(Photos: Isabelle Erb)
Frankly speaking, Bernardaud has not really been viewed by some in the fashion press as a primary shopping destination for the young, trendy and super hip. With toney shops in France, Chicago and New York (on Park Avenue, of course), Bernardaud’s image has generally been regarded as quiet and conservative; a place to to go for traditional and usually pricey Limoges porcelain tabletop and classic, interior design pieces; not quite the type of image (or merchandise) that might interest the super-cool fashion folk, who more often than not, lust after the new and now, usually sans the extravagant pricepoints.
So, when an email was sent to this editor, announcing an early morning, “Petit Dejeuner” presentation at the Park Avenue store, of a new jewelry collection, called “La Collection Goutte”, designed by Taher Chemirik, whose artwork is part of the permanent collection at the Parisian Museum of Decorative Arts, interest was piqued. A request to Bernardaud’s PR person to attend the event, yielded a slick, white, mailed invite, showing a stylized photo of one very modernist piece of jewelry on the front. Obviously, something unique and different was going on at Bernardaud these days, and the event was being held to showcase all of this.
Arriving at the open, airy store on the day of the event, editors and invited guests received breakfast and an informal preview of Chemirik’s newest gems. The capsule grouping, which for the most part is fresh, easy-to-wear, youthful and fun, centers around petite to bold sterling silver and porcelain sautoirs, rings, bracelets, earrings and pendants, in choices of white, ebony and 24 carat matte gold finish.
However, while the design of the jewels is creative, and the color choices as is are interesting and complimentary, the designer might have made even more of a dramatic statement, had he mixed in some brighter, more upbeat shades, along with the monotone palette here. After all, in this drab economy, bright colors kind of seem happy and right, esprecially when addressing the new season’s clothing lines, as well as the current jewelry collections that go right along with the wardrobe. When it came to pricepoints, both Chemirik and Bernardaud got everything right. How about $260 for a sexy, little white pendant, or a mere $580 for a bold, swingy, long sautoir, in ebony or gold. Seems very nice, right across the board, yes.
Obviously, by way of showcasing eclectic jewels at reasonable prices, Bernardaud is intent on making itself more appealing and modern to the younger, more fashiony shopper. Case in point: During the press event, several of the “downtown” editors showed more than just a bit of interest in the jewelry, not only for the publications and websites for which they were covering, but for themselves, as well. That’s a pretty good sign, n’est ce pas.
-- Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg