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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Couture Cartier

Being invited to a private dinner for Cartier is like being invited to view the Crown Jewels alone while able to try them on.  It is an evening for Cinderella.  Of course, most of us turn into pumpkins at midnight.
Cartier is tradition.  Their pieces date back to the early nineteenth Century, and the house continues to draw inspiration from its history.  The Tutti Frutti jewels are among my favorites.  As a typical Southerner, I love and admire garden flowers and foliage.  Not that I have a green thumb.  But I would  wear any of the 1920s pieces and those made today while enjoying the view of nature...

A French family-owned company from 1847, Cartier made its name by decorating the necks and hands of the most elite of the world, including Prince of Wales Edward VII, the Rockefeller family, and royals from Monaco, Spain, etc..  Housing itself in the Place Vendome in Paris, Cartier created a brand and a place in fashion history.

Today, Cartier remains one of the great jewelry leaders known.  Swallowed up by the conglomerate of Richemont (who also own Van Cleef & Arpels, Mont Blanc and Net a Porter), the brand has become widespread and well known, a staple in the luxury goods world.  Iconic pieces like the gold panther rings, Panthos watches, and the beloved Trinity line keep the brand up and running.

But the true beauty, the true art form is in the couture line.  Or the fine jewelry.  This is where the artistry takes place, where the exquisite details come to life.  It is also the place where their history comes alive and remains relevant.

I guess I can say that I am a purist, so I am captivated by the couture pieces.  Just receiving one piece for an anniversary, I can tell you that to have such is an honor and a privilege.  Like owning a Degas, a Picasso, a Warhol.  The pieces are works of art that take you to another place in time.

They also take you to a place on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.  The beautiful storefront held the dinner after a private viewing of all the glorious sparkles.

With CEO and President of Cartier North America, Emmanuel Perrin, I'm wearing vintage YSL

Dinner was held afterwards on the rooftop, encased in white drapes and frutti tutti-inspired centerpieces of red roses and other flowers.  Conversation with Emmanuel, occasionally in French, we sipped French wine with our choices (I had the fish with risotto), but the highlight was the caviar dessert and sauterne.   After we enjoyed the beautiful three-course dinner, the drapery dropped to the floor all around us, exposing a striking and imposing Los Angeles cityscape and precious gems that we had yet to see set in glass boxes.  The electric fiddler entered as another artist DJ'd to her sounds, all enhanced by the cool California breeze and late night sky.  Breathtaking and surprising, the event only mimicked that of the collection.

There are few times in life when we get to dress up and pretend to be a princess.  The clock always strikes, and the dreams always come to an end.  But it sure is nice to walk in those glass slippers for a while...
Enjoying my panther afterwards at Chateau Marmont with friends  (photo courtesy of Jessica Robin Trent)


Anonymous said...

Omg!!! Sutton your last blog post is beautiful!!! This is why you call it a LAW.... I am drooling!!!!!

Claire said...

I saw the video "L'Odyssee de Cartier" (was it an ad on Mad Men? It should have been) (
I was carried away by the quality of the production, the high style of the jewelry, and the dedication to beauty that Cartier is projecting in that 3.5 minute film. You capture the same spirit. I love the panther at rest.
I had to go looking for an old NYT article that discussed the origin of the Cartier panther:
"The Duchess (of Windor) also collected an animal menagerie -brooches and bracelets in such forms as tigers, panthers, flamingos, designed by Jeanne Toussaint at Cartier...

Up for auction is a diamond brooch in the shape of a flamingo, with wing feathers of rubies, emeralds, and sapphires... There are the famous panther pieces: two brooches and a bracelet. The bracelet, made in 1952, is of diamond and onyx ... One brooch, made in 1949, has a panther, made of diamonds with sapphire spots, seated on a large cabochon sapphire...

These panther pieces were the invention of Jeanne Toussaint, the designer at Cartier's in Paris. Panther was the nickname Louis Cartier, who was rumored to be her lover, gave her. To this day, panther jewelry is still being made by Cartier." Love it!