By now you must have already caught sight of the gorgeous Cartier ferris wheel parked outside Ion Orchard shopping mall – or seen it plastered all over Instagram. This gigantic structure is just the first of many things happening at this Cartier boutique, which is set to reopen its doors officially on 24th November. And did you know that this three-story boutique is the largest Cartier store in all of Southeast Asia?
Spanning a total of 688 square metres, the store’s remodelling was done by the famed Parisian artist, designer, scenographer, painter and photographer Bruno Moinard, who made sure to marry the French Art de Vivre (art of living, the French way) with multiple references to Singaporean culture as a Garden City – embracing the beauty, richness and diversity of it all.
Inspired by the Singapore’s tropical climate, the external 20-metre-long glass façade is patterned with palm trees and raindrops to elicit a sense of privacy and exclusiveness. Another key feature is a custom-made sculpture of art – in the stairwell between the first and second floors. The Cartier panther – carved in bas-relief – nestles amongst the tropical environment on a plaster panel, referencing to Singapore’s very own flora and fauna.
On the third and highest floor, the Le Salon Cartier has been enriched with Peranakan artefacts exuding the splendour of this beautiful local Singaporean culture.
Shirin ‘Nina Dyer’ Aga Khan Panther Bangle
But more exciting news awaits. Cartier Singapore has – as part of the reopening celebrations – specially curated an exhibition of selected historic and extraordinary pieces brought in from the Cartier archives in Paris. The exhibition titled ‘Cartier, Icon of Style’ has been specially curated – showcasing selected beautiful historic and extraordinary jewellery pieces.
More than a Cartier symbol. A timeless emblem first tamed by Louis Cartier and his muse, Jeanne Toussaint, the totemic panther carries on her reign.
Titled Cartier, Icon of Style, the exhibition highlights, among other things, the origins of the Maison’s love affair with the panther motif. The French Maison was the first jeweller to adopt the panther. The elegant feline was used for the firts time on a wristwatch in 1914 with a setting of onyx recreating the animal’s fur.
Barbara Hutton’s Tiger Clip
When Jeanne Toussaint was appointed as creative director in 1933, the panter became even more as an emblematic motif for the Maison. Toussaint worked closely alongside founder Louis Cartier and was nicknamed ‘La Panthère’, presumably due to her freedom, strength of character and the love pather in her lifestyle. One of her most outstanding inputs lies in the search on volume and attidudes of the animal. For Jeanne Toussaint, the panther – now an iconic motif – is clearly the emblem of timeless femininity unfettered by convention.
Marked by wild and beautiful femininity, the fearless and audacious panther later seduced countless personalities; royalty, celebrities and femme fatales, who would continue the legend through new savoir-faire and unexplored attitudes in precious materials.
Both, Louis Cartier and Jeanne Toussaint, also had a mutual interest in, not to say a fascination with, other cultures. This has helped shape not just the aesthetic of one or other object, but the entire Cartier style. A visual language, wich has extended to every creation and whose ‘vocabulary’ has been constantly expanding.
The Duchess of Windsor’s Panther Brooch
The ‘Cartier, Icon of Style’ exhibition highlights the orgins of the panther and its rich connections with some of the most well-known figures, such as the Duchess of Windsor, Shirin – Nina Dyer – Aga Khan and Barbara Hutton, just to name a few.
Open to the public, the exhibition will run from November 24 to December 6. Monday to Friday: 12pm to 9.00pm, Saturday to Sunday: 10.30am to 9.00pm. Keen individuals are encouraged to indicate registration interest on Cartier ‘Icon of Style’ as viewing slots are limited.
Come into the world of Cartier.