This year marks the 200th anniversary of Louis Vuitton’s birth. To commemorate this occasion, the French luxury brand unveiled its High Jewellery Collection’ Bravery‘. The collection is essentially designed to be a tribute to the founder and the signature creations by the brand over the years. The collection consists of 90 pieces that retrace the remarkable life of the founder in the language of gemstones and illustrative manner; the collection honors the courageous journey of Vuitton – a teenager who became a legendary master trunk-maker.
The statement-making high jewelry collection, created by Louis Vuitton, artistic director for jewelry and watches Francesca Amfitheatrof, is divided into nine chapters, each one of which marks the most important events and moments in Vuitton’s life and aesthetic. “It’s a collection where you walk alongside Mr. Louis Vuitton,” said Francesca Amfitheatrof in a statement. “It’s a very linear, chronological collection that takes you through the history of what he created in his lifetime.”
The first chapter of Bravery accounts for the founder’s birth on August 04,18821, with La Constellation D’Hercule. The necklace depicts the starry night sky of the Jura mountains in eastern France, in a rich array of tanzanites, tsavorites, and opals. The piece’s composition feels almost mystical, especially for a necklace of eleven tanzanites, twelve opals, nine tsavorites that are sprinkled with 16 diamonds cut into the Louis Vuitton star logo. This custom cut makes a cameo throughout this collection. Another constant element is the scattered diamonds stars which are the house’s exclusive cuts created as a tribute to the monogram designed by Louis’s son, Georges.
“Driven by his curiosity about the world, he embarked on that incredible journey across France. That’s why we have named this collection Bravery,” explained Amfitheatrof. “It’s not a word often used in high jewelry. Yet these notions of determination and adventure are intrinsic to Louis Vuitton, and we wanted to express them through this collection.”
The L’Aventure chapter represented when Vuttion left home at age 13 after his mother died a few years ago. It took him three years and 250 miles from Jura to Paris to start realizing his dream. “He grows from the young boy into the young man that arrives in Paris,” says Amfitheatrof, who has crafted a suite of seven emerald and diamond jewels. The highlight of this necklace are the three standout diamonds: a 5.21ct pear shape, 3ct Louis Vuitton cut flower, and a 1.62ct round.
The La Flêche necklaces represent his plight with three rows of platinum, yellow gold, and white gold, entirely pavé-set with diamonds and Colombian emeralds to represent the forests using the Damier checkerboard stone marquetry. Further in the Arrow chapter, the L’Elan Vital necklace is reminiscent of how trunks were carried on a journey, reinterpreted using more than 2,500 brilliant-cut diamonds. The central V is set with custom-cut rubies, sapphires, and diamonds in an ode to the personal emblem of the founder’s grandson Gaston-Louis Vuitton.
The following chapters are Le Mythe – followed by La Passion, La Star du Nord, and Le Tumbler chapters that encapsulate the incredible legacy of the Maison. One of the most spectacular pieces is the suite of mesh-like diamond gems punctuated with fiery rubies, topped with a 10 LV cut star diamond – which can be removed and worn on a V-shape ring. In the final chapter, Le Tumbler brings a burst of color with a rainbow medley of stones is topped with cool, mesmerizing aquamarine, set into gem-set clasps that function just like the house padlock.
“At Vuitton, we bring the engineering into the design,” says Amfitheatrof of the clasp. “It doesn’t need to be hidden. It can be center stage – strong, but also beautiful. It’s true to what Vuitton is – that you’re not pretending that it’s something else.”