While landing a design job at Dior may sound like a dream come true, Marie Cabirou felt staying at the French institution of glamour for too long could actually be a bad thing. After about three years working under the direction of Raf Simons and making the sensational jewels that appeared on the runway during his landmark fashion shows, she decided to leave in 2015.
“I realized that when you work for big brands, you tend to become very comfortable in your position and never quite take the risk to branching out on your own,” explains the designer (who is seen in the photo at right). “Launching my own brand was something I always had in mind.”
In January of 2017, the Paris-based designer’s Marie Mas label debuted. The collection, that caused a major buzz at the esteemed Couture jewelry show, expresses many aspects of Marie’s personal experience and professional expertise. She paid tribute to her maternal grandmother, Henriette Mas, with the name of collection. Marie found the initial idea for the revolutionary designs doing something she loves.
“When I go ocean diving, I feel like it is in another world. Everything is very magical, especially at night as the planktons light up the waters.” One under water creature named Spirobranchus giantess, commonly known as the Christmas tree worms, inspired the poetic movement in Marie’s Swinging Stones collection. “They exist in a lot of different colors,” explains Maire. “They are open in the ocean then when you get closer to it, it kind of closes and becomes like a line.”
In order to execute her unique vision of jewelry with movement, Marie searched for skilled craftsmen and ultimately found the best in India. It took a year of arduous work with the artisans, multiple prototypes, numerous trials and errors. Ultimately, they made reversible elements set with two different color stones that swivel, a new technique Marie patented. It’s an extraordinary achievement for a debut collection that immediately underscores her brand’s level excellence.
“The technical part was a challenge,” Marie admits. “There were a lot of tears and smiles, but it finally ended up in more smiles. I am very lucky to have the team that I now work with. They are really good at technical challenges and we continually learn from each other. The movement was the basis of the design right from the first drawing, and the entire collection is based on these particular patented techniques.”
Marie Mas’ Swinging Stones collection features 32 amazing pieces. “The idea was to have a whole range – from smaller items to High Jewelry pieces – adhering to the same concept of movement,” she explains. The High Jewelry earrings and rings, dancing cuff, rigid bracelet, swinging long necklace and drop earrings all feature dual stones that spring to color and life when worn. The array of pastel semiprecious stones found on Marie’s pink gold designs include London and Swiss Blue Topaz, pink amethyst, pink quartz, blue moon quartz, Brazilian and African amethyst. These stones pirouette on their axes and tumble daintily like dominoes on the designs.
The jewelry in the innovative Swinging Stones collection are classics with a twist. Another way of putting it, they are French girl style for the twenty-first century. The Marie Mas collection is available at Matches.com.