The necklace sparkles in a way that those before it have not. It appears at once delicate and powerful, its 237 diamonds placed in webbed harmony.
Inspired by and resembling cracked ice, it took over 18 months to make; as part of Tiffany & Co.’s 2018 Blue Book collection of rare, one-of-a-kind pieces of high jewellery encompassing the finest stones, the necklace perfectly represents the design sensibility that chief artistic officer Reed Krakoff, who took the helm in 2017, is bringing to the hallmark American brand.
“I’ve done a lot of jewellery—for my [eponymous] brand I did quite a bit, mostly sterling. But not high jewellery at all,” Krakoff says, seated inside a private room on the fifth floor of Tiffany & Co.’s New York City flagship store. “In a way it’s nice to come in, to high jewellery especially, with a very fresh eye.”
Reimagining Tiffany’s long-standing relationship with nature, Krakoff’s debut Blue Book collection takes cues from the four seasons—but through a relaxed interpretation. “It’s more of a suggestion of each season,” he says while walking through the collection. “It may be colour, it may be form or shape, it might be something related to that season. So it’s very much an abstract idea.”
Spring, for example, features a stunning brooch of paired tulips, with yellow gold and platinum stems that lead to ombré pavé petals of round rare Fancy Pink and white diamonds; Summer, meanwhile, boasts a necklace of emerald-cut tricolour zoisite, plus round and marquise sapphires and mixed-cut diamonds. Landing softly on the piece’s main stone are diamond-encrusted butterflies with textured wing patterns for a truly three-dimensional quality. In Autumn, traditional fall colours of orange and red are less prominent, with Krakoff instead favouring blues and purples. Winding vines lend a cohesiveness to this section, including on a bracelet of mixed-cut diamonds, round sapphires, and marquise tanzanites that wrap around each other with layered breath.
And then there is Winter, including the standout cracked ice necklace. A never-before-seen diamond cut was invented to create the impression of fluidity for the piece, which in its intricacy highlights the beauty of its process. Each diamond was cut flat, and individually, so that every shard is entirely unique—jut like real ice.
It’s a perfect example of how Krakoff’s veteran status in the luxury industry (he has designed for everyone from Coach and Ralph Lauren to Anne Klein) pairs perfectly with his curiosity about quality jewellery, and his desire to push the boundaries of opulence as it pertains to Tiffany.
For him, the future of the heritage brand is a sense of daily luxury—pieces that can be worn at any time, in a perfect juxtaposition of high and low (which is well embodied in a diamond and aquamarine colour wheel necklace from the Blue Book collection; paired with a humble leather strap, it is decidedly mixed-media). “That idea of everyday luxury is just something that resonates with Tiffany; it’s very much what Tiffany’s always been about,” Krakoff says. “You have to enjoy these things every day as opposed to once in a while taking something out.” Whether they be sapphire earrings or porcelain mugs, the philosophy is the same: these items are lavish, yes, but they are meant to be used.
From the early days of founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, to the stained-glass lamps designed by his son Louis Comfort Tiffany (see some on display in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing), through to the adored jewellery of Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso, the company has seen its fair share of seasons. And now with Krakoff, the sun is once again rising anew.
Get your copy of our Spring 2019 issue here.