On Saturday night, the grandiose Villa Erba on the banks of Lake Como was transformed into a “Couture Garden” by Dior's creative director of jewelry, Victoire de Castellane. The event saw the luxurious high jewelry line’s theme come to life with floral motifs fused with fashion in a spectacular way, blurring the lines between couture and high jewelry. Dior CEO Delphine Arnault welcomed guests including Oscar-winner Michelle Yeoh and fellow actresses Elizabeth Debicki, Rosamund Pike, Anais Demoustier, and Aseel Omran; ambassadresses including Beatrice Borromeo and Yuma Kim; and dozens of VIP clients from all around the world.
Castellane’s biggest jewelry outing yet featured some 170 pieces, including three watches and many creations from collections past and present. The highlight of the show was undoubtedly the Mini Milly necklace, a naive figurative piece that editors instantly dubbed “the emoji necklace,” with gems reprising rainbows, clouds, sunshine, trees, flowers, and little lacquered bees set into a mother-of-pearl base. Other headliners included the Buisson Couture emerald necklace that opened the show—an important piece in yellow and white gold, with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, tsavorites, and pink sapphires and spinels, anchored by a nearly 17-carat emerald center stone. The emerald is removable and can be worn separately on a simpler companion necklace.
80% of the Jardins de la Couture collection was sold before lunchtime on Sunday, with four days of VIP events left to go, noted Christian Dior Couture managing director Charles Delapalme. One client even snapped up an entire look right off the runway—dress, jewels, and all. Another, exasperated that her favorite necklace had sold, custom-ordered a similar one. “Making a big and balanced statement with couture and high jewelry can be a challenge and had never been done at this scale. But this is where the magic of Dior operated once again,” Delapalme said during an interview at the legendary hotel Villa d’Este, which Dior took over and reconfigured into a showcase for jewels, couture, and savoir-faire.
In recent months, the house sold a 101-carat flawless diamond, surpassing the splash it made last year with an 88.8-carat yellow diamond. Delapalme noted that jewelry has become Dior’s fastest-growing category, with triple-digit gains. “The largest transactions at Dior are being made in jewelry, including stones above 50 and even 100 carats,” he said. “We’re also seeing a special interest in highest-quality colored stones, which aren’t always that big. What excites collectors most is that those are extremely rare. Jewelry has a particular added quality as compared to couture because there’s a special tie and emotion one feels for something that comes from the Earth.”