Bushels of diamonds and strings of pearls might seem as farfetched right now as the black-tie galas where they were often worn. For WSJ.’s December/January Issue’s Market Report feature, photographer Alexandre Guirkinger and stylist Victoire Simonney make the case for rethinking the role of precious jewelry in daily life.
“The high jewelry world often paints a very romantic image of femininity. It can be quite traditional,” Simonney writes by email.
“We had in mind the idea of breaking with the usual type of women on whom jewelry is shown,” says Guirkinger, also by email. With that in mind, the duo cast a range of up-and-coming models including Anania Orgeas, Priscillia Ressem, Grace Valentine and Otto Zinsou. “I organized the shoot in order to be able to improvise depending on the personality of the person, the style and the jewelry,” says Guirkinger, who shot in a studio and on location in Paris.
He and Simonney took each models’s personal style into consideration when pairing pieces such as an Hermès choker and bracelet, priced together at over $1.8 million, with a casual Acne Studios button-down on Orgeas, or Bulgari’s South Sea pearl and diamond necklace and emerald, tourmaline and diamond ring with a Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello leather jacket, on Ressem. “I imagined how some of my very chic, close friends, would wear these outstanding jewelry pieces if they were part of their daily wardrobe,” says Simonney.
The results are closer to portraits rather than anonymous fashion images, says Gurkinger: “More personal, more ambiguous.”