PARIS — At a time when many luxury collections are concentrating on character, Elie Top rated is heading all the way back to the forest primeval.
With what he phone calls his most technically completed substantial jewellery assortment to day, a few decades in the generating, the designer has moved beyond the gothic, “Game of Thrones”-fashion aesthetic that he experienced favored considering that founding the brand name that bears his title in 2015.
“I preferred to do items that ended up primordial, much more reptilian, like a branch of evolution that stopped,” Mr. Best, 44, stated throughout a preview in June in his salon on the Rue St.-Honoré. “I also required to exhibit that I could do a little something unique, and, at the similar time, structurally, it’s not contrary to a gothic cathedral. Or gargoyles.”
But when his Magica Naturae assortment evokes elementary creatures, it also nods to Mr. Top’s earliest impressions in the style market — as a 19-year-aged intern and fledgling illustrator (also responsible for unrolling materials) at Yves Saint Laurent.
A single of the initially items of art that Saint Laurent and his spouse, Pierre Bergé, acquired was a chicken sculpture by the Senufo men and women of Ivory Coastline, ordered in 1960. The picket totem was exhibited prominently in all the designer’s households in Paris, and it now stands in the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakesh, Morocco.
In Mr. Top’s fingers, the statue’s sort has been rendered as the Calao (hornbill) pendant in rose and yellow gold, the belly of the chook set with a row of outdated mine-slash diamonds, and its wings with two traces of smaller diamonds. Its scale-like complete was influenced by a pair of 19th-century pétanque balls that Mr. Top acquired on eBay. (Pétanque is a tossing activity played in France.) Created of wood, the balls are sheathed in nails with huge heads in coppery, silver and black patinas.
“There’s anything animal and natural and organic about that surface,” the designer said, “but it’s not figurative — it is urban. It reminds me of the pavés de Paris,” he extra, comparing the scale-like finish to the French capital’s cobblestone streets.
That outcome encouraged a bestiary of 5 creations: In addition to the pendant, there are a chameleon ring an emerald crocodile ring spanning 4 fingers a snake bracelet and a large tortoise pendant, the carapace set with orange, yellow and cognac sapphires and diamonds, and a beryl.
Mr. Top intended figurative pieces, like turtles and snakes, in the course of the 17 a long time he labored with Alber Elbaz, initially at Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and then at Lanvin. But those people were being built of resin and strass (imitation diamonds).
“I kept the volumes I utilized to use for costume jewellery, but now they’ve grow to be as sophisticated as probable,” the designer reported. “It’s like operating with actual minor characters the atelier even gave them first names.”
The Senufo-design and style pendant and the tortoise are every priced at 90,000 euros (about $105,530), but their unique scales can also be seen on much less costly items, such as a saber tooth-formed pendant or the sculptural Dorsale ring, equally in gold and distressed silver with diamonds (€12,500 and €9,800), as very well as a handful of wonderful-jewelry models in polished and hand-patinated silver with touches of gold, priced from €2,300.
“I wished to make a statement in phrases of model and structure, but also integrate parts that are more accessible,” Mr. Major claimed. “You just cannot be submerged by the preciousness of a point. If wearing jewellery indicates getting rid of your flexibility, it is hell.”