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GINZA SIX EDITORS

Fashion, jewelry & watch, lifestyle, beauty, foods…
Unique editors who are familiar with each genre GINZA SIX aimlessly
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Venturing to Dream Jewelry at GINZA SIX

Etsuko Aiko

Ginza Six Editors Vol.15 (Jewerly&Watch)

Jewelry Day is customarily held on the last day of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, which takes place twice a year, in January and July. All the renowned jewelers of Place Vendôme open their doors and present the pinnacle in fine jewelry to journalists, buyers, and VIP customers from countries around the globe. It’s a day of notable luxury. We editors crisscross the Vendôme neighborhood, going from one venue to another. Back in Japan from my current home base in Germany, I heard Ginza offered a very special sense of luxury similar to how I feel in Paris on Jewelry Days. So, of course, I made my way to GINZA SIX.

I headed first to Dior, one of the leaders of Haute Couture Fashion Week. House of Dior Ginza is the brand’s first flagship store in Japan, and it’s a wonderful expression of the Dior world. On the first floor, toward the rear, I found an extensive collection of fine jewelry and watches. My eyes alighted on the highly imaginative window display—it reflects the aesthetic of artistic director Victoire de Castellane. I gazed at the miniature palace with jewelry in the lead role, a creation with the power to cast a fairy-tale spell over the admirer.

Monsieur Dior always kept a star-shaped good luck charm hidden away in his pocket. My guess is that the Rose de Vents collection, whose design is inspired by the star-shaped wind rose, will be the next charm you adore unreservedly.

As I found myself pondering whether the Rose de Vents Ring (185,000 yen; all prices before tax) with its rotating pink opal medallion might be right for layering, I was drawn into the overwhelming aura of fine jewelry. Every time I placed the ring on my finger, it exuded a sculptural beauty. I’m charmed by the volume it occupies in space, its elegance, its nobility, and the perfect blend of colors orchestrated from the Paraiba tourmaline gemstone and other elements.

My heart made instantly delighted by this supreme sparkle, I went next to Café Dior by Pierre Hermé on the fourth floor. I took a special break in this exquisite space, where visitors can enjoy lovely sweets created under the supervision of Pierre Hermé presented on beautiful Dior Maison tableware. The Petit Déjeuner Set (2,400 yen), offered from 10:30 to 13:30 only, includes pancakes, pain perdu, brioche, fruit, and granola, all making for a very satisfying meal.

Even after this hearty breakfast, I couldn’t resist the sweet temptation of the limited-time seasonal dessert (2,700 yen) first offered in November: Vacherin Rose, Framboise, Lychee. The rose-scented ice cream, framboise sorbet, and juicy lychee were surrounded by meringue and Chantilly cream, presenting the beauty of a flower in full bloom. The contrasting temperatures, textures, and flavors melted together on the tongue, reminding me once again of my great admiration for Pierre Hermé’s distinctive “science of taste.”

The café space harmoniously assembles the sensibilities of two of France’s leading brands—in haute couture and haute patisserie, respectively. I understand why both epicures and fashionistas gather here. Next to the café is the only place in Japan where you can find Dior’s home collection, Dior Maison, much mentioned of late. Given as gifts, the teaware, plates, and colorful vases used in the café are certain to delight an important person.

I love the sparkle of watches as much as jewelry, so my next destination was Jaeger-LeCoultre, the renowned watchmaker, which also operates a boutique on Place Vendôme.

Once, long ago, I was a design supremacist. But during my long involvement in photographing and writing about watches, I’ve come to feel that watches with intricate movements are sometimes even lovelier than diamonds. The moment I entered the Jaeger-LeCoultre store, I found myself drawn to the Atmos 568 by Marc Newson (2,900,000 yen), a unique clock with a near-perpetual movement enclosed in a clear Baccarat crystal case. This masterpiece of modern art uses an inventive mechanism that attains nearly perpetual movement by converting thermal variations into power (a change of a single degree in temperature change provides enough energy to power the clock for two days).

Since my standard style is a cross between vintage and high fashion, I first tried on a bicolored Reverso One Cordonnet (815,000 yen), which radiates an Art Deco ethos. The noble geometrical shape and small case create a proper ladylike air that just about knocks me out.

Unexpectedly, the most interesting thing on my visit today to Jaeger-LeCoultre was Atelier Reverso, a service that lets you personalize one of the brand’s famous Reverso watches. Here, I came to my senses. Launched in 2016, Reverso’s 85th anniversary, this customization service lets you customize the strap, the color and material of the dial on the back of the reversible case. I’m told it’s possible to set lapis lazuli, aventurine, and other gemstones—even diamonds, if you’d prefer. They take orders using an iPad here at the GINZA SIX boutique, so I promptly gave it a whirl.

As you swipe the screen, coming up with more and more interesting ideas, the look of the watch changes over and over. It’s sheer delight. You can combine an unbounded number of patterns. This unparalleled opportunity to encounter a wholly unique Reverso compelled me to explore a swirl of possibilities.

We’re now coming to the end of this one-of-a-kind Jewelry Day. The last chapter of sparkle took me to Van Cleef & Arpels, a spacious boutique on three floors with a sales area of 505.5 m2, the largest in Japan. The poetic worldview of a maison combined with the savoir-faire (traditional craftsmanship) of artisans who hold gold in their own hands makes this a sanctuary of elegance and sparkle for someone like me, who continues to be captivated both personally and professionally by these qualities.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator puts you in a luxurious mood, as if you’re visiting an elegant Paris apartment. The walls are adorned with gold leaf and hand-painted flowers courtesy of French craftspeople. My eyes stopped at a portrait of the Duchess of Windsor on the wall and various design drawings from the maison’s archive.

The second floor features the brand’s bridal collection. The area in the rear, a relaxing space where you can recline on a sofa, offers a selection of high-end bridal rings. The entrance directly connected to GINZA SIX is always open. Even men out on their own can confidently drop in.

The Bouton d’or collection is a recent longing of mine, so I tried on the earrings (3,175,000 yen) and ring (2,100,000 yen). The flowing, elegant layered circles are a modern reinterpretation of the heritage Paillette motif that first appeared for the maison in the 1930s. The carnelian, mother-of-pearl, and pink gold create a graceful contrast of colors. The circle motif on my ears and finger inspired a pleasant and heartening feeling. The beautiful, gently flowing curves stimulated my femininity to no end—the savoir-faire has an undeniable life force. I dream of filling my own jewelry box with its light.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ signature is its flower jewelry, which seems to fill the air with joy. The geometrical flowers cleverly create a sense of distance from reality while maintaining their poetry—this expression is the maison’s unchanging style. Based on the motif of a lotus flower in full bloom, the Lotus collection includes the iconic Lotus Between the Finger Ring (upper, 3,700,000 yen) as well as the delicate miniature models (bracelet 545,000 yen, pendant 570,000 yen, pierced earrings 1,050,000 yen) just recently introduced. You’ve worked hard this year. A flower made of diamonds may be just the emblem of your hard work you need.

“When selecting jewelry or a watch, something you’ll have for the rest your life, you should invest as much as possible in yourself, even if it stretches your limits.” This word of advice from a mentor, a fashion director in her fifties, crosses my mind. The absolute standard for considering whether a piece of jewelry or a watch will be a true partner, she said, is whether you can see yourself wearing it when you are in your fifties. Today, going from place to place in GINZA SIX, I found countless special items that meet this standard. The next time I have a thirst for sparkles in my life, I will revisit and take my time looking for that special partner that will make the future gleam.

Text:Etsuko Aiko Photos:Tomoko Meguro Editor:Yuka Okada

editors_aiko

Etsuko Aiko

Fashion jewelry and watch editor. Born in Tokyo in 1974. Moved to Germany in 2010 after stints in the editorial departments of MISS, Kateigaho, VOGUE NIPPON, and Harper’s BAZAAR Japan. Currently shuttles back and forth between Cologne, Germany, and Tokyo as a busy freelancer seeking beauty and sparkle. Contributes to high-fashion magazines, specialty watch and jewelry periodicals, online sites, catalogs, and other media.
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