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A Sumptuous Necklace That Melds With The Body

By Nancy Hass

Photograph by Florent Tanet

Ten years ago, Hermès asked Pierre Hardy, who has designed the Parisian house’s shoes for three decades — as well as his own namesake collections since 1999 — to create its first haute joaillerie line. Although Hardy had overseen the company’s standard jewelry collection since 2001, he knew little about precious gems and elaborate settings.

Nevertheless, Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the scion and creative director of the 183-year-old brand, was confident that Hardy’s talent for creating objects that are both easy to wear and transcendent would prove enough.

As might be expected of someone who began his career as a ballet dancer, the designer’s sinuous pieces don’t merely adorn the body, they pour over it. This necklace, a serpentine armature of rose gold with pavé diamonds, incorporates an elegant palette that is pure Hermès: apple-green prehnite cabochons, a pale blue-gray sapphire and pink, brown and blue tourmalines. At once subtle and sumptuous, the collar is engineered as cleverly as a good stiletto: You barely know you’re wearing it.