Jeans and diamonds – the ultimate style flex
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We’re used to seeing high jewellery on the red carpet: look only to this year’s Met Gala, where Dua Lipa, dressed in a Chanel corset dress from 1992, was adorned with a brilliant-cut 100ct diamond courtesy of Tiffany & Co. But increasingly we’re seeing jewels worn as part of everyday dress; a diamond and blue-sapphire necklace worn with a simple grey cashmere cardigan, or a diamond and titanium bracelet peeking out from under the cuff of a wool coat.
“Women are keen to free themselves from the traditional constraints of what they can or should wear,” says Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard, of the high-low mix. “Jeans and a shirt with a lovely bracelet, or a sautoir necklace, looks exquisite. I love to pair jeans with diamonds.”
That maisons might position their high-jewellery collections not just for special occasions, but as investment pieces that can be worn every day, is not surprising. It helps to bolster a lucrative category in the luxury jewellery market, which grew six per cent in 2022 to $57bn, according to Euromonitor International. Tiffany & Co had a record year last year, doubling its revenue in high jewellery, while Bulgari’s high jewellery was one of its main growth drivers, alongside its high watchmaking and Serpenti lines.
Fflur Roberts, Euromonitor’s head of global luxury goods, notes how brands are styling their campaigns with more casual clothes in an attempt to appeal to younger consumers. “With Tiffany, models were wearing very casual clothes with statement jewellery. That’s a trend we’re going to see moving forward. If anything, it shows off the jewellery even more, so it becomes a statement piece.”
High-jewellery collections are increasingly featuring pieces that look far more toned-down. Chaumet’s Liens Inséparables, which was unveiled in January, features slender ribbons of white gold paved with diamonds and subtle blue-sapphire accents. “Saying ‘casual’ with high jewellery feels like a bold statement,” says Ehssan Moazen, director of the maison’s creation studio, “although I would emphasise that, regardless of the fact that we are either at the start or end of a seasonal fashion trend, we are keen on social and lifestyle trends. I was expecting the return of understated, quiet luxury and we anticipated our clients’ needs when we designed this collection.” Moazen stresses, though, that “casual” does not replace jewellery for special occasions: “What I have observed so far from our clients is that they come to us for both.”
The trend also leans into the sentiment that jewellery – no matter which category it falls under – should be shown off rather than sitting in a vault. “Women are buying high jewellery for themselves and do not want to wait for a black-tie event, they want to enjoy it,” says Scheufele. “This fresh approach is a strong trend that makes me very happy. I’ve always said, ‘Beautiful jewels are made to be worn.’”
Model, Katharina Diedrich. Hair and make-up, Sevil Tai at Noob. Manicurist, Anais Cordevant at ASG Paris. Set design, Matthew Morris. Photographer’s assistant, Camille Coutherut. Production, Jason Le Berre at Home