These are the jewels that belonged to great women. Women who fronted up and played their part in history. A princess, a lady, all titled but, underneath it all, just women, united by their love of something beautiful and empowering, because jewels are the ultimate distraction. The conversation starter, stopper, the envy. The ame-haired coquettishness of the woman who instinctively knows. None of these women is living any more. Maybe they don’t need to because they made their mark here on earth. They were carried from cars, they danced in Paris in the Bois de Boulogne, they dazzled, they razzled, they were crazy good and these pieces were so close to the drama. To their hearts, their minds, their anguish, their accomplishments. They tell tales of love and loss, happiness and sadness, depression. Despair. There are diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, jadeites; they are tiny ames of hope, a rock-solid DNA that will outlast us all. They are inevitable, unsinkable and glorious. They are made by the joailliers at Cartier, the most profoundly French jeweller of all. These pieces were the stuff of dreams and celebrate the great women who gave them life, a pulse, warmth, a tiny heartbeat, until they died and they became estate. Heirlooms. Now they are untouchable. And we weep.
Cartier: The Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia opens April 29 – 22 July.
Taken from the latest issue of 10 Magazine Australia, ALAIA SHIFT POWER, out now.