What is it about wheat this season? The humble wheat grain was the inspiration for no less than three important High Jewelry collections at Paris Fashion Week in early July. Famed jewelry maisons Chanel, Chaumet and Boucheron all featured diamond and gemstone wheat motif jewelry in their latest designs. Let’s take a closer look.
The Les Blés de Chanel collection has history as its raison d’ȇtre. Gabrielle Chanel was a big fan of the simple wheat motif, a symbol of abundance and regeneration, so it’s not surprising that the House of Chanel unearthed the style from its storied archives.
The 62-piece collection ranges from young stalks of wheat in green to bunches of wheat rendered in gold. Designs in diamonds, pearls and colored gemstones evoke the life cycle of wheat in all its natural glory.
At Boucheron’s High Jewelry presentation visitors learned that seven ears of wheat symbolize good luck, reason enough to render them in precious jewels. One of the stars of the show was a suite featuring a matching necklace, bracelet and ring designed as wheat stalks in white gold and diamonds.
Echoing the wheat motif jewelry created by Chaumet for Empress Joséphine in 1811, ears of wheat seem to wave in the breeze in the new High Jewelry collection. According to the Chaumet website: “A gift of the gods to mortals, wheat symbolizes life, the earth’s bounty and the golden days of harvest. The goddess Ceres’ sumptuous gold grain provides both physical and spiritual nourishment as it represents maternal love.”
Empress Joséphine brought the neo-classical tiara back into fashion – and emblem of power and sovereignty — prompting a resurgence of the use in jewelry of classical motifs such the sheaf of wheat, a symbol of fertility. In 1811, Empress Marie-Louise commissioned [Chaumet’s founder, Marie-Etienne] Nitot to create 150 stalks of wheat to adorn her gown and hair, which would form part of the Crown Jewels. A number of these were used to produce this tiara. Chaumet made use of the wheat motif on the ethereal tiaras of the Belle Époque and on brooches in the post-war period. – www.Chaumet.com
Enjoy this video of the Boucheron High Jewelry Collection.
Sources: Telegraph.co.uk; Chanel.com; Boucheron.com; Chaumet.com