Imagine the Château de Versailles in the night time, with stunning hand-painted and sculpted ceilings, ultra-long corridors and pretty floors lit up by old-school candle chandeliers, which also cast a mesmerising warm glow on the ornaments and furniture that deck the palace’s numerous halls and salons. That was exactly the scene which Dior Fine Jewellery Creative Director Victoire de Castellane pictured in her mind for the Parisian house’s latest high jewellery showcase simply entitled Dior à Versailles. “If there’s a single image of Versailles that dominates for me, it’s the idea of jewellery illuminated by candlelight,” she explains. “That kind of light is just marvellous, but I wanted to illustrate it through the prism of memory and not interpret it literally.”
De Castellane’s starting point for Dior à Versailles was anything but literal. Instead of looking from the outside at the chateau’s regal architecture for inspiration, she drew her ideas from the décor inside, transforming crystal chandelier tassels, graphic marquetry floors and Rococo-style furniture into a breathtakingly beautiful repertoire of 60 near-abstract pieces: wavy diamond-encrusted gold ribbons intertwine with so much finesse that it is nearly impossible to tell where one ends and the other starts; statement necklaces are intentionally asymmetrical and part-rigid, part-flexible; and supersized rings are rendered in an upbeat riot of colourful gems such as yellow diamonds, emeralds and pink and purple sapphires.
For a more accurate depiction of jewellery from the château’s 18th-century heyday, de Castellane also introduced silver (fun fact: white gold did not exist then) on several styles. And like how the precious metal naturally loses its lustre over time, the silver used in the Dior à Versailles range is specially treated to achieve a seductive blackened finish.