BY AKANKSHA KAMATH –
Vogue India –
10 September 2022 –
“To interact with a stone is to travel to far-off cultures and civilisations,” says Jacqueline Karachi, creative director at Cartier Prestige, who has served as gatekeeper to the jewellery maison’s historical designs for four decades. Today, when we speak across the thin veils of our zoom screens, the world seems like a smaller, tighter unit. One where her predecessors’ intertwined history with the by-lanes of Jaipur’s bazaars filters her own lens and tryst with design.
To understand the provenance of Cartier’s ‘Tutti Frutti’ Art Deco pieces, is to trace back to the heart of its stones. “Many of the Indian gems are not so flawless as those used here,” reveals Jacques Cartier, the Cartier brother who discovered the ‘Tutti Frutti’ gems, in his travelogues dating back to 1911. “One does not see as in the English light,” he wrote of his adventures to the subcontinent (as cited by direct descendent Francesca Cartier Brickell in her book The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire). “He is only conscious that here is a blaze of red, and there of green or yellow. It is all like an impressionist painting. Nothing is clearly defined, and there is but one vivid impression of undreamed gorgeousness and wealth.” These words would later dance off the page to caress the necks of socialite and French heiress Daisy Fellowes and European royalty, in the form of the inimitable Cartier ‘Tutti Frutti’ designs.