Now Reading
Valérie Messika: “My only story is that of the diamond”.

Valérie Messika: “My only story is that of the diamond”.

At Fashion Week in September 2023, Maison Messika presented its latest Haute Joaillerie collection. We spoke to Valérie Messika, the brand’s designer, about the world of this line.


Tell us about the theme and universe of this new collection?


For this collection, I was inspired by the world of the 70s and 80s, the atmosphere of the night and night clubs, with the Studio 54 period, when all kinds of people, including celebrities like Diana Ross and Andy Warhol, got together to dance and have a joyous time, with a kind of freedom.


Alton Mason ©Yannis Vlamos – BESTIIMAGE, Courtesy of Messika


Midnight Sun is the Midnight Sun. The way for me to represent it was to challenge myself and use lots of yellow diamonds. But I also really enjoyed playing with the freedom I have as a designer, experimenting with different styles, different aesthetics and different materials, like pearls. In fact, this was the first time I’d worked on a set with pearls. I know pearls very well because I studied them at the start of my career, and they have a slightly old-fashioned character that reminds me of my grandmother.

I wanted to push myself to the limit and create something cool with pearls. So I created pieces with beautiful gradations of grey pearls. But you’ll also see body chains with pearls, hairbands. I’m always trying to create younger pieces with lots of style.


During the show, a piece with a yellow diamond weighing over 30 carats was presented: can you give us the details of this stone, where it comes from and how it was sublimated and integrated into the jewellery?


This is a magnificent radiant-cut South African yellow diamond weighing almost 35 carats. This diamond is truly exceptional, not only in terms of its purity but also in terms of its radiant colour and impressive size. I wanted to pay tribute to its brilliance and create a highly original setting with a necklace in the shape of a brushed gold collar, on which a line of diamonds wraps around and supports the stone. A very sunny set !


Grace Elisabeth ©Peter White – GETTY IMAGES, Courtesy of Messika

What are the other emblematic pieces in this Haute Joaillerie collection?


For this collection, I’ve really tried to work with pearls and give them a certain modernity, with some pretty strong pieces like chokers, hair jewellery and bodychains. I really like the choker with the three lines of grey pearls in a gradient. It’s almost sexy and very sensual, with the contrast between the softness of the pearls and the very graphic diamond setting.


Taylor Hill ©Peter White – GETTY IMAGES, Courtesy of Messika


I also worked with flowers. It’s not really my field, it’s very romantic, but I really wanted to try out new styles. There’s this superb, fairly simple three-finger ring, where I mixed pavé, gold and sometimes even colours.


How did you plan the show? From the Carla Bruni show to the Ava Max show?


The common denominator between these two people is that they embodied this festive side, a mix of genres. A model and singer who is a former First Lady and of course a fashion icon, with an American pop star. I wanted something cheerful and colourful, a bit like the sparkling bubbles in a glass of champagne.


Carla Bruni ©Yannis Vlamos – BESTIMAGE, Courtesy of Messika


How were the outfits chosen?


For the first time, I was able to work directly with the person who designed the outfits, Nix. It was a ‘writing threesome’, with the stylist, Helena Tejedor, as well. I really wanted to create a look that was effortless, a bit sexy and stylish, but above all with the idea of connecting jewellery and clothes together, like with belts for example.

I wanted to create designs that sometimes connected the garment directly to the jewellery. You must have seen this superb pair of baggy jeans, quite loose, customised with gold paint. It was a whole new experience that allowed me to pay tribute to the alchemy between clothes and jewellery.


What is Messika’s distinctive DNA as a young House compared to historic brands?


See Also

When Messika entered the industry, I think we really inspired people, we offered them something new. Which is very flattering, because I was young, faced with a blank page, and I really tried to push my limits in terms of creativity.


Adut Akech ©Peter White – GETTY IMAGES, Courtesy of Messika


Faced with historic brands, my only story is that of diamonds. When I was a little girl and my father brought home diamonds, he let me play with them and wear them on my skin. So I wanted to break with the codes that had already been established, in particular the idea that diamonds are eternal.

Yes, it’s eternal, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave it in a vault and not wear it every day! I wanted to desacralise it, make it a little more sexy and feminine for everyday wear, and get women to embrace it as a fashion accessory that they can buy for themselves. I want them to be able to wear their jewellery and diamonds every day, not just for special occasions.

I want it to be a way for them to express their own style and personality. I would say that Messika has made diamonds more affordable, rockier, easier to wear and sometimes even bolder, and not just for women either.


What are your plans for the future of Haute Joaillerie?


My ambition is to continue making Haute Joaillerie jewellery that is contemporary, modern and wearable. I believe that Messika Haute Joaillerie exists precisely because we are different. We make Haute Joaillerie that is stylish and versatile in different contexts.



Front page photo : Valérie Messika ©Nicolas Gerardin