedicated lines that are focussed on more accessible pieces to enable “micro-splurges”. “Transparency is a key value,” says Scheufele. And while she agrees that technological innovations and trends are inevitable in the industry, with fine jewellery, it boils down to “the magic of the world’s rarest and most beautiful stones, unbridled creativity, and ancestral craftsmanship. When you combine the two, you achieve something truly unique.”

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 8:53:30 PM |

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