A variety of unique engagement rings was among the pieces featured in a New York-based exhibit showcasing the work of renowned French designer Victoire de Castellane, held in Madison Avenue last month.

The exhibit, which focused on the designs the Dior jeweller creates in her free time and markets independently, featured a number of pieces which reflected De Castellane’s unique approach to and vision of the feminine form and condition. The designer’s bespoke jewels stand out for their bold shapes and colour schemes, which aim to highlight the female form and make it even more beautiful than it is in its natural state. Her line, dubbed ‘Precious Objects’, tends to fetch prices in the ballpark of £150.000 to £600.000, depending on the piece.

Ms De Castellane’s most recent collection, of which a few pieces were represented at the exhibition in New York, is called ‘animalvegetablemineral’ and, as the name indicates, takes inspiration from the natural world for its designs. One of the most striking features of this line — and the one clearly visible at the Madison Avenue showcase — is the fact that the French designer pays as much attention to the stands the pieces are laid out on as to the pieces themselves. In keeping with the theme of the collection, the silver pedestals for De Castellane’s unique engagement rings and other bespoke jewels are wrought in the shape of animals, water droplets or rocks, according to the element the piece they support is inspired on.

This designer’s work can be included within the umbrella term ‘wearable art’, which was also used to describe pieces fashioned by other traditional artisans throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Joining De Castellane in the list of names to be connoted with this term are artists such as Lalique and Fabergé.

In recent years, the term ‘wearable art’ has become common in describing jewels which possess a sculpture-like structure or elaborate construction.

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