A meeting with Catherine Lévy, the designer behind the Dorette jewels. Catherine greeted us in her Parisian workshop on a beautiful February day and over a tea, we discussed India, fine and precious stones, crafts - while our team was filming in her daily actions. Here is the result in photos and videos of this day spent with Her.
1. Explain your journey in a few words, from object design to jewelry creation.
For me, designing jewelry and objects is the same thing and I love it. The constraints are not quite the same, but the approach certainly is: to envy, to please.
2. Where does the name Dorette come from?
Many rivers and streams in France are named Doron, Dorette, Doret, Dorinette ... I thought it was because people were looking for gold, attracted by all the reflections that shimmer in the water. In fact (according to Wikipedia) it comes from the Doric Preceltic, dora, which means stream. Anyway, I liked the idea.
3. India is very important in your creative process, when did you take your first trip there and how does your magnetic relationship to this country translate?
Like the water in rivers, in India we see so much shine. It shines, but it's fragile, fleeting like mirages. There is something there that is sensitive and moving, which is the opposite of what is often here in the West - rich, heavy, solid, and that which seeks to be reassuring. I love India - its ruins and its wonders, its immense culture, the beauty everywhere, the people, the buildings, the colors, the sense of the tragic but also the gift of knowing how to laugh in the midst of drama. The stones are cut in such a way as to sparkle, to enchant, to ignite the regard.
4. Since we are talking about a distant destination, what are your next trips?
I’m going to Japan, which for me is the exact opposite of India in many respects but strangely, I love it also. There is also this delicacy, this incredible combinations of colors, a certain attention to details.
5. What do you do to relax and inspire yourself when you do not make jewelry?
I do yoga, I play with my cat, I ride my bike, I visit flea markets, I make bouquets, I go to see exhibitions, I go to the cinema, I see my friends. The life of a Parisienne!
6. Is there an artist or company with whom you would particularly like to collaborate?
7. What are you currently listening to in your studio?
Right now I'm listening to Alfred Deller singing Purcell ... It’s been forty years that I’ve been listening to it from time to time and it's always wonderful. Otherwise I listen to the “France Culture” radio station or Indian music, mostly the soundtrack of Bollywood movies. Or there is Turkish or Arabic music... The songs where I understand the lyrics depress or horrify me in general.
Discover our video inside Catherine Lévy's atelier here.
Picture credits: Margot Vigneau