Kenzo Takada: “Fine jewelry is a brand new world for me”

Vianney d'Alançon, the founder of jewelry workshop 10 Royale, located in Paris at 10 Rue Royale, launched this season a series of collaborations with famous designers. Kenzo Takada is first in line with his collection titled "10 Royale by Kenzo Takada." The Japanese designer shares his insights on the project.

Relaxnews: How did you get involved in this new collaboration?
Kenzo Takada: A little over a year ago, a shared aquaintance talked to me about 10 Royale Haute Joaillerie. I replied that I had never done any fine jewelry before. Then I met Vianney and his young team and found them very open-minded. I saw the people who make the jewelry, and it really made me want to get involved. I thought that it would be something I'd like to try.

R: How foreign was the world of jewelry to you?
KT: I like to look at high-end jewelry pieces, of course, but I had never thought that I could make some myself. It's a brand new world for me. The fact that the people I was working with were extremely open-minded helped me delve into that world. I sketched two themes -- originally three were planned -- one that is rather classic and floral, and the other more graphic with an astral design.

R: Does the floral theme qualify as "pastoral"?
KT: Yes, I like the 'flowers of the field' aspect, that is both wild and natural, like peonies. I love peonies, poppies, anemones... Last year, in May or June, I was in Italy and came across some poppy fields. I took loads of photos, it was such a beautiful sight. There was a lot of wind, which gave movement to the flower petals. That provided a starting point for making some sketches and cardboard cutouts in wave shapes.

R: Where does the "astral" theme come from?
KT: As a matter of fact, it's from a drawing of my family seal, which, at its origin, used the symbol of a bluebell, a flower that looks like a star.

R: The ring you're wearing also bears that motif...
KT: I ordered it for myself.

R: Previously you didn't wear the seal?
KT: I did, but not the family one. In India, I bought a maharaja's ring, but I lost it. It featured a flat cut diamond that wasn't very sparkly. It was rather understated, but I loved it. After that, I stopped wearing rings. And so I ordered this ring for myself.

R: What does it symbolize?
KT: It's my family seal. I'm very happy with it. It symbolizes the countryside and flowers of the field.

R: Are you particularly interested in gemstones?
KT: I'm not that familiar with them, but Vianney is a real expert. He started out in Colombia, and went on to travel the world looking for stones, which I find impressive. He's very young, but he's a true professional and his team is great. It's wonderful to work with a young person who is so driven, and with people who possess genuine savoir-faire. I like to work with people who know their trade.

R: How many pieces have you designed?
KT: A little over 20.

R: Does that make you want to do more in this area?
KT: Why not? We'll see. It was a truly interesting experience.
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