Reflecting back on the Cannes Film Festival and thinking about the haute joaillerie collection, which will be presented after the haute couture shows in Paris at the beginning of July, we meet Raffaella Rossiello, International Communication Director Chopard, on the rooftop of the Hotel Martinez.
Talking about jewellery is only one aspect. It’s the whole world of intimate luxury, stunning ambassadresses, splendid design and the movies. IRMA thinks haute joaillerie deserves a very warm comeback
IRMA: When I think of Chopard, I think of happy clowns or elephant pendants with sapphire glass to stop the loose, playful, moving diamonds from jumping out.
Raffaella Rossiello: Oh yes, that was in the 80s and these designs were the first jewellery designs besides the watches. Chopard is divided into three chapters: the watches, which came first, the Red Carpet Collection and of course the Happy Diamonds collection.
The Red Carpet collection started in 1998 when Chopard began the partnership with the Festival du Film. But the Happy Diamonds collection was way before that when Chopard wanted to show that the firm is also about jewels and our Co-President and Creative Director Caroline Scheufele took over the design department of precious jewels.
IRMA: How did the partnership with the Cannes Film Festival start?
R.R.: To be honest, initially we were looking for a special event to open our boutique in Cannes and the Festival du Film seemed to be a perfect setting for that. But Caroline’s love for movies tightened the knots and she redesigned the famous Palme d’Or integrating a small heart: a symbol of her love for cinema. The Palme d’Or became a piece of jewellery made of a jeweller’s material and not only a trophy cup for the best movie and the best actors.
IRMA: So the Happy Diamonds and the Happy Heart took over the Festival du Film. Can diamonds really make you happy?
R.R.: Well, of course happiness comes from inside and you cannot fake it, but diamonds or even rough semiprecious stones symbolize perfectly the strength of nature, the roughness and the unforeseen. Everything comes together in a precious stone – light, love, drama and in our case heritage. You know the feeling when you put on a precious diamond collier, or some chandelier earrings, it is illuminating, it’s much better than any make-up, it just brightens your face and your features, only topped by a bright, happy smile.
IRMA: That makes me think of the beautiful smiles of your famous ambassadresses, like Julianne Moore, Julia Roberts or Eva Herzigova. How do you become a Chopard friend of the house?
R.R.: We are not looking for a famous face, it is the diversity in women that interest us. Of course, the Red Carpet collection comes with the movie stars who represent their films during the Festival, but in general our jewels are for women who have a perfect balance in life. Their life, their work and more importantly enjoyment of both. We are not looking for a single famous face, but more for different types of women. Our focus stays on the craftsmanship of creating a precious jewel or a watch.
IRMA: Jewellery was worn during this Festival in a very innovative manner. For example, Kirsten Dunst wore a precious collier on top of her ruffled dress and not on bare skin. Rings are shining from the middle finger instead of the ring finger and everyone looks for a personal style in classic jewels rather than wearing them the classic way.
R.R.: Yes, that is right and for us it is very interesting to see that. Caroline Scheufele gets for example inspired by the way the actress Kirsten Dunst wears her colliers on top of her clothes to make a beautiful alliance between the design of her dress and the jewel itself. It is great to see how dresses are combined with jewellery and how they take advantage of each other. Caroline loves this kind of inspiration, that’s also what the Festival du Film is all about – showing new ways, new ideas and having all these influential artists together at one spot.
IRMA: How do you like to wear your favourite jewels?
R.R.: I love to combine a Happy Diamond watch with a leather ribbon bracelet to make it more sportive and casual, and I love my diamond loops which I can wear from day- to nighttime and they will always give my face that glow. A long chain with diamonds on top of a t-shirt is great for instant glamour and the mix of casual and elegant is interesting. It is all about mixing and matching, with a hint of diversity. Like solid gold bangles worn with a precious fine gold chain bracelet. Jewellery should be fun.
IRMA: But at the end of the day the Cannes Film Festival is all about the movies. Which is your favourite movie that symbolises best the relationship between jewels and a plot?
R.R.: Of course “To Catch a Thief” by Alfred Hitchcock with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly! She was just perfect for the haute jewellery, the most perfect testimonial for precious jewels worn in the most elegant way. And then the historical costume movies where you can see the jewellery in their history and where it becomes part of the plot.
IRMA: And then there is the very professional side of being a constant partner with the Cannes Film Festival for almost 20 years.
R.R: Of course, it is a long-time relationship that is built on expertise, knowledge and trust from both sides. We have to surprise our customers, just like the movie scene has to do. We are constantly looking for new ideas in design and communication but at the same time it is a great luxury when you can be spontaneous between all these professional line-ups. Last night, for example, we hosted an intimate dinner for the festival jury on our private rooftop suite. It was not planned, we just decided spontaneously the night before. These happenings are the best and also the most inspiring when working with creative talent.