Fashion Editor Daryl Chang pays a visit to the colorful history of Cartier’s emblem
In a series of interconnected rooms, with the previous space as interesting as the next, Cartier’s Into The Wild brings the Panthère’s tradition of craft closer to the viewer. The idea behind the congruence of chambers was to depict the Panthère’s universe in an unbound, unrestricted fashion, a perfect analogy to symbolize the restlessness of the feline itself.
To go forward, we had to go backward in time—1914 to be exact. This was the year when the first spots of the Panthère were, in a sense, spotted. The captivating story is told through a series of archival sketches, documents, videos, and photographs imbued with a new sense of life through movement and animation. Onward to the room of Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s first female artistic director for high jewelry, who held the position from 1933 to 1970, and the woman behind the Panthère. At first glance, the room seems to hold only an austere white desk, but visual projection suddenly shifts the decor, mood, and overall atmosphere. We are taken through an evolution, a nod to the latent theme of creative and assertive femininity. The dynamic transformation of space is a visual homage to the progression of the radical Miss Toussaint.
Three artistic expressions of the panther were also reconstructed in three distinct rooms: naturalist, graphic, and abstract. While the rooms in themselves were cool associations of the said expressions, the essence was in the pieces they referenced. The stylized interpretation of the naturalist panther is one lounging on top of a hoop, captured mid-movement and balanced effortlessly as a necklace statement. Meanwhile, the graphic panther is faceted, geometric and is an openwork piece that displays a mastery of lines, edges, and space. The abstract panther on the other hand is an illustrative exhibition of detail and craft as it features “fur setting,” a unique stone-placement technique to Cartier that mimics the luxury of fur.
Cartier’s celebration of revolutionary women and feminine strength is as evident as the ladies of Cartier. From the Duchess of Windsor and model Maria Carla Boscono to pop phenomenon Jisoo, these powerful women all embody the Panthère spirit. For the Into the Wild party, K-pop star CL headlined a live performance with of her hit songs. Just before the launch, a few of us were treated to an exclusive interview with the singer-songwriter and rapper to talk about style, the importance of fashion in music, and—of course—her favorite Cartier piece. “I actually really do love the Panthère collection. It’s very me,” she says with a laugh. “It lets me channel that panther spirit.”