Synergy in stones
“Bleu de Jodhpur,” the latest fine jewelry collection by Boucheron, is the fruit of an artistic symbiosis between creative director Claire Choisne and gem hunter Thierry Robert.
She’s the creative director and he’s the gem hunter. Claire Choisne and Thierry Robert work closely together, pooling their talent and dedication to perpetuate the spirit of the house of Boucheron. Choisne’s esthetic sense meshes perfectly with Robert’s expertise, as exemplified by the brand’s new fine jewelry collection, “Bleu de Jodhpur.”
Following in the footsteps of Frédéric Boucheron, whose audacity she admires, Choisne found in old India, the land of the Maharajas, a source of inspiration that lends itself to a contemporary interpretation. Jodhpur, a blue city swathed in light, echoes the house’s emblematic blue cabochon, and its founder’s desire to stake out his own place in the sun at 26 Place Vendôme in Paris.
“We want to push the envelope in terms of technique.” Claire Choisne
Building on these historical links, Choisne sketched out stunning designs and Thierry Robert traveled the world searching for the stones that would bring them to life: India, Thailand and Geneva for the colored gems; Antwerp, Tel Aviv and New York for the diamonds. Every year his job becomes more of a challenge, due to the depletion of the mines over the past decade. “When we go on a purchasing expedition today, we’re never sure what we will find,” he reports. These limitations become key factors in the dialogue that fuels their collaboration, requiring constant adjustments. “It takes us months to get from the drawing to the 3D stage,” Choisne explains. While the creative director dreams up the jewels, sometimes the gem hunter has to temper those dreams with reality. “We’re always squabbling,” Robert says with a smile. “Claire follows her inspiration and comes up with beautiful designs, but what she pictures in yellow I might only have in green.”
It’s what they laughingly call “the charms of the profession”: a stone that changes color after cutting due to the loss of volume, or another that breaks under the strain. But it’s also a source of excitement that stimulates their quest for perfection. “We like to push the envelope in terms of technique,” Choisne adds. Boucheron allows her “tremendous creative freedom” to design ambitious pieces, like the Jodhpur reversible necklace inspired by the Indian tradition of two-sided jewels (one side with enamel for the daytime and the other with precious stones for the evening), combining diamonds, sapphires, rock crystal and Makrana marble — the same marble that was used to build the Taj Mahal. Another necklace, the Nagaur model, is adorned with diamonds and grains of sand from the Thar Desert.
Already hard at work on their next project, the talented duo will soon take off for Hong Kong, to hunt precious stones together for the first time.
Claire Choisne's favourite hotels in IndiaUmaid Bhawan Palace
Circuit House Road
Bal Samand Lake Palace