At the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival, Chopard debuted Paradise: Caroline Scheufele’s nature-inspired Red Carpet 2021 collection
Welcome to Paradise. Chopard has unveiled the breathtaking 74-piece Red Carpet 2021 collection at the Cannes Film Festival, in honour of its 74th edition. This year’s collection is Chopard Artistic Director and Co-President Caroline Scheufele’s fantastical interpretation of the Garden Of Eden with magnificent kaleidoscopic gemstones paying homage to Mother Nature’s most colourful creations. Titled ‘Paradise’, the Red Carpet collection is “Inspired by paradise, whatever that means for you,” says Caroline. “Paradise can be emotions, a place you dream about, nature or another planet entirely.” For us, paradise is wherever Chopard’s Red Carpet collection is.
A demonstration of the intricacies of jewellery making, the Red Carpet collection is born from imagination, a place where anything is possible – including sourcing a 61-carat emerald. The fanciful collection features interpretations of lush greenery; ruby-red berries; colourful wildlife and azure oceans. The high jewellery collection utilises emeralds, sapphires, diamonds and rubies, as well as some of the world’s rarest coloured stones. “We have some beautiful pink diamonds and no-oil emeralds which are extremely rare. We also have red diamonds, orange diamonds and blue diamonds which are very rare,” shares Caroline. “We have some treasures here.”
One such treasure is the exceptional 18-carat white-and-rose-gold choker which is adorned with 1,068.61 carats of briolette-cut rubies, round tsavorites, pink sapphires and amethysts, and set with a 126.29-carat oval-shaped ruby. During the presentation, Chopard also unveiled an 18-carat white gold two-tiered necklace with a 30.68-carat, emerald-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond, set with 83.15 carats of square-cut fancy intense yellow diamonds. The uniformity of its gemstones is one of the factors that makes Chopard’s high jewellery creations so exquisite. “It is extremely difficult to collect stones that look the same as one another,” explains Caroline.
The Cannes red carpet debuted dazzling rings, including the show-stopping Fire and Water pieces. Stunning alone, absolutely phenomenal worn together, the Fire ring comprises opals, yellow-orange sapphires, rubies and yellow diamonds while the Water ring boasts pear-shaped Paraiba tourmaline and brilliant-cut diamonds. A true test for Chopard’s artisans, the opals used for these designs require a delicate touch. “You break a lot of opals as they are hard to work with,” explains Christine.
As is the case with the Fire and Water rings, titanium is used throughout the Red Carpet collection, despite the difficulties the material brings. “Setting titanium is much harder for the artisans than gold, silver or platinum so it was a challenge… We only have three or four artisans that can do it and they have been learning for years. Another challenge was developing the system to colour the titanium. It wasn’t possible, but we made it possible. We are the only high jewellery company using titanium of this variety. We managed to treat the titanium in the colour of the stones, which we cannot do with gold because it is not compatible. Every time we have an unusual colour in stone, we can match it in titanium. I like to mix and experiment with non-noble metals and precious stones. The creations are more unique and that is what Chopard stands for.” Although titanium can be troublesome, its weightless quality is advantageous as it allows for longer, more comfortable wear. “It is very light, especially for earrings – if they were made in gold it would be unbearable to wear them. With titanium, you don’t feel the piece of jewellery. Actresses are happier to wear the pieces. They’re always saying ‘Wow you can’t feel it at all!’.”
The Red Carpet collection upholds classic jewellery making techniques and tradition while simultaneously being at the forefront of innovation and adopting an avant-garde spirit.
It wouldn’t be a Chopard collection without breathtaking timepieces, which Caroline herself describes as “more like a bracelet that tells you the time.” Case in point: The Esperanza watch, an 18-carat timepiece set entirely with pear-shaped and round-cut emeralds, totalling 41.89 carats.
Nature has long-been an inspiration for Chopard and, while Mother Nature also provides inspiration for competitors’ creations, Caroline describes how her designs have created a recognisable Chopard signature. “Our very first animal world collection was made for the 150th anniversary of Chopard and comprised 150 animals. Ever since, we have been including something to show our respect to nature.” This rings true from the designs through to sourcing the stones. “We try to source gems ethically. It is important to respect everyone behind the industry. When you have something so beautiful here, it is important to understand how it has been mined.”
Chopard became the official jewellery sponsor of the Cannes Film Festival in 1998 and has seen the evolution of both the festival and its own designs over the years. “There has been a big change over the last 20 years I have been coming to Cannes – I think I helped a little with that change! Cannes grew with us and we grew with Cannes. The red carpet has been an incredible platform of communication for us. When you see a beautiful piece of jewellery in a boutique and it is the right light it is one thing, but once an actress is wearing it on the red carpet it comes alive.”
- Words by Savanna Smith