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We love these peculiar objects, between talismans and family jewels, that go everywhere with us and that we never take off. Dorette has made it its specialty, in the image of the person: far from the uniform standards we already know. Its founder, Catherine Levy, follows her intuitions and happily mixes rough diamonds, shotglasses and glistening gems. She is one of the two masterminds of the brand Tsé & Tsé, that has been existing for 25 years now. However, she has not forgotten her first loves for jewels and has never stopped creating. Years go by and things speed up: Catherine has created Dorette, organized the production in India and chosen carefully the rare distributors of her brand. Indeed, losing Dorette’s philosophy and the creative energy it creates is not an option. Every piece is unique and has met a human’s hand. For less than a year, Catherine has her own workshop. It is a workplace and a meeting place, full of treasuries she brings back from her trips. Balloon moulds, Indian mirrors, and traditional jewellery workbench: welcome into a timeless world, where every object is laden with history.
Catherine, could you describe the Dorette creations?
There are small, cheerful, colourful, fun and simple jewels. We thought them as objects we can live with. It is advised to wear them every day, or you lose them because of their small sizes. It is better not to take them off when you go swimming and when you bake a pie pastry. They are really daily jewels, and it is easy to live with them.
How was the brand born?
I am a very manual person and as I love jewels, it is rather natural to make some. When you work the material, there is something that becomes familiar after a while. The fact that it is gold or silver is not different from the glass. I was making more and more of them, and three years ago, I felt it was the moment to create Dorette. It is fun to start over again, because we find the same energy now than 20 years ago.
When I came out with this word, I found out that it was an old first name and that its form was very used to refer to tributaries and small rivers. At that time, people may have been looking for gold in the streams.
How is the jewellery making going on?
We don’t really know if they are old or not, and this comes from the technique: they are actually made the same way as they were 100, 500 and even 1000 years ago. They are all different. I hand-draw them one by one: I start with the stones and then I put the pieces together. The prototypes and some jewels are made here, in Paris. The rest is made in India. We have two little workshops, in Bombay and in Delhi, and we have been working with the same craftsmen for years. With Tsé & Tsé we have been a lot in this country. It is an unlimited source of inspiration.
Why do you have this relation with stone?
I don’t really know. It may be because of the extremely diverse colours we could find in it. There is also the “grigri side” of it. We use diamond, gems, semiprecious stones, but also a lot of other things, such as glass and even stones I pick up. I like it to be unexpected and surprising.
Where do you draw your inspirations from?
I draw inspirations from everywhere, from everything I love. In terms of jewellery, I draw it from old Indian and traditional ornaments. I am really interested in old jewels, and it can even be in pieces that dates back to the prehistory.
I want the brand to be great and pretty. There is something I love about Dorette: the amazing relation that the girls create with these jewels. They tell little intimate stories for yourself, after all. I would like this particular thing to last. I would like people to feel that someone made the jewel and chose the stone. I would like every jewel to tell a different story. The next is to absolutely preserve this intimacy.
Credits : Eve Campestrini @thesocialitefamily