If you’ve not caught Ocean’s 8 and hate spoilers, you might want to skip this.
If you don’t care either way, this is our CliffsNotes summary: A group of criminals, led by Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, commits one of the biggest heists of the century during the Met Gala. The prized bounty? Cartier’s legendary Jeanne Toussaint diamond necklace, which the character, played by Anne Hathaway, wore for the event.
It’s not the first time that the French maison has gotten its big screen moment. The brand has lent some serious bling for cameos throughout cinematic history, such as classics like Beauty and the Beast (1946), Some Like It Hot (1959), and Perfect Understanding (1933).
While Ocean’s 8 was an enjoyable, feel-good girl power flick, the behind-the-scenes work at creating the replica of this historical Cartier necklace hides a more colourful story. Take, for instance, the fact that the Jeanne Toussaint necklace – a nod to the maison’s creative director from the ’30s who was instrumental in setting up the stylistic signature of the house – does not even exist anymore.
The piece was first created in 1931 for the Maharaja of Nawanagar in India and showcased Toussaint’s partiality towards the ornate and opulent aesthetic of Indian royal jewellery. And unlike the white diamond piece that appeared in the film, the original necklace for the Maharaja came in a myriad of cascading white and coloured diamonds in shades of blue, pink and green. P.S.: Cartier created a flawless, colourless diamond replica for the filming in zirconium oxides and white gold for the film.
The challenges didn’t end there. The artisans had to create the replica of the necklace from scratch based on archive drawings and photographs. The high jewellery workshop, which worked on the project in Paris’ rue de la Paix, had to complete the intricate project in a mere eight weeks on top of their daily assignments.
And as the original piece was created for a man, the remake had to be adapted to fit the contours and proportions of the Anne Hathaway’s neck. The final piece you see in the film has been reduced by 15 to 20 per cent of the original size of this Jeanne Toussaint necklace.
For that alone, we’re giving the show a five-star rating.