The House of Messika was born in Paris in 2005 and is run by Valérie Messika, daughter of the famous diamond merchant André Messika. Core values have been passed down from father to daughter: to enhance the diamond, to push the boundaries and to strive continuously for excellence.
A prominent figure on the diamond trading scene since he started out in 1972, André Messika brought his daughter up on dreams dusted with jewels, punctuated with trips around the world to source extraordinary stones. Surrounded by legendary gems from a young age, Valérie Messika moved away from diamond trading to concentrate on her passion for design, and guided by a love for precious stones, she has blazed a glittering trail in the very closed world of fine jewellery. Valérie Messika’s philosophy is to imagine, dream and create. Her strengths lie in her fertile imagination, keen eye for detail and the ability to challenge herself every day.
Atelier Messika is unique, a space bathed in soft natural light. Jewellers, setters, polishers and virtuoso artisans apply their talent and experience to create exceptional pieces. In this secret fascinating world of the made-to-measure, jewellery is brought to life for the first time, and technique gradually fades into the background to provide space for beauty.
Carefully graded for size, colour and purity, each stone is an immediate stimulus for a new detail, a curve, or a movement. Father and daughter represent two facets of a single passion for the eternal stone. Maison Messika is about imagining, dreaming and creating, to give shape to a unique kind of jewellery. The first game changer was the Skinny, slim diamond lines of surprising flexibility that re-drew the jewellery blueprint to highlight the essential, the adaptable. Each item is designed with careful consideration of its structure, as well as the effect it will produce when moving with the body. New and surprising shapes are constantly studied and re-imagined, to enhance female beauty and blend the timeless with the contemporary.
Now with the Born to be Wild High-Jewellery collection, Valérie Messika says “I like to travel, to get away… I wanted to instill a state of mind that alludes a feeling of escapism. Between fantasy and imagination, the desert acts upon mankind like a great revealer, living up to and surpassing itself. The North American desert, more than any other, leaves one speechless; making you feel like no one and someone at the same time….”
The spectacle of the sunrise over the rocks of the American desert is a moment suspended in time. The intensity of the light and the vivid colours in this exceptional place make the spectacle magic and unique.
This is the origin of the Sun Tribe necklace, which shines like a rain of 109 marquisecut and pear-cut diamonds. The solar spirit of this piece is conveyed in the work on its lines: gradient bars of yellow gold and an incidental rhythm of the marquise-cut diamonds on each ray.
With technical prowess produced by the Messika High Jewellery Atelier, this necklace is very flexible: each beam is connected and threaded onto a corded chain which is placed directly around the neck. A 27.5ct unique creation, the Sun Tribe necklace required 500 hours of work from the master jewellers and master setters to sublimate 66 marquise cut diamonds, 43 pear cut diamonds and 1,237 brilliant cut diamonds.
From the same line, Valérie Messika has created a very trendy cuff, the body worked with an alternation of yellow gold and white diamond lines concluding with a wave of pear-cuts. Perfectly symmetrical, semi-paved diamonds recall the reflections of the sun. To complete this set, Valérie Messika imagine several pieces of rivalling sensuality. A ring gracefully wraps around the finger, while earrings of varying proportions frame the face with an added radiance. Worn by international supermodel Edita Vilkeviciute, Messika’s
Born to be Wild collection captures the essence of High Jewellery, as aspirational as the designer clothes of the world of Haute Couture. Constantly challenging herself to enhance the spirit of the Maison, juggling tradition and modernity within a special world among the great names of high jewelry, one day Valérie Messika may well overtake the master, as the Messika name shines on in the jewellery firmament.
This feature was originally published in the spring edition of Arts and Collections, which you can also read here.