Poised at the forefront of style, Boucheron has stayed relevant to the times with creations that transcend trends and eras.
Boucheron has always been one to embrace freedom of expression with exquisite creations that are beloved by fashionable and artistic individuals alike. And it’s a philosophy that the jeweller continues to live by today, 163 years after its founding, with creations that exude joy and exuberance through creative daring. They’re the perfect finishing touches to your outfits as the year-end brings its round of festivities with loved ones and family. And to drive the point home, Boucheron has released the emotive “Together As One” campaign with tastemakers the likes of Hannah Quinlivan, Lu Han and British It girl Alexa Chung decked in covetable Boucheron baubles.
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A visionary house since its inception, Boucheron has garnered its fair share of accolades. Frédéric Boucheron’s innovative spirit won him a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1867, which was a rarity among jewellers of that era. Not only did his Point d’Interrogation (or “Question Mark” in English) necklace subsequently win the Grand Prix de L’Innovation at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris, the House has also garnered several other major design and innovation awards through the 19th and 20th centuries, affirming its status as a style trendsetter in the jewellery world.
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Before Place Vendôme was known as the luxury jewellery hub of Paris, it was home to several haute couture ateliers. But that all changed when Boucheron set up shop at number 26 in 1893. Frédéric Boucheron chose the corner unit because he believed it to be the sunniest one in the square, which would then allow his creations to sparkle most brilliantly when displayed in the windows. Many jewellers subsequently followed suit and Place Vendôme developed into what it is today.
In 1879, Frédéric Boucheron made headlines with his Question Mark necklace, which was the first of its kind in the history of Parisian high jewellery for its lack of a clasp. More importantly, its design made a feminist statement of sorts by allowing women to put it on and take it off on their own without the usual need for help. More than a century later, the Question Mark necklace remains Boucheron’s most iconic creation and continues to reinforce the maison’s design philosophy: The freedom of style, unbound by rules.
A storied house comes with, well, stories. And as this one goes, in 1928, the Maharaja of Patiala made his way to Boucheron with six boxes filled with more than 7,500 diamonds and over 1,400 emeralds, not to mention an unknown number of sapphires, rubies and pearls, requesting that they be made into jewellery. It was the first time that any Parisian jeweller had received such a staggering order and is still very much talked about among jewellers today. In the end, 149 pieces of exceptional jewellery were created, including six magnificent plastron-like necklaces.
To celebrate its 160th anniversary in 2018, Boucheron at 26 Place Vendôme underwent an extensive renovation under the hands of French interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, who set out to challenge the codes of traditional jewellery boutiques and enhance it with the characteristics of a modern family home. The result is a space that incorporates a high jewellery workshop, a design studio, a retail space, and even a winter garden to encapsulate the brand’s heritage and love for nature.
A view of The Winter Garden from above
Also included in the monumental renovations of the Boucheron boutique on Place Vendôme was Le 26V, an exclusive service apartment set up on the second floor of the boutique for select clients. With services operated by Ritz Paris, it is a space that offers guests a stunning view overlooking Place Vendôme while immersing them in the full Boucheron experience in the most stylish settings possible.
Be introduced to Wladimir, the black Persian cat that was adopted by the Boucheron family in the 1970s and lived at the Place Vendôme boutique as a breathing emblem of poised elegance. Beloved by visitors and loyal clients alike, Wladimir featured in several of the Maison’s ad campaigns: This famous Boucheron ad from 1981 shows the cat wearing a gold Collier Fleurs necklace set with diamonds and sapphires.
Boucheron is famed for designs that marry elegance with edge, boldness with beauty—and all with a distinct feminine point of view. And that’s arguably because it’s headed by two highly accomplished women: CEO Hélène Poulit-Duquesne and Creative Director Claire Choisne. It’s a house that knows what women want intuitively and this shows in the love that women across the globe have for its designs.
Another design icon of the Boucheron universe is the Quatre collection, which promises its wearer bold versatility with strong, graphic looks that are steeped in Boucheron history: The grosgrain motif is an ode to Frédéric Boucheron’s family roots in fashion, while the Clou de Paris is reminiscent of the cobblestone streets of Place Vendôme. Presenting daring aesthetics with the finest craftsmanship, the Quatre is also an understatedly chic collection that is easily worn by both men and women.
Lebanese influencer Nour Arida in Boucheron’s Quatre creations
With nature as a constant muse, Boucheron launched its Fleurs Éternelles rings, which meld cutting-edge technology with centuries-old craftsmanship, on the occasion of its 160th anniversary. A medical scanner was first used to capture every surface of a flower to its exact proportions. The petals were then treated by a “petalist” using special preservation techniques, after which they were dressed with gem-set “pistils” and metal “stamen” crafted by jewellery artisans—all with the aim of immortalising the ephemeral beauty of flowers to astonishing effect.
Arrows are not a common motif in jewellery of the past, but ever the game changer, Boucheron has incorporated it in its designs since 1873. Fast forward to 2021 and the arrow asserts its presence in the Flèche du Temps collection on a bangle, necklace and earring, exemplifying Boucheron’s reputation as a creative visionary.
From left: Flèche du Temps white gold and diamond earring and necklace
In 2020, Boucheron made waves once again when Creative Director Claire Choisne turned to Aerogel (a space-age, man-made substance that is currently known to be the lightest material on earth) for the Contemplation high jewellery collection. The poetic reason for her choice? To capture the beauty of fleeting moments, such as passing clouds, and make them real, like in the Goutte de Ciel necklace, whose name means a “drop of sky”.
Yet another unusual motif can be found in the Jack de Boucheron collection, which finds its inspiration in the humble audio jack. Developed over the course of two years, the designs revolutionised the conventional jewellery clasp with one that works just like an auxiliary jack. Even better is the fact that the highly versatile collection offers women and men the freedom to transform their jewellery into whatever form they fancy—necklaces, bracelets, rings or even hair ties. The possibilities are endless and unapologetically chic.
From left: Gold and diamond Jack de Boucheron multi wear necklace and white gold and diamon Jack de Boucheron brooch
Inspired by a necklace with a serpent motif that Frédéric Boucheron created for his wife Gabrielle in 1888, the Serpent Bohème collection, launched in 1968, has captured the hearts of many fashion mavens with its free-spirited and bohemian vibes. The collection remains one of the House’s bestsellers and in the summer of 2021, Boucheron introduced a new gem into the range: Aquaprase, a blue-green gemstone discovered in 2012.
Gold and diamond Serpent Bohème Pompon necklace
Earlier this year, Boucheron launched a high jewellery collection, Histoire de Style, Art Déco, with an androgynous proposition that showcased genderless designs that any man or woman can pull off convincingly. Claire Choisne cleverly drew inspiration from both men’s and women’s wardrobes, including items such as bows, cravats and collars, to create an audacious and striking collection of monochrome creations, many of which are transformable.
The Histoire de Style, Art Déco — Lavallière Diamants transformable brooch
No stranger to what other jewellers would consider an audacious material for their craft, Boucheron pushed the boundaries once again and showed its intent to use light itself as a material with its Carte Blanche, Holographique collection. Unveiled earlier in July, the collection gave new meaning to the term “colour play” with a high-tech holographic coating (a first for the jewellery industry) that allowed for a phenomenal spectrum of lights to erupt and morph at every visible angle—in true expression of Boucheron’s radical and free spirit.
Since 1866, the House of Boucheron has been creating jewellery that looks to Mother Nature’s adorable critters for inspiration, with animals such as hedgehogs, snakes, hummingbirds and chickadees, just to name a few. For fall/winter 2021, Boucheron returns with new creations that celebrate the animal kingdom, including designs that pay homage to the legendary Wladimir in the form of cat-shaped gem-set rings and pendants for the continuation of a chapter much beloved by Boucheron fans.
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