If it can be described as such, Cartier has a certain flavour, perhaps even an aroma, or a signature look that can be denoted from a mile away—classic jewellery featuring the most incredible stones of alarming size and timeless quality, there’s instant brand recognition. And if we had to describe the work of Chitose Abe or the clothes in her label, Sacai, the Japanese brand is of a different palette, whiff, and vision, one that is modern and contemporary.
So when the icon from the West met the iconoclast from the East on a drawing board, their shared vision of Cartier’s classic Trinity ring (originally featured almost 100 years ago, back in 1924, in fact) has resulted in a unique collection, an eternal trifecta in yellow, pink, and white gold.
For her brand, Abe created a line of clothes that merged seemingly differing ideas and fused them into a cohesive line. She does the same with her novel take on a classic ring as six, original pieces are now available in Hong Kong.
In the Roaring Twenties, the three interlocking bands of the Cartier Trinity ring represented three phases in idealised romance: the white gold was for enduring friendship, the classic yellow gold band symbolised loyalty—or fidelity of marriage— and the rose gold stood in lieu of true eternal love, resulting in a powerful fusion.
In 2023, love—and those rings—look very different. Shape and size have changed, and the idealised illusion of 1920s romance has been grounded. The six modular pieces (two rings, a bracelet, a necklace, an earring, and “a versatile piece that is both an earring and a ring” as per the press release) retain the original idea of a trio of colours creating one solid piece of jewellery. What’s different in the latest collection is the distortion in the shapes of the circular rings. In the contemporary deconstruction of a classic shape and a signature accessory from one of the oldest, most historical jewellery brands in the world, the current release reveals that the old house isn’t chained to its past, but moving forward with the times.
Historically, the rings were mostly, well, just rings. Now, for the first time ever, the three Cartier rings can be worn around the neck as larger creations have emerged from the noble house. The entire collection is open to interpretation and use, and the rings can be worn partially, in myriad ways, and in multiple combinations.
This approach is, of course, a riff that’s emerged from the founder, owner, and designer of Sacai, who has deconstructed the silhouette of the pieces “by mixing very different styles to create new classics, skilfully orchestrating the fusion of all possibilities: shapes and textures, colours and patterns, eras and functions.” Just one look at the stills from the PR and we’re bound to believe in their literature.
Apart from the novelty of the idea, fans of either—or both—brands are likely to love the innovative capsule collection as a gilded sign of the times. In fact, the rarer the pieces, the greater their value down the line. As we at Robb Report Hong Kong have noted in covering auctions of vintage, limited-edition pieces from the house that built the diamond-studded leopard, the value of Cartier accessories only increases with time. Is this latest collaboration with Sacai one for the books? Only time will tell.
Five of the limited-edition creations are now available in Hong Kong exclusively at Boutique Cartier Lee Garden Three and Boutique Cartier K11 Musea from July 2023 onwards.
All images courtesy of Cartier.