At a tony, star-studded event celebrating Tiffany & Co.’s latest high-jewelry collection last month, there was an uncharacteristic sense of nonchalance in the air.
The first high-jewelry concept by the brand’s chief artistic director Reed Krakoff exhibited a new, casual mood. While megawatt diamonds and rubies remained consistent with the house’s history, many designs featured an informal twist. A circular pendant, for example — featuring nearly 40 carats of aquamarines and 14 carats of diamonds — was strung not on a bedazzled platinum chain but rather a simple knotted cord made of leather.
This relaxed mood is being felt throughout the jewelry industry — a sign that haute joaillerie is adapting to a more casual moment in fashion and society. It is the result of a tangled web of social changes — particularly the runoff, jewelers say, of post-recession values and an ongoing change in how jewelry is consumed, as an increasing percentage of the industry’s clientele becomes a woman shopping for herself.
Reed Krakoff’s design for Tiffany & Co.’s Blue Book collection.
T|Tiffany & Co. Studio
“There is no question that life is becoming more casual and as a result, fine jewelry needs to keep up with that. I think people find themselves dressing