Designers are looking to the stars, judging by the heavenly collections the grand jewellery maisons unveiled in Paris in the summer. Comets, shooting stars, fiery suns and crescent moons radiate light through the collections of Piaget, Chaumet, Chanel and Cartier, and provide a beautifully poetic showcase for their gemstones and the savoir faire of ateliers. The sun is one of the most important motifs and source of inspiration for Piaget, explains the maison’s creative director Stéphanie Sivrière. “Celebratory, captivating and resolutely joyful, Piaget’s creations have always been solar and radiant.” She points out how, since the maison’s earliest jewellery designs of the 1960s, sunlight has shone through the jewellery as has the warmth of gold: “gold and gemstones have brought the sun’s radiance to life”. STYLE Edit: Chanel’s Camélia jewellery celebrates the ‘forbidden flower’ Recent collections – Sunlight Escape, Sunlight Journey and now Golden Oasis – illustrate the gemstone colour spectrum from the hot pinks of dawn towards the fiery oranges of dusk through every phase of the sun. It is a reflection of Piaget’s “sunny side of life” design philosophy that permeates all their creations. “It’s all about saying yes to life, being solar, joyful, audacious, daring and confident,” says Sivrière. Cartier and Chaumet are similarly drawn to the heat and power of the sun in their high jewellery. Cartier’s Magnitude collection is all about the forces of nature and the clashing of dynamically different precious gemstones and ornamental hard stones such as sharply cut rays of yellow sapphires contrasting the cool smooth blue planets of lapis lazuli in the Equinoxe necklace, or the all-powerful palette of golden yellow shading to brown hues of the sun in its Yuma diamond necklace and earrings. Since the 19th century, Chaumet has been creating jewels inspired by the celestial vault. Particularly during the Belle Époque, the jeweller was illuminating clients with magnificent tiaras, brooches, earrings, necklaces and bodice jewellery shimmering with starry diamond cascades, crescent moons, comets and the sun. Creative director Claire Dévé-Rakoff turned to the maison’s rich archives of cosmic designs for inspiration for the Les Ciels de Chaumet collection. STYLE Edit: Van Cleef & Arpels’ precious gemstones dazzle this winter Rather than being thematic, Chaumet’s CEO Jean-Marc Mansvelt describes the creative process as “artistic logic. Les Ciels de Chaumet collection is composed of different chapters: [some] sections more figurative such as stars, the inhabitants [birds], and others [are] more abstract, like for example the moods of the sky”. Puffy diamond clouds, flashes of lightning, the fireball of sunlight on a foggy morning and comet-inspired jewels like a black opal comet necklace shooting through the heavens, leaving a trail of diamond stars, and an inky blue-black opal planet ring surrounded by diamond stars. Those diamond cumulus clouds shot through with sunrays of yellow gold and sapphires (interpreted as a necklace, ring and earrings), were inspired by an 1890 study for a necklace and a tiara from 1907. Whereas a spectacular diamond tiara and bracelet with spiky thin crescent moons and shooting stars, the hero-piece of this collection, and a cascading-stars necklace, are drawn from studies made around 1900 for star aigrette tiaras, and a photo of client Lady Louis Mountbatten wearing one such tiara. How Cartier’s films depict its British and Russian royal ties Across Chaumet’s jewellery, the tiara “is really the piece that has the most to do with the sky”, says Mansvelt. “Hence, of course, the place and importance that the theme of the sky has had historically to Chaumet.” Gabrielle Chanel’s landmark diamond jewellery collection in 1932, her only personal foray into high jewellery, has provided the subsequent creative directors at Chanel, currently led by Patrice Leguéreau, with a vast stylistic vocabulary of the motifs and symbols that coloured her imagination. Comets, stars, suns together with fountains, ribbons, the camellia and feathers have formed the basis of collections ever since the maison debuted its haute joaillerie and fine jewellery business in the 1990s. The latest sparkling astral compositions in Chanel’s fine jewellery is a diamond collection of comets and stars earrings, ring and bracelet. “Why look further?” Chanel said in a 1932 interview with Albert Flament. “Obviously, the constellations I have spread over the hair, the comets that lie on the shoulders trailing a shower of stars, the crescent moons and even the suns I’ve had produced by the best craftsmen of Paris … – my stars – this is all very romantic! Could anything be found more becoming and modern?” Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .