Anyone who visited the by-appointment Messika villa at the Couture show during Las Vegas Jewelry Week got a sneak peek of the brand’s new high jewelry range—36 pieces co-designed by Valérie Messika and supermodel and style icon Kate Moss. But le grand spectacle was still to come: the formal unveiling of the collection, which took place earlier this October during Paris Fashion Week. And by “unveiling,” we mean a full-blown runway show held in the Gardens of the Ritz.
Talent included some of the fashion industry’s most recognizable models, including Taylor Hill, Cindy Bruna, Isabeli Fontana, Edita Vilkevičiūtė, Soo Joo, and more (you can watch the video here). Moss herself did not walk the show; as the visionary behind the jewels, her role in this shining moment came long before this parade of diamonds came swinging and sauntering down the catwalk.
The collection debut marks the second time Moss has collaborated with the renown French jewelry brand. “We met initially in Paris and after discussing our joint love of jewelry, I brought my jewelry box to our first design meeting so she could see pieces that I love and to give her an understanding of my bohemian taste,” Moss says. “We had several meetings in person, and also virtual ones. Mood boards were sent back and forth between us. Valérie did a great job interpreting my taste into the aesthetic of Messika.”
The latest chapter is a fuller expression of the ideas she and Messika initially explored; this time there’s a palpable levity to the jewels overall, with bold executions that marry Moss’s effortless, bohemian chic with Messika’s signature graphic-and-geometric diamond compositions. “This collection has really been inspired by my eclectic tastes, along with pieces from my own jewelry box, different cultures and eras that I love, the 20s and 70s,” adds Moss.
Messika agrees. “It was important for Kate and I to create jewelry that embodied both of us,” the designer says. “It is as an expedition through her jewelry box, a universe, which at first seemed far from Messika Paris jewelry, and presented a real exciting challenge. My team and I had to be innovative and daring. The movement of stones, the fluidity of lines, the flexibility of the jewels and the audacity of wearing them—nothing is left behind.”
Together the two were aiming for a vibe of relaxed luxury but there’s no question that this is Serious Diamond Jewelry by definition. And yet there’s also a languid sensuality to the range, a quality amplified by the looks. No dig at designer Alexandre Vauthier who gets the fashion credit, but it’s remarkable how quietly elegant the garments are, how the silhouettes fade away like shadows or clouds to really give the diamonds and gemstones their moment in the sun.
There are navel-grazing diamond lariats, jewels that either crawl up the entire curve of the ear in a lavish cocoon of diamond feathers or cascade downward in a curtain of shoulder-dusting diamond fringe. A tassel necklace dangles casually from a stiletto-clad ankle. There are also headpieces galore—not quite tiaras, but more exotic, like something from an Aztec or Eastern fairytale, and more than a few incorporate touches of art deco geometry.
The inclusion of stones beyond world-class diamonds were key to creating an electric jolt to the senses in jewelry form. Vibrant green malachite and serene turquoise speak to a larger theme of joy, hope, and renewal that Messika has been exploring beyond the Kate Moss collaboration—but given the grandeur of the runway presentation, perhaps it’s all been building up to what’s happening here.
If we’re lucky, maybe there will be more “jewelry runway shows” waiting for us elsewhere in the industry in the coming months. And if Messika’s moment at the Ritz is setting the standard, save us a seat in the front row!
All photos courtesy of Messika