Saturday, 19 March 2011


Though late in the day, Victoire de Castellane has proven victorious in nourishing the eyes with a florid flourish of flowers which remain testament to the fact that despite the troubled territory, Dior has the most visionary mind to fuel the future in Haute Joaillerie.

Concluding a few days ago, Castellane garnished the Gagosian Gallery in Paris for her debut solo exhibition. The designs glowed as though crafted by the hands of Flora, but with names even more quixotic it is certain creativity has no limits. The collection included characters (derived from a fictional classification system- all the more mysterious) such as ‘Crystalucinea Metha Agressiva’, ‘Heroina Romanticam Dolorosa’, ‘Quo Calnus Magic Disco’ and ‘Opium Velurosa Purpra’. An amalgamation of illicit pleasures from mind-morphing substances with a tone of their potential peril, these names identified botanical beauties with a paranormal charm.

Heady hallucinogenic tones lavishly diffused through a multihued spectrum in a stem-like construction. This particular necklace was peppered with a cluster of multi-faceted opals engulfed in rose gold to surpass any creation of its kind; natural or artificial. Its limp petals were swamped in rainbow shades circulating a dramatic complexion that none could rival. Opium Velurosa Purpra (my favourite name) cultivated a unique concoction of artistry and naturalism. Plush rubies, earthy rhyolite, lacquered silver and scattered white gold garnered a necklace with an astounding finish. A matte, rouge stem wove as the neckpiece with a flower and leaf at either end to balance the design, the matte finish appeared to have a dull, smoky sense as though doused in blood, sacrificed by Persephone, but the microcosm of rubies foaming out of crevices enlivened a rapturous quality.

Many more pieces developed the confusion of the mind under the somnolent fantasies of addictive narcotics, crafted with impeccable precision. Inspired by a truly turbulent collection of people including RenĂ© Lalique, Niki de Saint Phalle and even the Brothers Grimm, these stimulated undulating brainwaves mirrored in Castellane’s creations. From Lalique’s intricacy and storytelling, to Niki de Saint Phalle’s bold prints and swelling proportions and even the gothic tones of the Brothers Grimm who raked in fantasy, magic and horror were all encapsulated within the convex glass tubes at what seemed an unsettled Elysium of the Gagosian.


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