Celebrating 100 years of the iconic Cartier Panther collection.
In Paris recently whilst on holidays, I visited the elegant Rue de la Paix Cartier butique with my daughter Coco to put my beloved Santos watch in for a service. We ended up spending nearly an hour in the store admiring the incredible Panthére collection on glittering display – she was so in awe, she excitedly exclaimed she wanted to become a jewellery maker. Back in Sydney, upon hearing about this assignment, I felt as giddy as she – the Panthére collection boasts some of my favourite jewellery of all time; pieces that transcend fashion trends and never age. There is something so beautiful, versatile and strong yet completely feminine in the metaphor of the panther, the majestic predator that has been prowling Cartier jewellery since 1914. Contrary to popular belief, this beautiful creature doesn’t have all black fur; on closer inspection, the fur is dark brown and carries gorgeous rosettes and solid spots of all sizes; hence the similarity to leopard fur and the spotted emblem used across the Cartier jewellery.
Interestingly, even though born under the house’s name, the collection was started by a woman, Jeanne Toussaint, who worked closely with Cartier and was herself nicknamed Le Panthére for her free-thinking temperament, strong will and exotic style. She first incorporated the spotted panther motif on a watch in 1914 , introducing flecking on jewellery. It soon became a concept that adorned many Cartier designs; from powder boxes and vanity cases to later embellishing brooches, earrings, bracelets and necklaces. In 1948, a three dimensional brooch was acquired by the Duchess of Windsor who became a loyal customer, commissioning another stunning brooch and an onyx studded diamond bracelet.
Since then, the Panthére collection has undergone many transformations, consistently producing amazing contemporary jewellery. For this story, I loaned some of my favourite pieces from the collection and styled them by incorporating key 2014/2015 trends.
The 1960s dominated the runways from Gucci to Louis Vuitton this season. I love the revival of femininity and luxury of this trend, not to mention that tan, honey and gold are a match made in sartorial heaven. (Wearing necklace, bracelet and ring by Cartier, bodysuit by Josh Goot, leather skirt by Gucci,vintage fur coat and Pucci sunglasses.)
A return to elegance and sweeping hemlines may be interpreted as a way to recapture fairytale glamour, however, done in red, it becomes a timeless way to stand out – just add diamond-encrusted panthers.(Wearing Cartier earrings and ring, gown by Camilla and Marc)
Make like Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn because men’s tailoring is back in a big way. There is nothing as flattering as a well-cut suit on a woman – nothing as sexy either. (Wearing Cartier choker and bracelet, Saint Laurent suit from Parlour X, Christian Louboutin pumps, Maison Michel hat)
photographed by Kasia Werstak