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Caroline’s Couture - An unprecedented dialogue between Couture and Haute Joaillerie 
Caroline’s Couture - An unprecedented dialogue between Couture and Haute Joaillerie 

Brilliant jewellery and watch designer Caroline Scheufele is starting a new chapter by weaving a conversation between jewellery and clothing. She has devised a fabulous collection composed of 50 couture silhouettes to be revealed at an exclusive fashion show, itself presented during the 76th Cannes Film Festival. Within this wardrobe designed to bring fashion and jewellery to life in perfect harmony, elaborate textures evoke gemsetting, delicate artisanal embroidery, as well as fabric structure in total symbiosis with Haute Joaillerie so that clothes and jewellery shine individually while basking in each other’s glow. The resolutely innovative Caroline's Couture collection also offers a novel approach to enduring fashion. Resolutely intended to last, the pieces in this first collection are not intended to take centre stage for just a single season before becoming obsolete. They can be ordered at any time, year after year, as perfectly proportioned icons within a timeless wardrobe. Like jewellery, these garments are as much about love as they are about lasting investments, designed to accompany women towards a reasonable future, in which what is loved once can be loved forever.

Caroline Scheufele, a creative visionary

Caroline Scheufele above all embodies a certain energy, style and mindset. Chopard’s Co-President and Artistic Director is an insatiable traveller who explores the world sketchbook in hand, wondering at all the beauty of the world while stylising its enchantments with perpetually renewed panache. Her vibrant, joyful and charismatic personality instils a unique allure into every aspect of life. Designing her various jewellery and watch collections has raised a key question: how can one combine jewellery and clothing within a silhouette considered as an inseparable whole? What proportions, what architecture, what materials, what colour range would serve to ensure entirely consistent integration of all the dimensions which create a look?

When couture chimes with jewellery

Such were the key factors Caroline Scheufele had in mind when she quite naturally decided to extend her expertise to a couture collection, composed of 50 silhouettes designed in harmony with the jewellery creations composing the Red Carpet Collection. These will be presented during a fashion show at the 76th Cannes Film Festival. Working with a team of couture experts to create this collection, Caroline Scheufele is the vibrant epicentre of this original project. Expressing fashion and jewellery codes through a profoundly fertile dialogue, Caroline's Couture offers women the possibility of building their outfits in a perfectly coordinated way. “I wanted to create a collection for women who, like me, want to dress in a way that is fully aligned with who they are today”, explains Caroline Scheufele. “Women in love with beauty – meaning true beauty, the kind that never goes out of fashion. Pure elegance. Clothes that can be cherished over time, worn in a variety of circumstances and in countless ways, without ever losing their value or relevance. A wardrobe like a jewellery collection, which time makes more and more precious because they are accompanied by slices of life and carry with them experiences, memories and memorable moments. It is this approach to jewellery that I wanted to transpose to clothing.”

Sustainable production process

For this first foray into fashion territory, it was essential for Caroline Scheufele – a leading figure in sustainable development – to devise a modus operandi that was entirely consistent with the stance for which she advocates on the luxury market. While the very principles of the fashion industry require the production of clothes systemically doomed to programmed obsolescence, due to the rhythm of the collections presented four to ten times a year by the fashion houses, Caroline Scheufele adopts the same technique as for jewellery: using the noblest materials, developing fabrics in order to create unique textures and calling upon the finest artisans. This is an extremely selective course of action, a way of reviving old-fashioned couture in the process of creating clothing, while at the same time adopting an absolutely modern approach to style. It is also sustainable in terms of the desire to tailor the ordering of fabrics and their integration into the collection with extreme precision: every metre is used so that there is as little waste as possible.

Fabrics, the stuff of dreams

Chiffon, taffeta, duchess satin, silk cady, lace, a large proportion of the fabrics is sourced from Jakob Schlaepfer in St. Gallen, a Swiss manufacturer that has become a worldwide reference and a supplier to Haute Couture since its inception. Some of the fabrics also come from the Gentili Mosconi workshops in Como, in particular the universally acclaimed jacquards, which have been worked and redesigned to meet the unique requirements of Caroline's Couture. The embroideries are made in India by the best artisans of the Kalhath Institute, woven with Japanese beads, the smallest in the world. Involving a rare degree of patience, this task is a tribute to the time that only artistic craftsmanship is still prepared to devote to such endeavours. Each of these material effects has been custom-made for the collection in order to develop extraordinarily sophisticated textures, echoing the jewels of the Red Carpet Collection created in Chopard’s Geneva workshops.

A wardrobe designed like a library

Caroline's Couture's major challenge was to develop a brilliantly designed, charismatic collection that also served the Maison’s jewellery creations, setting them off to their best advantage. While the colour range starts with black and white, it offers many beautiful escapes reflecting the palette of the precious stones. The structure of the garments offers precious support – by means of an ingenious internal corset system – ensuring regal posture. The embroidery and various ornaments are configured to enhance the lower part of the silhouette from the waist downwards, leaving the torso clearer, like a jewel box, for the jewellery that adorns it. These singular items are intended to combine with each other or with other clothing elements. Composing a wardrobe conceptualised like a library, Caroline's Couture make life moments experienced by the women wearing these ensembles even more memorable, instilling a confidence and a radiance tailored to all the women they decide to be.

The Kalhath Institute

At the head of Chopard, Caroline Scheufele has consistently worked to create a fairer world by ensuring responsible practices from ethical, social and environmental standpoints. This couture collection could not have been created without being deeply rooted in these humanist values. All of Caroline's Couture embroidery has been crafted by the Kalhath Institute in Lucknow, North India, which was born in 2016 under the impetus of Maximiliano Modesti. As Caroline Scheufele points out: "When you are lucky enough to live a charmed life, it is only right to give back what you can for the benefit of others and thus create a virtuous circle. The Kalhath Institute works to strengthen the skills of the artisans, to pass on this exceptional expertise within India and to put in place framework conditions enabling the craftspeople to earn fair wages – and these are exactly the kind of steps we have been taking for several years at Chopard.”


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