#STORY: At 26, Place Vendome with Claire Choisne

"Behind the Blue Door" by Tanja Beljanski
Reading time 5 minutes
Claire Choisne, Creative Director at Maison BOUCHERON

A modern girl wants to be able to put her favorite neckless herself on. This was a thought Frederick Boucheron had in mind when he designed a neckless never seen before. Question mark neckless was a 19th century innovation as much in design as in technology.

No clutch and easy to put on, it was liberating for all the women who had strong will to free themselves from the straitjacket of everyday life.

Frederick Boucheron is a jeweler who has brought a sparkle of consciousness to his creations; who injected into the inventiveness of his designs and the techniques used, a notion of personal fulfillment, which over time, became the brand’s signature style. Simplicity and elegance; these novelties reveal a decidedly Parisian spirit.

A modern girl loves innovation and wants to wear her precious necklace easy and all the time - believes Claire Choisne, directrice créative at Boucheron today.

A modern girl questions the world she lives in; a modern girl wears her favorite necklace all the time; she loves nature and enjoys the city. A modern girl travels the world to find the answers and see for herself. Nothing holds her back. Her jewelry is playful. It easily changes from necklace to bracelet, or brooch even! From longer to shorter version of earrings, depends how she fells like wearing them. And the change is what she goes for!

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Timeless elegance: Boucheron 'Question Mark' Necklace

“I love to travel. I believe that traveling opens your mind,” Claire told me the day we met at the mythic place at 26 Place Vendôme.

26 Place Vendôme is the Boucheron’s family house, and the heart of its creative enterprise.

Boucheron was the first jeweler to open a boutique on Place Vendôme. It is still there today. 

In the studio, under those magical Parisian roofs, the inspirations become reality and take shape. Behind the blue door of the number 26 Place Vendôme, Claire Choisne, Creative Director of Boucheron, shares her personal view of this unique place and the vision of true 21st century woman.

“Modernity, purity - this is what I communicate through my designs,” explains Claire. “I love the innovation. It is in the hart of Boucheron. When I started working, I went through this immersive archive to see if I can find the house code. I soon realized that in innovation lays the original Boucheron’s spirit. And I was amazed and inspired right away. I thought “This is it! This is the house code!” So, from that point on, the innovation is in everything I design, from highlighting timeless pieces - “Point d’Interrogation” necklaces, to developing completely new technics and using elements no one have ever used in the making of high jewelry, like sand, for example. In our collection “Nature Triomphate” we have worked with real flowers. It took us a lot of time to develop the right technology to preserve the real flower as a precious jewel.” 

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Images: Courtesy of Maison Boucheron

Since 1893, Maison Boucheron's artisans have worked on the top floor of the hôtel particulier, in a workshop bathed in light. It is here, looking out onto Place Vendôme, that the craftsmen and women representing each of the skilled trades involved, work together in constant dialogue with each other so that each creation they produce is a masterpiece.

Claire finds her inspiration everywhere. It could be while traveling, reading, looking at the art piece or looking at the internet. She finds it in the beauty of nature, whose diversity, ideal aesthetic and symbolic abundance offer endless sources of inspiration. Claire finds it in the  architecture, and animals, too. Or it can be just the first little flower her daughter ever gave her as a gift. And what a jewelry does she design! Necklaces can be worn as bracelets (Jack de Boucheron). Brooches become more than just a decoration of your dress, they are a part of it.

Jewelry is like poetry to me. “I totally agree,” Claire exclaimed. As poetry is the highest form of the art of literature, so is the jewelry the highest form of fashions accessories design. Adding a beautifully designed jewelry to your outfit is like giving a soul to your total look.

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Making a piece of jewelry is to seek a balance between a long list of constraints: managing to successfully transform a design into a work of art, making metal and stones light, making the piece beautiful and resilient, ensuring the back looks as good as the front. So as to enhance the radiance of each stone, the Maison masters all of the existing setting techniques and invents its own, such as the mosaic setting, mirror setting and airy setting. The latter seems to magnify the stone, which appears to magically float in thin air.

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Each stone has its meaning. Each combination tells the story. “The most poetic combination for me is rock crystal and diamond. This combination represents modernity and purity in its essence,” explains Claire.

Whether you prefer glorious Hiver Impérial collection which brings Nature, Couture and Architecture together; live your fantasies with Plume de Paon question mark necklace on, or never want to take of your radiant graphic Quatre rings; with their timeless elegance and originality, they all epitomize Maison Boucheron’s free mind and subversive power, and one thing is sure - you are a true Boucheron’s modern woman.


*The story "Behind the Blue Door, At 26 Place Vendome with Claire Choisne" by Tanja Beljanski first appeared in the March 2020 issue of L'Officiel Arabia.


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