Parisian jeweler Lydia Courteille has been making a very special name for herself over the past thirty years; with her avant-garde and unusual jewelry designs, she has been keeping the Place Vendôme Jewelry Houses on their toes. She is always two to three steps ahead of the fashion world and her inventiveness and daring in the world of high jewelry is legendary. Taking her inspiration from cultural landmarks in France and from numerous historical and literary sources including film, she has combined her love of unusual gemstones with color combinations that speak to the senses: her chlorophyll green in the Amazonia collection, the sunny bright vitamin C oranges of her Xochimilco collection and the azure blues in the Abysse collection all tease our imagination. Famous for her memento mori
and vanity rings, she combines symbols of faith with reminders of mortality to create a juxtaposition of meanings for the wearer to ponder upon. Never macabre and always witty, her edgy jewels recount the tales and the cultural differences from every part of the globe. She deliberately combines symbols to create a duality in her jewels, such as the sickle and hammer of the Soviet period with the ultra-femininity of eighteenth century jewelry design imposing contrast and debate in her Scarlet Empress collection. To see, to touch and to wear Courteille's jewels is to travel to rarely visited spots in the world, from the sulfurous volcanic landscape of the Danakil desert to the remote tribes of the Omo Valley and the Bontoc people of the Philippines. Her jewels have a presence, a femininity, designed by a woman, they demand respect; they are for strong, confident, women.