Cartier may have been described as ‘jeweller of kings and king of jewellers’ by King Edward VII but the French jeweller is not averse to taking inspiration from the smallest of things. Quite the opposite; the maison enjoys seeing beauty wherever it’s found, and often where it’s unexpected, and its latest range, the Grain de Cafe, demonstrates that ethos perfectly.
The Grain de Cafe collection comes across as elegantly whimsical, with the bean-shaped charms jingling lightly each time it’s worn.
The Grain de Cafe collection, which comprises of necklaces, rings, earrings, brooches and bracelets, is shaped after an everyday item that’s part of most of our morning routine: the coffee bean. It may be surprising but the coffee bean motif is not a new addition to the Cartier lexicon: Jeanne Toussaint, the influential designer who served as the maison’s creative director of jewellery from 1933 to 1970, first introduced it back in 1938.
(Also the idea of elevating everyday objects is something that’s not alien to the Cartier DNA; its popular Juste un Clou range is after all, based on the humble nail.)
A sketch from the Cartier archives of a necklace sporting the same coffee bean motif in 1953
Distinguished by the yellow gold, bean-shaped charms (these boast a tactile, striated front and diamond-studded tips) that are hung on braided chains composed of two different types of gold, the playful design (they jingle lightly when moved) caught the eye of Hollywood — most famously Grace Kelly, who was known to collect Grain de Cafe pieces during the ’50s.
So when it came to choosing a contemporary ambassador for today’s re-introduction of the Grain de Cafe range, it’s small wonder Cartier went with actress Elle Fanning (who also recently became a global ambassador for the maison) — Fanning appears almost as if a modern-day incarnate of the late Kelly in the accompanying vintage-tinged Grain de Cafe campaign.
Cartier global ambassador Elle Fanning stars in a Grace Kelly-inspired campaign for the maison’s newly debuted Grain de Cafe collection.
The Grain de Cafe collection launches this month in Cartier stores – take a closer look at the key pieces below: