The Place Vendôme location in Paris was chosen by Frédéric Boucheron because it received the most sunlight in its windows; and thus better showcased the brilliance and size of his stones. It was in 1903 that French Maison Boucheron decided to open his first New Bond Street location to bring a bit of his Place Vendôme to London.
Boucheron bring a touch of Paris to their Bond Street boutique with an entirely new design for both the inside and outside of the shop. Light streams in through the golden screens and lights up the diamonds and brightly coloured precious stones burning away in exotic designs and precious creations.
This year’s renovations were undertaken with the same zeal revealing a new luminosity and modernity to its exterior and its interior presentation spaces that echo those of its sister flagship in Paris. It is the evolution of a concept that in the near future may continue to enhance other Boucheron flagships worldwide.
The façade of the building encompassing New Bond Street and Grafton Street has been entirely resurfaced with a lighter more luminous marble, slightly veined in appearance that resembles the warm stones of the buildings of the Place Vendôme.
Owen Architects were asked to open up the external facades with large display windows, an uncommon feature for luxury jewellery stores. These were framed in specially imported limestone in response to the client’s request to employ predominantly French materials and finishes as part of their co-ordinated house style.
The exterior window treatments have also been replaced and dressed with the same beautiful golden design as the boutique in Paris. A frame of etched brass was created with the playful idea of achieving perfect harmony between the classic and the contemporary. The famed archives housed at Place Vendôme were consulted as inspiration. Woven gold, French lace and Arabic wooden lattice named ‘moucharabieh’ were sourced for this new décor.
Artisans treated brass for the windows in the same manner that gold is handled in the jeweller’s workshop, using age old techniques in moulding, texturing, polishing and sculpting. This resulted in window displays composed of endless flowers and petals that shine and sparkle while intertwined on golden lattice. It evokes an undulating tapestry that diffuses light in the interior while reflecting it off the exterior, luring the eye to discover the pieces presented at the heart of the installations.
At 164 New Bond Street, the House’s creations are now showcased in over 90 square meters of boutique space. The renovations reveal a contemporary environment that echoes the style of the building while enlarging the boutique.
The new, larger presentation spaces are flooded with light making it a true pleasure to receive clients. Shimmering brass bounces light off crystal while the contemporary furniture showcases the natural oak and golden walls, thus creating a welcoming interior for its clientele with the ever present French Chic of Boucheron.
This new boutique environment plays with light like a gem in a glamorous setting with the enhancement of all new light sources. At the centre of both the new entry hall and the mezzanine show room hang crystal chandeliers creating perspective throughout the boutique. A finely sculpted banister has been added which guides the eyes up the stairs from the new entry hall to the mezzanine, creating a harmonious transparency between the two spaces.
A palette of light muted colours has been used internally, enriched by walnut feature panelling and polished brass fretwork display cases.
The light with its golden hues envelope clients and reflect their silhouettes in mirrors to mix with the sparkle of the gems. The warmth of this boutique combined with the human touch of the Boucheron service makes clients even feel more beautiful, elegant and unique.
Boucheron draws its inspiration from the quest for rare emotions, the variety of savoir-faire, the constant attention to detail and the desires of its customers. From High Jewellery necklaces to the iconic Quatre rings and Reflet watches, every piece has a special place in this spectacular location.
A sophisticated, made-to-order light concept, inspired by the facets of a gemstone, was designed for the exterior display cases. A recessed row of lights enhances the textured glow of the white ‘frozen; Winter displays creating a harmonious backdrop for the jewellery on display.
Hundreds of pivoting LED light units can adapt their colours to best enhance and correspond to the multi-coloured brilliance of the stones on display, an innovated touch that is an invitation to discover the myriad of colourful pieces created by Boucheron.
In the interior, the creations are nestled in woven, light aubergine coloured linen with a slight shimmer to it that evokes a natural, yet chic aspect. This new presentation keeps with the code to constantly reinvent and honour the marvel of its jewellery pieces, but never take away from the beauty of the savoir faire behind their creation.
Just follow the reflection of golden frames and jewels down the street to discover the welcoming, elegant and daring atmosphere of the famed French jeweller. For more than 150 years, Boucheron has continued to innovate, staying ahead of contemporary trends while keeping hold of its very emblematic past.
Boucheron is different from the other historic jewellers as their designs are playful, elegant, brilliantly colourful, and above all: sensual. Rather than just rely on their rich history and archives recent partnerships include Max Busser, Marc Newson and even the Cirque du Soleil and British Jewellery Shaun Leane. So unique are the House of Boucheron’s creations that they enjoy a clientele that has included the British Royal Family, Queen Farida of Egypt, the Aga Khan, Queen Rania of Jordan, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Kristen Scott Thomas.
Boucheron bestseller: the Mini Macroon rings
As for the products, Boucheron’s designs stand out for their audacity. Facetting gold itself, much like you would a stone, is a house staple as seen in the Quatre line where gold sculpted into a gadroon, or pyramid shape, or into lines, points or facets. This is also the workmanship seen in the famous Reflet watches created in 1947 with the case of ribbed with gold bands.
Boucheron Chameleon Brooch
Boucheron is all about women, be they the feminine artifices of seduction and the power of suggestion of the boudoir. The Mystic Orient is another theme running through Boucheron’s history. Women like Nefertiti or Cleopatra, and dreams of the East inspire richly decorated jewels. Curves are enhanced by precious stones in spirals, arabesques or tassels.
Boucheron Hathi ring. White and yellow gold, emeralds, diamonds and sapphires.
I love the story about the Maharajah of Patiala who in 1928 arrived with six chests laden with pearls, diamonds and emeralds to have set into Boucheron creations and it is the spirit of fabulous jewels and magnificent indulgence that you can still see in the designs.
Boucheron Giraffe ring. Yellow gold with white, brown and orange diamonds, orange and blue sapphires.
The Cinna Pampilles picks up the spirit of the light yet opulent drop-shape gems created by Boucheron for the Maharajah. Palatial decorations and the richness of zellige-style patterns are rediscovered in the shaded colors of Sheherazade. Trouble Desire speaks through jewels of the torment of passion.
Boucheron Zebra ring. Pink sapphire, black and blue sapphires and white diamonds.
And then of course there are the famous animals of the ‘Cabinet de Curiosités’. But these are not majestic panthers or pretty fairies but weird and wonderful creatures, often those that only appear after dusk. With the spirit of ‘art nouveau’ and exotic exploration in the air, Frédéric Boucheron himself designed enamel and diamond beetles, serpents and dragonflies. Like an art collection, this ‘Cabinet de Curiosités’ is enriched with new pieces each year – the owl, chameleon, swan, frog and snail with a shell set with diamonds are the most recent arrivals.
Boucheron Python ring with a 15,64 carat aquamarines and 340 rubies set into blackened gold. Two emeralds are his eyes.
Number 164 New Bond Street reopened its doors for the New Year, welcoming all to discover the savoir faire and French Chic that make Boucheron one of the world’s leading jewellers.
Come into the wonderful world of Boucheron.