I found myself at the Lalique Interiors Showroom in Manhattan on a recent morning. I had visited the new (and oh-so-elegant) space earlier this year when the famed company was unveiling the Lalique Maison collection of Art Deco-inspired furniture and accessories. That stunning grouping was the focus of a story in our April “Animal Magnetism” issue.
This time, the dazzling was of a different kind – smaller in scale but no less grand in impact.
WAG was invited to preview the 2013 Fine Jewelry Collection, “Soulmates,” and also witness the unveiling of the “15-Day Table Clock,” a limited edition timepiece created in collaboration with Parmigiani Fleurier, the noted Swiss watch company.
A devoted jewelry lover, I was in heaven as I got to hear all about the new jewelry line inspired by the romantic myth of Eros and Psyche. The collection is filled with iconic imagery related to that tale, from butterflies to arrows, serpents to the most delicate buds of muguet.
In homage to René Lalique himself, the line features a combination of Art Nouveau and Art Deco influences – and materials.
It’s a high-style mix of precious and semi-precious stones fashioned into a very distinct look.
It’s all been created under the vigilant and artistic eye of Quentin Obadia, head designer of Lalique France, who shared his thoughts on the work that he said never strays far from the enduring influence of René Lalique.
“We wanted to be respectful and true to this history,” Obadia told me. “Lalique at the time was choosing his materials to fit his designs.”
This new collection carries on the tradition, filled with diamonds and moonstones, aquamarines and citrine, orange and pink sapphires, emeralds and rubies, mandarin garnets and tanzanites, lapis lazuli and tsavorites – yes, it’s quite an array.
There are necklaces and rings, pendants and earrings, so many of them created in ways that can be transformed. Remove the necklace elements to be worn as brooches or pendants. Delicate cascades can be added to earrings to take them from daytime to night.
Obadia showed off example after example, explaining how the lacquer was created for one pin, holding it up to the light coming through the oversize windows to demonstrate its translucence. He then explained how a delicate lace-like effect was created to cap the Psyche’s Wings ring (which he encouraged me try on. Swoon.).
Such precise work, though highly artistic, does not come easy.
“Everything is a challenge, to tell the truth,” he said with a laugh. But it was clear that Obadia, who came to Lalique from Boucheron, enjoys it immensely.
Lalique revived its fine-jewelry line last year with “The Sacred Fire Odyssey,” a rebirth of the line after 100 years. This year, the element in the spotlight is air – and it truly was a fanciful flight through some incredible designs.
My tour concluded with a stop at the table that was holding four examples of the Parmigiani Fleurier Lalique Special Edition “15-Day Table Clock,” including the one-of-a-kind Black Lalique Crystal edition. Truly, the only one in the world, the sleek piece boasts incredibly rare black crystal, which is very difficult to create. If the $500,000 piece sells before you can grab it, fret not – there are 15 each being made of clear, blue and red crystal for this year, available for $98,000 each.
The “Soulmates” collection will be available in boutiques this coming month. For more, visit lalique.com.