Dripping in gem-encrusted eclecticism, Dior’s latest high jewellery collection, Tie & Dior, mirrors the kaleidoscopic palette and saturated swirls of quarantine pastime: tie-dye
For over 20 years, Victoire de Castellane has honoured the life and work of Christian Dior, turning his beloved blooms into brightly coloured lacquers, capturing his fascination with Versailles in chandelier-esque drop earrings, and drawing endless inspiration from his childhood home in Granville, France; from the pink shade of the walls injected into high jewels, to the source of the Rose De Vents collection – a compass rose engraved in the floor. But for de Castellane’s latest high jewellery designs, the artistic director of Dior Joaillerie was enamoured with a different type of muse, offering her own glittering take on the artisanal textile dyeing technique (and firm lockdown pastime) known as tie-dye.
Captured in chromatic gem form across the Tie & Dior collection, de Castellane plays on a theme that binds her to her counterparts (womenswear creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri and menswear creative director Kim Jones), rather than Christian Dior himself — with tie-dye prints often reflected on the runway. De Castellane’s vision for the trend is far more conceptual, however, abstracting the psychedelic 1960s pattern into hypnotic clusters of colour-rich jewels made to adorn the neckline or sit upon the house’s signature mismatched earrings.
Deeply connected to haute couture, the thoughtful and intricate placement of each precious stone mirrors the movement of a delicate print embroidered onto fabric or the trail of ink subtlety spreading on paper. The result, is a rainbow-hued haze of gobstopper stones in every imaginable shape — blending round, oval, pear and marquise cuts in various gradations of colour that push the art of realism to the maximum.
Composed of more than one hundred pieces, Tie & Dior reveals double rings bursting with pink and blue sapphires, tsavorite garnets, rubies and paraiba-type tourmaline surrounding a pastel-tinted pearl or a colossal stone. A striking emerald is nestled in the centre of a bracelet edged with gemstones, punctuated with diamonds and nessed with a pistachio-coloured pearl. A pair of asymmetrical earrings meld lilac, magenta and amber stones with turquoise and deep azures on one side, and on the other, golden yellows bleed into green before oozing into blue.
Each piece feels like a free-spirited work of art, as de Castellane disrupts the rules of haute joaillerie and confidently clashes colour, contrasts textures, and experiments with proportions. Not afraid to place a pearl off-centre, or audaciously throw in an extra jewel, the collection showcases a new unrestrained facet of de Castellane’s creativity, alongside the meticulous savoir-faire of the Dior jewellery ateliers.
Despite her 20-year tenure at the helm of Dior Joaillerie, Tie & Dior marks the first time that de Castellane has worked with a significant amount of pearls. The artistic director reinterprets the silky orb in light sherbet tints of pink, orange and lemon,or dark inky pools of slate grey and olive green — revealing afanciful adornment that would not look out of place on a Maria Grazia Chiuri gown. Irregularly scattered across bracelets, rings and earrings, and dangled from the edge of necklaces, the pearls collide and contrast with a multitude of stones to further emulate the unexpected rhythm of tie-dye textiles.
While most pieces are bursting with starburst hues, some styles take a more classical route, with clear stones encircling a honey pearl, or a single ruby embedded within a shower of diamonds, elevated by a traditional-coloured floating pearl
First presented during a magical summer’s evening in Shanghai — where models wore silk dresses in every of the rainbow, tying into the jewellery collection’s never-ending spectrum — Tie & Dior blends the world of high-fashion and haute jewellery with fantastical pieces that make dressing up a work of art.
Adopting the colour-me-happy attitude that made this technique so desirable during recent times of uncertainty, Victoire de Castellane has created a collection that is bursting with optimism and joy. Who knew tie-dye could be so exquisite?