She was the first to imagine multicoloured jewels with the sobriety of a gold setting highlighting the beauty of the stone. Discreet, elegant and timeless luxury. By Eric Jansen
“Gold and stones” is the title chosen by Marie-Hélène de Taillac for the superb book she has published with Rizzoli. A sober and poetic title, much like her and her universe. When she started creating jewellery in 1996 her objective was to create unpretentious luxury. Passionate about coloured stones - sapphires, rubies, amethyst, emeralds, tourmaline, aquamarine - she associated them with a sober 22 carat gold ring and, although her creations are multicoloured, they are however in no way kitsch. It was during a trip to India that she had a true revelation. The discovery of the Gem Palace workshops in Jaipur had revived her teenage desire to create jewellery. “My favourite book was comKessel's Valley of the Rubies.” A dream that had began in London working alongside Nicky Butler and then Dinny Hall, before devoting herself to fashion working with designer Victor Edelstein and milliner Philip Treacy. It may no longer have been swinging London, but the British capital was nonetheless bubbling. She met Boy George, Alexander McQueen and Princess Diana ... “I had lots of fun.” After a decade however, she decided to turn the page and take the plunge.
From her first collection on, success was immediate. At the time nobody was offering this kind of simple, purified, colourful and candy-like jewellery. Colette and Barneys ordered immediately. The Japanese went crazy, and Marie-Hélène opened her first shop in Tokyo in 2003. This was followed by Paris a year later and then New York. Over the years she expanded her creative field, creating pearls pinned with spinel and designing little jade parrots as well as gold and opal turtles. Twice yearly, at the time of the capital’s ready-to-wear shows, she presents a new collection. Twenty pieces created in Indian workshops. The next collection will decline the theme of the rainbow. The rest of the year, she searches stones across the globe. Her passion. “I imagine myself as a treasure seeker. For me, nature creates true beauty.” Ines de La Fressange, who contributed a delightful text to the book, finds that Marie-Hélène de Taillac's jewellery has a “childlike freshness”, and praises the art of “staying young without being pretty-pretty, creating luxury without ostentation, and being precise without being laborious.” She hits it on the nail. These two Parisians sharing the same impeccable style also share the same definition of refinement: subtle, discreet, and always with just a hint of casualness.
Marie-Helene de Taillac :
8 rue de Tournon Paris 6th District
Tel: 01 44 27 07 07
www.mariehelenedetaillac.com and www.rizzoliusa.com