In 1987, Solange Azagury-Partridge needed an engagement ring, so she created one that consisted of an uncut diamond embedded in a simple gold band. So many people loved her designs that a few years later she launched her first 30-piece bridal jewelry line. As her earlier pieces attest, Azagury-Partridge broke the rules by creating dramatic sculptural settings from unconventional combinations of stones including precious and semi-precious gems, both cut and uncut.
Hand-picked by Tom Ford in 2001, she became creative director for the iconic Parisian jeweler, Boucheron. While at Boucheron, a house with a 150 year-old history, she remained true to the firm’s guidelines, which were reflected in the collections she produced and in the rebranding.
“It’s all about voluptuousness and sensuality,”she says and one of her favorite icons is the Boucheron snake. “The snake is a creature that has been prominently featured at different times in Boucheron’s history. I thought it would be perfect to resurrect, as it is so rich in symbolism. The snake is a sensual creature–reflecting the new sensuality of the house–and a symbol of temptation. I wanted the jewels and the women who wear them to personify temptation. The snake is also a symbol of renewal. When a snake sheds its skin it renews itself. It’s endless permutations of shape reflect the changing shape of Boucheron.”
Chains have been another recurring theme for Boucheron and in the collection they were used to reflect love and bondage. A slave to love. A slave to jewels. A slave to the person who gives them to you. In the first collection, the designer used only the four most precious gems–diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires–to reflect the height of luxury. She set the gems monochromatically so people can appreciate their purity and vibrancy of color.
While influences and obsessions are constantly changing, there is one great challenge that stays–working at such a small scale. It is difficult to convey a lot of information and detail through something so tiny. But that is nothing for Azagury-Partridge, a true artist who loves the challenge.
We couldn’t agree more on her view of the jewels: “It is very important to me that the pieces I design shouldn’t just look pretty, but should also have meaning and my clients are receptive to that. I think that when gems and minerals have been brought out of the deep dark earth, it’s criminal to design a piece and then lock it away in a deep dark safe,” says the designer.
Her much anticipated collection is finally out and the recently opened flagship store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills looks like the marriage of a rainbow and a lollipop, red velvet walls… with nothing but “ice” waiting for the right Goth princess to come in. And so we did. Feels so decadent, it is going to be the right match for us…
Here are a few hot picks:
“Tough Love”, “Hotlips” and “Broken Heart” rings in red rubies, “Bleeding Heart” necklace, “Rainbow Tiara”, “Love Knots” gorgeous earrings, also the magical and talismanic Zodiac collection and dangerous “Poison” ring, for you know… the poison. Another great piece, named “Till Death Us Do Part” is a reincarnation of her classic “Bones” ring, with a diamond in the center. But we must say our fave pieces are the “Old Fashioned” necklaces in emeralds and “Mercury” diamond tiaras. So cosmic and beyond cool.