Lignes Sensibles is the exquisite new fine jewellery collection by Pierre Hardy for Hermès. A shimmering offering calling on the inner workings of the body in artfully geometric pieces designed to feel like an extension of the body itself.
This collection is driven by patterns inspired by circuits, grids and lines. Are you offering a pathway through life?
I was inspired by objects that are used to listen to the body, such as the stethoscope, which allows you to hear sounds and vibrations that are otherwise imperceptible to the ear. I wanted to transcribe these interior areas, to sketch their design on the skin. I see these lines as radiating out from them. I like the idea that you can choose a different anatomy, reinvent an intimate sensory system, like a wave that is made visible and given form by jewellery.
Your work gives off an interior rhythm connected to the cadence of proportions, to alternating positive and negative spaces...
The entire collection is oriented towards intimacy. I have tried to mark the passage between the interior and the exterior: the pieces of jewellery that I create are like small organs that emit sounds. They are subtle pulsations that form a connection with the invisible. Often, with jewellery, “sound mingles with light”, to quote Baudelaire.But this collection is quite silent, the pieces are discreet, both in weight and dimensions.
The softness that characterises the collection is also found in its hues.
I wanted to use a range of gemstones in colours close to skin tone. I looked for flesh colours, shades specific to the complexion, the lips, or the iris. I looked for cloudy, milky materials to become one with the skin. In my previous collections, the link with the body was achieved through metaphors, such as the chain. Here it is direct: the jewellery is closer than ever to the body itself. The pieces fit closely around the finger, around the neck, around the wrist. I wanted to return to this symbiosis: to be at one with the skin.
Your designs also showcase light...
In paintings, I like details of tears, droplets and pearls on which light reverberates. In the same way, pieces of jewellery are accents that catch the light and reflect it. They are like chakras, the body’s energy points defined in ancient India. In my own way, and without any form of mysticism, I have sought to reinvent these sensitive areas that the light glides over, producing impressions of beauty.
Is there a sensual alchemy at work in the bejewelled lattices that make up your jewellery?
I was thinking of the effervescence of certain emotions, of the abandonment to pleasure. The pieces sit in places that are connected to desire, creating an eroticism that inevitably reinterprets the body. I have a very gentle movement in mind, and if there is alchemy, then it lies in the power that the pieces have to transform the skin on which they lie into a more radiant material.
Were you thinking of movement within your collection?
Yes, in my mind the material is constantly changing, and the collection follows this progression: it goes from the most tangible to the most immaterial. My combined passion for anatomy and dance led me firstly to consider bones: the wrists, and the beauty of bone structure. That then brought me to the idea of a circuit, and to droplets and expression – to the limits of the body.
"The whole collection resembles a caress. The necklaces are as soft as arms around the neck."
Pierre Hardy, Creative Director of Hermès jewellery.
Your hand jewellery is highly original. Does it draw on a specific imaginary world?
Working produces some unexpected images. There is a universality of forms that escapes me. Above all, I am passionate about inventing new forms of flexibility that allow the hand to remain free and the fingers to bend. I have sought to create a system of veins, like a flow of water trickling through fingers. I would love jewellery to be alive.
The Contre la peau necklace is a universe in itself.
Unusually, I didn’t do a sketch. Instead, I had a strong intuition for a fluid and flexible texture that would envelop the neck like a caress. By working with meshing, we sought to create a fabric in metal. And we discovered that we had created the microscopic structure of skin, with its triangular micro-wrinkles. We had made skin! Skin in metal, gold and diamonds. I think we got close to an absolute, because there was no predetermined form, it just happened by feeling, the sense of a second skin.
Even the rings seem to be inhabited by a sense of tenderness.
The whole collection resembles a caress. The necklaces are as soft as arms around the neck. I wanted the rings, too, to be at one with the body, and not simply a gemstone placed on a finger. I sought osmosis with the hand.
Your work is driven by geometry. Your brooches resemble abstract paintings
Geometry is inherent in all of us, art merely reveals it. I love that the body holds so much symmetry; it is a wealth of mechanisms and articulations. The jewellery that I create attempts to bring to the surface these inherent facets of the human body, and to exalt them.