THE POWER OF COUTURE, HISTOIRE DE STYLE’S NEW CHAPTER of boucheron
Every year in January, Boucheron tells a new ‘Histoire de Style’ through a high jewelry collection that reinterprets the Maison’s archives. In 2024, Claire Choisne revisits Boucheron’s couture heritage.
Creative director Claire Choisne zoomed in on the details of ceremonial attire for the 24 pieces in “The Power of Couture.”
And there’s no shortage of textile-inspired designs, from scarf-like adornments woven with pearls and diamonds and a diamond lace necklace from the 1870s to a 1958 knitted ribbon necklace. More recently, grosgrain ribbon is one of the motifs of its bestselling fine jewelry line Quatre.
All this made Choisne want to address her own long-standing preconceptions about couture as “too frilly, too girly” and explore it — minus the fuss.
To avoid that pitfall, the creative director reached instead for the trappings of ceremonial outfits, be they royal regalia or military pageantry.
Take the getups of the late Queen Elizabeth II, a recurring reference for Choisne. “When you look closely, they have a profusion of couture elements — buttons, embroideries, collars — that could be stiff or fussy,” she pointed out. “But taken one by one, they’re sophisticated.”
To temper their baroque site, she went for a monochromatic palette of white gold, white diamonds and rock crystal. Though such regalia skews male in the collective imagination, don’t see this as a bid to appeal to a male client. Treated from the angle of ceremonial dress, Choisne felt these high jewelry pieces are a reminder of what a couture client is looking for: looking at their peak.
“I decided to deconstruct symbols of power to reappropriate them, because these elements have the power to bring this strength. They’re not just cute or ornamental,” she said. “The collection is about creating your own style and being empowered thanks to couture.”
It also meshed with her realization that the more it goes on, the more she doesn’t think of jewelry alone. “Pieces are always a composition with clothes,” she said.
So rather than a succession of sets, Choisne imagined the 24 pieces as “a precious kit” meant to turn an outfit into one’s own ceremonial attire — whatever that occasion might be.
There are a pair of flexible fern brooches modeled after embroideries; a high-neck lace collar that splits into two different ones; another that looks like a row of medals; a necklace that turns into a braided brooch and bracelet; shoulder ornaments that turn out to be cuffs.
Not to mention the 15 rock crystal-and-diamond buttons that can be just as easily worn as pins or in the hair.
“The difficulty in crafting this collection was to bring the characteristics of fabric to rigid gold and stones,” she said.