The name Lydia Courteille might not ring a bell this side of the globe, but chances are, you’ve seen the French jeweller’s ornate creations before. Her ruby-encrusted snake rings slithered around pop songstress Taylor Swift’s fingers in the Look What You Made Me Do music video, while her adorable rabbit-shaped diamond earrings were spotted on Nicole Kidman at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Courteille’s designs have also been favoured by the likes of Catherine Deneuve, Madonna, Rihanna and Nikki Minaj. Even Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld is a fan — in a 2011 interview with British Vogue, he recommended visiting her jewellery boutique in Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris.
It’s not difficult to see why so many celebrities are smitten with Courteille’s jewels. Founded in 1987, her eponymous brand specialises in antique designs and flamboyant pieces set with colourful gemstones, many of which are inspired by a mishmash of floral and fauna, mythology, archaeology, as well as cultures from around the world. The result? Breathtaking and lavish statement jewels that don’t hold back on the glamour.
Her latest Rosa del Inca collection is a dazzling example. Inspired by her recent trip to Argentina, it is named after rhodochrosite — the country’s national stone. The exquisite eight-piece line also sees the pink-hued mineral incorporated into elaborate jewels crafted with flamingo, fan and skeleton motifs.
One of its highlights is a double flamingo ring swathed in black diamonds, sapphires and rubies, and looped around a massive rhodochrosite central stone. The two flamingoes are strategically positioned so their heads cross to form a heart shape when worn, and one of them even has a tiny diamond-studded crown perched atop its head.
Other equally bewitching jewels include a whimsical pendant-brooch featuring a skeleton clutching a rhodochrosite bead and covered in rubies, sapphires and brown diamonds, as well as a pair of fan-shaped earrings fashioned in pink gold and festooned with rubies, spinels, 14 rhodochrosites, and 1.84 carats of sapphires.
And here’s a ring that’s bound to be a conversation-starter: A pink gold band ornamented with a gigantic rhodocrosite weighing 20.5 grams, and embellished with rubies and sapphires that point outwards for dramatic effect. In this case, bigger is definitely better.
Unlike last year, Courteille won’t be displaying her designs at the upcoming Baselworld (which takes place from tomorrow to 27 March), so all we can do is wait and keep our eyes peeled for what’s next in the pipeline for her. One thing’s for sure, though: We know it’ll be nothing short of incredible.