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Lily Cluster Drop Earrings

By Tali Jaffe

This month Harry Winston introduces its latest collection, Lily Cluster, which is a fresh take on an archival design from the 1940s. Here we speak to Harry Winston’s vice president of design, Sandrine de Laage, about the latest collection, mixing metals and what it’s like to spend a day at the famed jewelry house’s archives.

What was it like to delve into the Harry Winston archive for the first time?
Can you share something from that experience with us?

Visiting the Harry Winston archives is a magical experience. They tell the story of this amazing company through the most beautiful drawings and sketches, and we have over 100,000 of these designs at our fingertips. For me and my team, our role is to protect and preserve the integrity of our incredible design heritage—the archives can often provide that creative spark that we use to ignite amazing new interpretations of Harry Winston jewels, as they did with Lily Cluster.

When was the Lily Cluster design first seen? Has it been a recurring theme for Harry Winston, or was it a one-off?
The design for Lily Cluster was inspired by an original sketch created in 1947. It is a modern twist on the classic Winston cluster, a signature of the House. The classic Winston Cluster is a true celebration of diamonds; it is about using a minimal amount of metal, keeping the focus on the diamonds and maximizing their brilliance and life. Over the years we have done many different interpretations of this classic motif in both our jewelry and timepieces, and Lily Cluster is another play on that idea.

Lily Cluster looks totally contemporary now. What do you think makes Harry Winston's looks so timeless?
Harry Winston has always been about celebrating the most beautiful jewelry in the world, using the most exquisite, rarest gemstones of the best quality. All of our jewelry is handmade in our workshop on Fifth Avenue, and has been since Mr. Winston moved the company to this location in 1960.

Since this is the first time in 20 years that Harry Winston has released a collection in yellow gold.
What motivated the color and metal choice for this collection?

We always listen to our clients, who were often requesting yellow gold and a greater versatility in
everyday jewels.

You also designed the collection set in platinum. Do you think your clients will mix metals?
Is that a trend you're seeing?

In our advertising campaign, we chose to feature Freja Beha wearing both the platinum and yellow gold Lily Cluster pieces together. This reflects the flexibility and wearability of the collection; it is fresh and modern.

Are there plans to expand the Lily Cluster collection?
We are always exploring new ideas and ways to expand our collections. We have just finished a beautiful Lily Cluster headband, and there is certainly more to come.

Tell us about the addition of the barrette. Outside of a tiara, it's the first hair piece the house has introduced, correct?
This is the first time a hair barrette has been done for a collection.  Harry Winston has always been able to cater the very unique requests by our clients, as well as for the red carpet.  We have done tiaras, or specialty pieces, like headbands in the past, but the barrette is a new idea.

Where else do you draw your inspiration from?
I am always inspired by culture, nature, and travel. Part of the special charm of Winston design is to examine the world around us and interpret it into diamonds, elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Who do you think of when designing for the Harry Winston client?
The Harry Winston client is someone who loves and appreciates the rarity, exclusivity, and attention to detail that goes into creating each piece of Harry Winston jewelry. They understand how unique and special these pieces are.  When I am creating, I also think about how a client would wear a piece of jewelry or experience and interact with a design in their own life.

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