When born and raised in Paris, one might become so accustomed to exquisite beauty surrounding them on a regular basis that they become numb to its magnificence. Or, perhaps the daily reminder may become channelled into one of the most creative and unique modern jewelry collections available today. Lydia Courteille chose the latter. Chock full of color, asymmetry, innovation, and incredible stones, Courteille concocts tangible pieces of her imagination in wearable works of art. Remarkably, upon their creation, they are also for sale. We don't know how she bears to part with a single one, but we are sure glad she does. Did we mention her new collection is called Rainbow Warrior Prophecy? And that we were her muses? (Ed Note: that is a blatant lie.) Lydia, we will trade you one Jon Hamm poster for a matching pair of Warrior Princess friendship necklaces. Call us.
What's your idea of ultimate luxury?
To have no limit with money and also to take some time to travel and discover our planet.
Let’s have dinner at your favorite neighborhood restaurant. Where do we go and what do we eat?
Hotel Costes and Pinxo. I love fish sole or simple piece of beef with mashed potatoes and olive oil.
If you could buy any piece of contemporary jewelry from another jeweler, what would it be?
Alessio Boschi or Yeprem
What's your favorite Sunday afternoon activity?
Museums and expos
What's your go–to cocktail?
Margarita and caipirinha
The gemstone you’re currently lusting after is . .
Big opals with a lot of sparkles and colors.
What's your favorite place to holiday and why?
Tassili du Hoggar in Algeria, also Peru. Both have very mysterious archeological places.
What’s your favorite piece that you made in the last year and why?
The Scarlet Empress Cuff.
[Ed note: The cuff with a double headed eagle holding the hammer and the sickle from Scarlet Empress collection: both parts are actually removable in case a woman does not feel comfortable with these whimsical details added by Lydia. The cuff is meant to be a humorous take on Imperial and Soviet past of Russian history that is a comment on a current state of affairs as well.
Lydia’s decision to make those parts removable turned out to be prophetic in a way: Ukraine just adopted a new controversial law that bans Soviet symbols, so in theory, if you think about it, this cuff could potentially land someone in jail there if it is worn in its complete version.]
You have 30 minutes to work out – what do you do?
I have a coach to exercise twice a week but I don't exercise if I have only 30 minutes.
What was the first piece of jewelry you bought for yourself?
A Belperron ring in agate and pearl 30 years ago. (Ed Note: Our first piece of jewelry was not Belperron...)
If you could have dinner with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Leïla Menchari and Karl Lagerfeld.
What's the most sentimental piece of jewelry you own and tell us the back story.
A locket with natural 4 leaves of clovers, my mother found it in my garden years ago.
Mountains, sea or city? Why?
Mountains: Alpes in Chamonix for the beauty. City: Paris, I was born here and it’s a museum under the open sky. The sea in Capri is so romantic.
Top 5 bands in your playlist - go!
Supertramp, Pharrell Williams, Norah Jones, George Michael, Vangelis
You’re having guests for the weekend. What’s your signature dish that you cook?
Chicken with Morels or Baeckeoffe.
Be honest – who’s your celebrity crush?!
Jon Hamm in Mad Men
If you could sit front row at any fashion show, which would it be and why?
Chanel – Karl Lagerfeld is my favorite and he is my customer.
Tell us your beauty secrets.
Massage at Martine de Richeville institute, fitness with my coach twice a week at CWHITE in Paris.
What's your spirit animal?
If you could be anything other than a jewelry designer, what would it be?
Detective or archeologist.
See you next season in Paris, Lydia!