When talking about personal adornment with gems, it’s impossible to miss India, a country with a rich appetite for gem-embellished jewelry packed with colorful and remarkable artistry. The distinct Indian gemological tradition has the kind of sophistication that would change anyone’s perspective about jewelry—especially unknowing outsiders that are mesmerized by the beauty of not only the pieces, but the tradition itself. This transformative experience was what Marie-Hélène de Taillac exactly experienced, leading her to launch her eponymous jewelry label that is currently adored around the world.
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Re-awakening of passion for jewelry
Before Marie-Hélène de Taillac became the unique brand that it is today, its founder needed the re-awakening of her passion for jewelry, an experience that occurred where the Gem Palace can be found, in the City of Jaipur. She had been drawn to jewelry when she was younger, but growing up, she pursued a career in fashion. When she saw in the stone-cutting process and the unparalleled beauty of the jewelry in that place, something stirred inside of her, a jewelry-making desire that she realized was her calling.
So from a career in fashion, de Taillac switched to a newfound love, jewelry. In 1996, the first jewelry collection of the brand immediately gained global selling momentum upon its launching. The main reason for the launch was de Taillac’s aim to have some jewelry that would match her clothes in her fashion design work. It was just a small collection without an ambitious goal, yet it exceeded expectations and even created a global platform for the brand.
Barneys New York immediately got hold of the collection, prompting other major retailers and department stores to do the same. Such fame continued for more than two decades, bringing us to today’s sustained prominence of the brand in famous stores in different major cities, including London’s Browns, Paris’ Colette, and Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford, side from the brand’s own Tokyo and Paris boutiques.
Simple, understated, and contemporary
There are many who tried the perfect combination of elegance with the simple, understated and contemporary signature designs of Marie-Hélène de Taillac, proving the originality of the brand’s process and pieces. Gemstones play a huge part in the overall appearance and aesthetic of the label’s jewelry, especially with the kaleidoscopic gemstones that de Taillac herself personally chooses for each design. Aquamarine, rose quartz, spinels, peridot and diamond—the designer knows exactly how to showcase their beauty in every jewelry piece.
With the focus on the stones, Marie-Hélène de Taillac’s jewelry pieces exude a classic vibe alongside the contemporary look of the designs. Added to such quality is the colorful choices that de Taillac usually picks, as she has an extreme liking for hues. Of course quality is of the essence, too, so the French designer ensures that all the gemstones she puts into her brand’s pieces are from India, her main inspiration for the brand and its collections.
The artistic jewelry-making process
For jewelry lovers that haven’t understood yet the process of handcrafting a jewelry, knowing the appreciation and effort given to the pieces by the brand will open your eyes to the world of jewelry artistry and artisanship.
Marie-Hélène de Taillac’s pieces all starts with an inspiration for a design, which usually involves a gemstone discovery, a particular shape, or a certain color that becomes the basis for a jewelry. A serious and in-depth study is then made by the brand’s master craftsmen, studying the price, source and the quality of the gemstones. Afterwards, stone-cutters study and try to bring out the essence of the gem, sometimes even taking days, just to make sure that the perfect look of the gem is showcased. This is done with a careful process, as just a small flaw or fissure may deem the stone unfit for use.
The traditional steps of mounting, gold melting, cutting and chiselling take place—all done carefully by hand, as just a small mistake to one stone in a group of gems may compromised the whole bunch. This intricate process takes days—sometimes even weeks—to finish, especially when gold weaving and new gemstone cuts are added to the design. Its jewelry-making process definitely is something laudable about the brand, aside from the gorgeous finished pieces that it produces.
More jewelry, more extravagance
Marie-Hélène de Taillac’s world of jewelry is filled with multi-colored gems, new cuts, a better perspective of gems and other refined experiments that allow the brand to bring in more fresh ideas and pieces into the jewelry industry. Even when pieces from the launch of the brand remain relevant and sought for today, Marie-Hélène de Taillac continues to add spectacular pieces in its expansive collection of bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings.
The recent pieces from the brand introduces its version of the mixture of weaving and gold chains, highlighting the luster and beauty of the 22 carat gold used for the jewelry. It is an expression of the founder’s love for extravagance, showing off how far her imagination can go, as far as jewelry materials, design and techniques are concerned.