Pétale earrings in pink gold with amethysts, diamonds, garnets, pink tourmalines, rhodolites and sapphires
Pétale ring in pink gold with amethysts, peridots, pink tourmalines, sapphires and tsavorites
French jewellery designer Isabelle Langlois is a paragon of creative freedom. An artist at heart and a perfectionist by profession, she designs jewellery pieces for strong-willed women. Using her innate talents, Langlois recreates a universe of colours and sublime fascination.
Coloured gemstones are the crux of every Isabelle Langlois jewellery piece, the France-born designer tells JNA. Coming from a family of gemstone cutters and dealers, Langlois said she grew up literally surrounded by sparkling, colourful stones, which fuelled her compelling connection with the gemstone and jewellery world.
“All my creations are about colours, which I mix and match. In my latest collection, I matched gemstones with feathers. Combining coloured gemstones is like making music and when merged with feathers, the end product sings a stronger song,” noted Langlois.
The designer said she derives inspiration from almost anything around her but colours mostly play a crucial role in her creative process.
Her latest collection, Panache, renders a lifelike appeal to nature-inspired designs through the use of authentic feathers whose soft, subtle texture beautifully contradicts a gemstone’s shiny and hard exterior.
“I wanted to make a piece of jewellery where we can feel the feathers, which evoke freedom and vibrancy. The Panache collection makes use of real peacock, rooster or even guinea fowl feathers,” noted Langlois. “No feathers in my collection were forcibly plucked. Birds change their feathers every year and some were put down for their meat, not for their feathers.”
Pieces from the Panache collection are adorned with gems in complementing colours such as refreshing green tourmalines and quartz stones, peridots and tsavorites; glowing pink sapphires and tourmalines; and fancy sapphires and diamonds, among others. The pieces are set in pink, yellow or white gold.
In Langlois’ other collections, underrated gemstones take centre stage for their one-of-a-kind characteristics.
“Prehnite and rainbow moonstone also figure a lot in my pieces. Prehnite is a greyish-green stone that is full of mystery. It’s not completely transparent but still somehow it is. I also like iolite,” revealed the designer.
Her favourite stone however is Padparadscha sapphire, which is sought after for its enchanting orangey-pink hue. Chrysoberyl in shades of green or yellow and peridot are next on her list.
"If I had gone to a design school, I probably won’t be running my own company; I’d be designing for someone else with no creative freedom. That would have been frustrating."
The woman of today
According to Langlois, her pieces celebrate femininity and women who relentlessly champion pro-female causes. “When these women wear jewellery, it makes them feel special. Jewellery enhances their beauty. My buyers are usually strong-minded ladies, and their tastes are different from others. These are empowered women who know what they want and are not afraid to express it,” she remarked.
These women are on the lookout for something different so they can stand out in a crowd, she added.
Langlois herself is a force to be reckoned with in the jewellery world. A woman of perseverance and character, she opted to go to business school instead of doing design courses.
“I wanted to be my own boss so I got a business degree. I took up gemmological courses too but I wanted to build my business acumen first. Designing was second nature to me anyway,” she said. “If I had gone to a design school, I probably won’t be running my own company; I’d be designing for someone else with no creative freedom. That would have been frustrating.”
Langlois’ customer portfolio currently includes the French, Chinese and Japanese markets but she also has clients from Australia, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Norway.
She recently found new customers from New Zealand, Russia, Japan and Thailand at the March Hong Kong Fair.
Jewellery remains a luxury item but the buying process and the piece itself involve a great deal of emotion, noted Langlois. In essence, while political and economic stability may affect consumer confidence, a unique jewellery piece will always be viewed as a source of positive feelings and find its way into the hearts and jewellery boxes of serious buyers and collectors, she added.