A time-hallowed jewellery vanguard with historical roots entrenched deep beyond the one-century milestone tends to stick to the one thing it does best: crafting sublime classics. Cartier does that, but then pushes it a whole length further beyond the prescribed traditional tenets.
Today, in Paris, the French jeweller unveils its most subversive line yet: the Clash de Cartier. Calling it their “two-sided jewel” that does “a mix and match of aristocratic codes”, the collection explores the extreme duality of a jewellery. It revisits the house’s archival geometry designs and its penchant for studs, beads and clous carrés, or square nails, of which dates back to the ’30s, and reinterprets it disruptively; a form of rebellious design sedition, if you will, against the expectations of a high-jewellery archetype.
From left: Clash de Cartier’s coral bead-festooned yellow gold ring, and the 4N pink gold studded bracelet.
The fresh face of Clash de Cartier, English actress Kaya Scodelario.
The inaugural Clash de Cartier is a 14-piece range featuring rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings in differing sizes. These pieces are constructed in a calibrated cluster of red beads or 4N pink gold pyramid square-nail studs, assembled in a row, with two more rows of smaller-sized studs, each lining one of its sides. The visual collision is venerating, but so is its tactility.
Despite projecting a sharp facade, the geometric pieces are contrastingly soft to the touch. It’s also deceivingly rigid-looking. The pieces are, in fact, designed with a mechanism for freedom of movement: through tiny almost-invisible magnets, their interconnected studs are adjustable. Toeing the line between masculinity and femininity, the Clash de Cartier is meant to be gender-neutral. As the house’s accompanying statement suggests, “Male. Female. No judgment.” This is the new classic.
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