After literature and nature, Maison Chaumet unveils a fresh facet of its jewelry culture with a new exhibition at 165 Boulevard Saint-Germain, held from 1 October to 2 November 2019. Through a series of photographs by Julia Hetta, the Autrement Exhibition explores the art of appropriating jewels by wearing them according to the whims of fashions and fantasy, with daring and creativity.
Whether forehead jewel or ferronnière, a necklace woven through the hair, or bracelets worn at the shoulder or ankle, from the Italian Renaissance to the fashion statements of today, jewelry lends itself to inventive adaptability. Freed from its primary function, it graces the body, clothes, or hair, becoming a precious accessory of a new kind. Cultivating its Parisian spirit since 1780, constantly reinventing itself through fashion and the arts, over the course of its history, Maison Chaumet has created jewels intended to be worn differently. Witness the Maison’s archival drawings and photographs in which the jewels astonish and perplex. Necklace or tiara? Bracelet or bodice ornament? Brooch or pendant?
Revisiting this age-old practice with modernity, the Exhibition Autrement showcases an unprecedented dialogue between art and fashion, history and trends, the Maison’s heritage and its contemporary creations. Among the Chaumet archival elements and jewels of yesterday and today, the works of the great masters are digitalized, while photographs by Julia Hetta are presented inside 25 historical frames dating from the 15th to 19th century and loaned by Maison Lebrun. The Swedish photographer produced a series of images inspired by the Dutch masters and Renaissance art. High Jewelry necklaces become headbands, Jeux de Liens and Liens Séduction sautoirs are worn as shoulder strap or anklets, Espiègleries brooches appear as precious hairpins, a Liens Évidence wedding band hugs a lock of hair, Joséphine Aigrette bracelets are worn like palm jewels, a Bee My Love cocktail ring transforms into a scarf ring. The result offers an abundance of style suggestions to appropriate, a wealth of invitations to reinvent jewelry through how one wears it.