Tuesday January 27, 2015
Elie Top presents to you his first collection of fine high-end fantasy jewellery: Mécaniques Célestes.
Elie Top has opened his own jewellery house. And naturally, in designing jewellery under his own name, Elie Top lets his imagination run even wilder than ever before.
And his imagination is in a class of its own. His realm is dreamlike, but geometrical. His world is Baroque, but pared-down Baroque. He is decidedly modern yet thoroughly classical. His designs are spectacular yet secretive and mysterious. His collections are classed as Fine Jewellery with their craftsmanship and complex cosmogonic architec- ture but remain firmly rooted in the realm of costume jewellery with their freedom of inspiration and focus on creativity instead of stone value.
In a class of his own, Elie Top is not part of a trend. Yet this does not make him an outsider. Quite the reverse: Elie Top joins a long tradition of designers, scientists and artists who have worked to bring together false opposites: simplicity and complexity, subtlety and richness, lines and depths.
Verlaine thought “the blue jumble of bright stars” was one of the purest images of beauty. Yet we now know that this “blue jumble” is in fact governed by the mathematical accuracy of the cosmic expansion that followed the Big Bang. “Order is the pleasure of reason but disorder is the delight of the imagination.” Using the mathematical purity of his lines, Elie Top caresses our reason and, using the extravagant internal worlds hidden in his jewellery, he satisfies our imagination.
Elie Top’s jewellery is as beautiful as a mathematical extravagance.
The Mécaniques Célestes Collection comprises a cosmogony of jewellery, where each piece is itself an entire galaxy.
The mysterious worlds of the Mécaniques Célestes collection emerge in each piece through a smooth, flat structure - the body - whose purity and simplicity contrast with the richness of the world hidden within. But this purity and simplicity have also been carefully crafted. Just as sky’s blue is never dull, nor sea’s green, this surface’s burnished silver is complex. Inspired by a tradition that continued until the 1950s, the silver is first blackened, as if it has been exposed to air for a long time without cleaning. Then it is partially lightened, to give an impression of movement. The result is like a cloudy sky or ancient metal discovered in the ground. A past-present-future mystery. Visually, this antique effect brings out the gold and diamond’s shine and enhances the depth of the celestial bodies, giving the jewellery’s central motif volume and power. The burnished silver is also found on the chains, with their double groove that extends the double gold chain.
The celestial depth of each piece illustrates luxury timepiece expertise. The silver body containing this ‘mechanism’ in the Soucoupe Volante pendant is crafted from one piece: a feat that was impossible before today’s mastery of 3D modelling. A fascinating combination of a timeless dream world, an ancient feel and cutting-edge technology. What fiendish ambiguity! Have we travelled thousands of years back in time or been sent to the future? This Mécaniques Célestes collection is doubly fiendish in the precise assembly of all the tiny gold and diamond pieces that make up each piece of jewellery. Such great precision was required that each tiny piece had to be welded by laser. Extreme engineering meets creativity. Each ring is graduated and grooved, with a tiny diamond sitting at the intersection of the rings. So tiny, you almost need a magnifying glass to see it. In fact, the jeweller needed 100x magnification projected on a screen — like a surgeon — to complete this delicate work. The task of assembling rings and cages was incredibly delicate due to their interconnected nature and axis-mounting which gave movement to each part as well as the ensemble...