Camille Miceli: Accessorizing Dior

The Creative Director at Work On the Fashion House’s Elaborate Costume Jewelry

Surrounded by sketches, moodboards and inspirational motifs in her Paris atelier, Camille Miceli, Christian Dior’s Creative Director of accessories, wears her own exuberant designs in these intimate portraits by Daniel Riera. Since 2009 Miceli has been responsible for Dior’s costume jewelry line, a role she took on after more than a decade as head of communications at Louis Vuitton and playing muse to Marc Jacobs. Working with materials including Perspex, ceramic, faux pearls, grosgrain ribbon and steel, Miceli's bold interpretations of the Dior codes reflect her own tough-chic taste, taking cues from girlfriends including gallerist Emmanuelle de Noirmont, Dior’s Mathilde Meyer and photographer Valerie Sadoun: “They are all from different lands, from l’air du temps,” she explains. In advance of NOWNESS’s premiere of the Dior Costume Jewelry film  tomorrow, Miceli shares her love of pearls and breaking the rules.

Spontaneous beginnings

The week before the Spring 2004 show Marc [Jacobs] came to me and asked me to design a pair of loop earrings. He knew from my past at Chanel that I had connections with some small Parisian ateliers. Every collection after that we did some jewelry together. I can never thank him enough; it is rare to have such a genius give you the chance to express yourself.

Grandmother of pearls

When I went through the archives of Dior the focus on pearls became immediately obvious, but the challenge was to give them personality. So we embellished the pearl by putting it together with a gold “cup.” I wanted to go back to the traditional pearl necklaces of our grandmothers where each pearl is knotted together with a silk thread, but we modernized by using gold Lurex instead.

The new look

Dior is about a silhouette. I wanted to create a range of bold, feminine and desirable jewelry with a couture feel. It has to be classic, but with a modern twist—I have always liked breaking rules. Exploring new materials is also a priority for me, to give more personality to the pieces.

Accentuated style
You can go "big" with costume jewelry, using plastic, feathers, leather, ceramics… there are no rules. In comparison, fine jewelry remains very classic—unless you buy Victoire de Castellane’s jewelry. She really defined a new approach.

Archive inspirations

Art deco jewelry drives me insane! I love the boldness of that period. I like to go to Dary’s [antique jewelers on rue St-Honoré] and also buy pieces on auction.

Most treasured

A Louis Vuitton velvet necklace with large cabochons of Labradorite; a series of white Dior matte bangles that look ceramic; and the big Mise en Dior pearl necklace.

See the Dior Costume Jewelry film here. For a sneak peak visit our facebook page here.

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