Mutual Adornment: Natalie Shau's Art & Lydia Courteille's Jewels
Lydia Courteille is an extraordinary jeweler. She develops several collections every month along with many one of a kind items. Her work incorporates high karat golds and gemstones into various subjects as flora, fauna and such gothic staples as crosses, skulls, snakes, bones and bats. She has become so well-known as a trend-setter, that international stylists from jewelry, fashion and accessories arenas never miss a chance to visit the boutique, particularly during fashion week in Paris.
While many of her pieces have the same symbolism we've seen plenty in the last decade; the ubiquitous tattoo staples like roses, dragons, crosses, daggers and wings, all her pieces have an unparalelled attention to detail and enviable craftsmanship. To call her pieces 'complicated' or 'ornate' would be an understatement.
But it's not only her 'bijoux extraordinaire' that caught my attention. It was the visual menu on her website that really made her worth writing about over such other popular trendy jewelers like Delfina Delettrez.
above: the main menu page of Lydia Courteille's website
The site navigation is represented by various paintings upon which select examples of Lydia's jewels are placed. There are nine paintings for the nine collections. Once clicked upon, the painting disappears and the individual pieces appear with descriptions and arrows to proceed.
Each collection is represented by a different illustration or painting that is a perfect match for her pieces; feminine but gothic, ethereal but grounded in nature.
above: painting for and pieces from the "To Cassandra" collection
So, who created the artwork? A young Lithuania based artist named Natalie Shau whose work is at once both frightening and yet enchanting. A perfect compliment to Lydia's pieces.
To share with you the labors of both these prolific artists, below are each of Natalie's illustrations for Lydia's collections along with some of Lydia's large varied collection of rings, earrings, bracelets, cuffs and pins.
above: a portrait of the jeweler, by the artist.
She has everything of a mischievous heroine in a boudoir, with a doll’s face and her hair, cut with a cheeky fringe; Lydia Courteille is a Parisian fairy tale reknown for her cabinet of curiosities where she pulls the strings, 100% dreamlike. The address is petite, but unique for it’s 19th century vitrines, where a baroque sentiment is guarantied, set against velvety midnight blue and it’s number: 231, almost the Faubourg but already Saint Honoré. Here, you meet the stylish, the fanciful and the feminine literary figures with their vamp-jeweled fingers such as Christine Orban and Nathalie Rheims; women with spirit for these conversational jewels. It is here; in this Orphean decoration that Lydia Courteille cultivates her dreams, like in a greenhouse. An incredible carnival of vintage jewellery, gleaned through the lifetime of a passionate antiquarian, fond of the extraordinary, who decides, one day, to create what she was relentlessly searching for.
Turquoise, opal, jade, coral, ivory – every vitrine has its color, its theme. Her creations are like stories to be read. There is the imaginary of a terrifying bestiary worthy of Jérome Bosch paintings, from which she diverts the diabolical for the beauty of their forms: snakes, bats, wasps, frogs or monkeys adorned with diamonds are on familiar terms with gargantuesque stones, cut to amaze, so much so that the volumes express themselves largely on one’s hand. Each piece of jewelry is unique and all the big names of the ‘Place’ neighboring don’t hesitate to inspire themselves from them, for their “no limit” imagination.
--From the article by Louise Chancenet for the magazine 'Please!'
231, rue Saint Honoré
00 33 1 42 61 11 71
LEFT BANK BOUTIQUE
33, rue Mazarine
+ 33 1 43 25 05 72
About Natalie Shau (in her own words):
"I am 23 years old Vilnius (Lithuania) based artist. I work mainly in digital media and my pieces are mix between photo manipulation, 3D elements and digital painting/drawing. I enjoy creating surreal and strange creatures, fragile and powerful at the same time. My style was influenced a lot by religious imagery, fairytales illustrations and many classical and modern painters.
However, I am still searching for perfect expression that could totally convey my inner world and visions. I constantly keep working on my own portfolio, but also enjoy creating illustrations for music bands, fashion designers and writers. I already had a chance to work with some big music labels like Island Def Jam (Kerli), Sony BMG (Monica Naranjo), Nuclear Blast (The Duskfall) , Century Media (Lacuna Coil, PoisonBlack, The Agonist) ,Trisol (Samsas Traum), Diquela (Ojos De Brujo) and some smaller ones."
Her complete portfolio is really beautiful , please see it!