Boucheron’s Idea of High Jewelry: A Gem for Your Hoodie

Claire Choisne, Boucheron’s creative director since 2011, said she set out to break all the rules while she created the house’s new 30-piece high jewelry collection. Called More is More, it is to be presented by appointment this week at the jewelry house’s hôtel particulier headquarters on Paris’s Place Vendôme.

“We started working on it in 2020, during the second lockdown,” Ms. Choisne recently wrote in an email. “There was a lot of anxiety all around, and I felt the need to absolutely free ourselves of any creative constraints.”

She said she wanted to “bring joy by creating a sense of joy and comfort” through simple volumes, high contrast, exaggerated scale and optical illusions inspired by the world of comic strips and cartoons.

Deciding that she would not create the traditional high jewelry parures — elaborate gem-laden sets of matching necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and other pieces — gave her a chance to rethink her design process, she wrote: “We invented new looks that we would not have imagined naturally.”

Among the creations are Pull Me, a citrine-accented hoodie adornment, and This is Not a Ring/This is Not a Scrunchie, six pieces that actually may be worn both ways. There also is In the Pocket, a functional pocket — worked in stripes of onyx and brilliant-cut diamonds with accents in mother-of-pearl and gray lacquer — that can be affixed to clothing with magnets.

A companion bracelet, called An Apple A Day, is a Pop Art-inspired spherical design in tsavorite, black lacquer, titanium and white gold that the designer likened to an artistic installation because it may be worn as is or separated into a cuff and two rings.

Explaining her approach to the concept of trompe l’oeil — in English, deceiving the eye — to the artisans in Boucheron’s Paris studio proved to be more complicated than she had expected, Ms. Choisne said. “I told them, it’s 2-D,” she wrote, “but it must give the illusion of being 3-D, but it’s still 2-D.”

Designing a high jewelry pocket proved vastly different from designing a necklace, she wrote, because the pocket had to sit securely on clothing (rather than just rest on the body), be able to take the weight of a phone or a hand, and accommodate movement.

Ms. Choisne and her team found the solution by combining Lycra, the sportswear textile known for its elasticity, with titanium, which is lighter than gold. The pocket may appear to be rigid, but it actually is articulated, composed of plates made on a 3-D printer and held together by titanium screws.

The 2-D appearance is echoed in Do Not Iron, six creations that look more like iron-on patches than the one-centimeter-thick brooches they are. The designs include a pansy, a cicada and the house’s Jack design, a motif inspired by audio connection jacks that was introduced by Ms. Choisne in 2019. Here, it is worked in white and yellow gold and set with round- and baguette-cut diamonds outlined with black lacquer.

The collection, Ms. Choisne wrote, is “a vision of high jewelry that’s precious but never boring.”