The creations in the Grain de Café collection—rings, pendants, earrings and brooches—enhance the skin like summer heat. Arranged in clusters, the coffee beans stir with the slightest movement in a precious rustle. Their sensual curves, studded with fiery diamonds set in white gold, radiate infinite delicacy. The “coffee bean” motif, which first appeared at Cartier in 1938, was a huge hit in the 1950s and 1960s. Two extraordinary women contributed to its fame: Jeanne Toussaint and Grace Kelly.
Jeanne Toussaint, Creative Director from 1933, was a woman of style. Her intuition was unfailing, and she saw in this motif the wealth of a universe to be explored. Most often made of yellow gold, or sculpted from a noble material such as coral, the first coffee beans were sometimes studded with diamonds or coloured stones.
Grace Kelly, the actress turned Princess with a truly charismatic aura, could not resist this inspiration. It was for her wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco that she received a Grain de Café set, which she embraced with the same ease as other Cartier creations, from the most intimate to the most prestigious. She remains the most alluring expression of this creation that links Monaco, the French Riviera and the chic opulence of the 1950s.
In a luscious interpretation, Cartier studs a ring and a bracelet with rubellite beads. Half-flower, half-fruit, these scattered berries studded with a gold nail or a diamond appear in an assortment of beans, engraved gold hemispheres and diamonds set in platinum. Even more radical, Cartier pulls out all the stops with a necklace made up of two rows of gold beads topped with coffee beans and gold-studded rubellites. This year, the Maison is also reissuing a necklace originally dating from 1955 (in the pictures above), in homage to the creative history of Grain de Café and the world of Jeanne Toussaint.
“Grain de Café creates a new preciousness by playing with light, finishes and volumes… The result is a versatile collection with added spirit. A symbol of the creative freedom of the Maison, Grain de Café transcends a literal translation of nature and results in a multi-sensory design.” – Marie-Laure Cérède, Creative Director of Jewellery and Watchmaking.
Playing with the pendants, multiplying radiance and shimmer: for the jewellers, the objective was to combine mobility and sensuality. The movement of endlessly sparkling clusters. The sensuality of materials that are an invitation to touch. The jewellers have created hollow grains composed of two parts, assembled to avoid impact between them: one part is curved and the other is arched, while the surface is smooth or gadrooned. All the elements are polished one by one thanks to a steel brush that enhances the finish. 30 craftsmen participated in the creation of this collection and more than 60 prototypes were required.
The campaign of the new jewellery collection features a 45-second trailer in which we follow an elegant and mysterious woman through a sequence of shots. It is the same woman we find at the end of a screening in a cinema, suspended in time where past and present become one. To play the part of this woman, the Maison called upon the American actress Elle Fanning, whose starring role in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere earned a Critics’ Choice nomination and launched a career that continues to span genres through both independent and blockbuster productions. A Global Ambassador of the Maison, she is now the face of the Grain de Café collection.