Victoire de Castellane and Her Fabulous "Fleurs d'exces"

The fringed bangs, fashioned before she was five years old, the improbably high heels, the flared black skirts: Victoire de Castellane's silhouette is a poem in itself. A Parisienne, de Castellane grew up in an aristocratic family whose origins can be traced back to the 10th century. Her grandmother Sylvia Hennessy along with her friend Barbara Hutton were champions of both enormous and extravagant jewelry. Victoire de Castellane accomplished her first feat of jewelry-making at the age of five: she dismantled a priceless charm-bracelet to make a pair of earrings. At age twelve, she created her first ring. Indifferent to convention though passionate about history and technical challenge, de Castellane's ideas are driven by an exuberant imagination, deriving from mixed sources such as the synthetic wonders of Technicolor; the Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney; Hollywood screen idols and manga characters.

In 1998, Victoire de Castellane joined Dior as the first Creative Director of their new jewelry department, a role she continues to this day. Her highly original collections for Dior have redefined and revivified haute joaillerie for a new generation. With "Fleurs d'exces" Flowers of excess, she has gone further to create unique works that recall the jeweled obsessions of times past, such as the mechanical nightingale of Hans Christian Andersen's children's tale, Faberge eggs, and the fabulous bestiaries of animals real and mythic. De Castellane's flowers are intoxicating, but also dangerous because of the poisons that they secrete.

Amanita Satana Diabolus
Acidae Lili Pervertus
Opium Velourosa Purpa
Crystalucinea Metha Agressiva
Extasium Ethero Coitus
Quo Cainus Magic Disco
Exhibition Victoire de Castellane: Fleurs d'exces at Gagosian Gallery Paris March 2 - March 22, 2011 Courtesy Gagosian Gallery Paris