During the most recent Paris Fashion week, MOJEH met with Dior’s fine and high jewellery creative director Victoire de Castellane. Here she tells us about Christian Dior’s superstitious nature and how it inspired her latest creations, the Rose des Vents.
We’re here to celebrate the launch of Rose des Vents, can you tell us the story?
Well I’ll start with the inspiration. I was in the garden by the pond in the Conville house where I noticed the Rose des Vents and I liked the combination of different identities mixed together – the rose with the emblematic flowers, and the star, Christian Dior’s le coinstar, his lucky charm. He found his lucky star in the street and then built his house afterwards. Together the rose, star, pond and the compass are a very nice story.
Like you said, the collection is inspired by Christian Dior’s superstitious nature and his own lucky star. Do you share his superstitions?
Maybe just a little. I’m not superstitious but I understand why and I also think that it’s nice to see this in his personality. He looks like a classic man but this idea is a little fragile and that’s why I was drawn towards designing around it.
Who is the woman that will wear these pieces?
I think it’s for every woman. Every woman can wear these collections, it’s easy, it’s delicate, you can wear it in many different ways, mother, grandmother, granddaughter.
What does colour mean to you?
I love colour and I think it was nice to have a stronger colour scheme here, such as lipid blue, jaqua and pastel. It’s for women who want to have something really fresh and something that can be soft and melts into your skin – this especially works with the mother of pearl and opal rose.
In the Middle East turquoise is superstitious with the evil eye. What does it mean to you?
I love turquoise; it’s a very strong colour. It’s natural and hard to find in precious stones. And everyone knows turquoise.
Do you feel you are with him, Mr Dior?
I always think of him as we’re in his house, and for me, I always imagine what he would say if he came back. You can’t forget the people who built the spirit of the house, it’s important to respect the designer. It’s complicated, but I’m not in too much torture over it, I think its very light and fun and of course my grandmother was always wearing Dior, so I see myself wearing this as a little girl and meeting Dior. So I reimagine it in a young and fresh way.
What do you want to offer women through your collections?
For me, not wearing ‘mumsy’ jewellery is a must. The wrong jewellery can add an extra 20 years or more, so I always want to help women with pieces that can be real, precious, and fantastic in quality and also look sexy and young. As I’m a woman and I know myself that I never want to wear something and think, ‘maybe it makes me look 20 years older’.
You work a lot with the rose, what does a rose mean to you?
The rose is the emblematic flower for Christian Dior. For me it’s the most feminine flower and the most symbolic flower for the woman and as we are in a very feminine house it’s important to keep this but mix it with modernity. That’s the most difficult thing to do as it needs to found at every level, if even in a subtle way. We can say that the rose is a very well known flower but she can also be a mysterious one. Its important for me to take out that mystery sometimes and look for different moods.
Your department was created in 1998, you were coined as an ‘enfant terrible’, bold and brilliant to be able to revive the industry, how did you do it?
I was at the time! I was arriving in the jewellery world and a point when everything was very classical and very, maybe I can say boring? No one was playing with different stones you know but as I was coming from a fashion background of 14 years creating costume jewellery I always aimed to put a more fashionable and sexy spin on fine jewellery. I don’t like to follow trends but instead a movement, to be a visionary. It doesn’t have to be real, that’s the beauty of working in couture.
Why is it so important to have women heading the jewellery industry?
I think that women are speaking to women and I think that women can do a lot of things differently. You can be a man but with very feminine sensibility, but sometimes you have men designing jewellery who have no sensibility and for me it doesn’t work. I think that women are close to other women and they know if it’s going to be unwearable and we know we like to change and can be a different woman each day, not fixed. What I love with the feminine universe is that we have so many possibilities and we can find so many different personalities for women and for me this is a fantastic inspiration. I love to create for women who don’t like to wear jewellery, who love jewellery and all these kinds who love fashion, don’t love fashion, intellectual. I’m also so happy that women in the Middle East love jewellery, it’s part of your couture and it’s a language we’re sharing. It’s really a treasure and that’s why I love to create for women, I’m making a little treasure for them.
Does it push you to continually move forward?
Yes I think so, I love the idea of a challenge and that all the women in the world are wearing a little part of me.
21st century jewellery is all about story telling, what chapter in the history of Dior does this collection signify?
Well, the story is going to be developed, and Rose des Vents, is an entirely new chapter – I love to push identities when I have something to say on it, they are all important. I only create what I believe in. Rose des Vents is maybe just an adorable collection of delicate things. It’s going to be diamond and yellow diamond but I’m not going to make it huge – earrings and rings.
It’s so discrete; it almost feels like the star he was carrying.
Yes, you can wear it both ways, for yourself and others.