Having spent nine years designing jewelry for Balenciaga under Nicholas Ghesquière, Charlotte Chesnais launched her eponymous brand in 2015 and scooped the prestigious ANDAM accessories prize in the same year.
In 2020 she opened her first boutique in the center of Paris and this week saw the follow up in Saint Germain on the city’s Rive Gauche a stone’s throw from the Gucci concept store.
As with the original, the interiors concept has been created by Dutch architect, Anne Holtrop whose projects range from the remodeled Maison Margiela concept store in London’s Bruton Street to the Bahrain Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale.
Collections are displayed within a monolithic translucent structure that resembles a waterfall frozen mid cascade and into which drawers and niches have been carved directly. It’s made from acrylic that’s 85% recycled.
A staircase sashays up from the double ceiling ground level to a bijou mezzanine level hideaway housing the brand’s fine jewelry collections where the those signature swirls frame blue and orange sapphires or come crossed with diamond pavé.
Thanks to a jade green and lichen color palette and plush carpeting, the intimate space feels like a luxurious grotto with a ‘70s twist.
This is the first time Charlotte Chesnais fine jewelry has been displayed in full as a separate category which speaks volumes for the ambitions of its founder.
“I discovered Paris through the Rive Gauche. I walked its streets as a child, and later lived there,” says Chesnais who grew up in the French countryside. “It’s a place onto which I projected my fantasies of a very elegant, and perhaps a bit cliché, Parisian microcosm.”
Chesnais is known for her sinuous architectural pieces that fuse sculpture with jewelry, and draw influence from the works of Brancusi and Giacometti, elongating the fingers, swooping from the wrists and floating on the ears with apparent disregard for gravity.
In addition to her own line, Chesnais works as a consulting designer for A.P.C., Paco Rabanne and Uniqlo.
Most recent project which previewed at Basel Miami in December was a limited edition series of silver, gold and bronze candle holders — collaboration with LVMH owned Loro Piana — their curvaceous silhouettes recalling those of her jewelry.
Chesnais has long created sculptural art pieces which are displayed both in the stores and her brand’s Palais Royal HQ, but, unless you count the pop-up she hosted for art dealer turned florist Louis-Géraud Castor of Castor Fleuriste last summer while the Saint Germain boutique was being renovated, this was her first official foray into the exponentially popular category of home decor.