''Taking my inspiration from trips to Paris, la campagne, châteaux, vineyards, seaside towns and the slopes, I embark on a new adventure for 2023, translating that discerning sense of French luxury, style and je ne sais quoi into every one of my jewellery creations.''
Illuminating a dramatic synergy between design, diamonds and the splendour of The Sun King, King Louis XIV, his Chateau and the gardens of Versailles, is the raison d'être behind Cassandra's Roi Soleil design.
A reimagining of the Sun King's inaugural firework festival that began in 1664, The Pleasures of the Enchanted Island, each Roi Soleil piece in the collection gleams with the brilliance and grandeur of such an infamous display.
The Roi Soleil tennis bracelet also transports us back to King Louis XIV's daring firework display, with its fusion of light and colour.
Round faceted stones alternate with pavé set diamonds, joined by a contemporary clasp featuring the Cassandra Goad logo. A signature stylistic feature for Cassandra Goad, this bracelet can be joined with another bracelet to make a sparkling, and spectacular, necklace.
Cassandra's initial inspiration for this piece stemmed from the ancient Fleur de Lys, a religious and political symbol adorned by the monarchs of France that appears on the French coat of arms.
The delicate structure of the design creation consists of two interlocking Fleur de Lys shapes, one layer artfully arranged upon the other. The three petals of the Fleur de Lys paired with another three petals, form one striking flower and modern design.
Cassandra's Fleur de Lys design decorates a series of necklace pendants, earring charms and stud earrings.
Cassandra Goad has launched a series of charms for the first time - eight iconic French motifs engraved into eight unique "médaillon" or charms designed for bracelets and necklaces.
Cassandra's travels to France have inspired all of the three-dimensional engravings: Le Coq, Notre Dame, Les Vignes, Le Ski, La Marianne, Le Mont St Michel, 'Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe' and Le Tour Eiffel. Each one brings to life memorable French scenes, the concave shape of the charms serving as the perfect vessel for displaying the necessary depth, both physically and figuratively, of each story.
The playful linguistic interplay between the French word for ring (bague), the iconic baguette-cut diamond, and the beloved edible French baguette was simply too brilliant to miss for Cassandra Goad's "La Belle France" collection.
Combining all of these witty nuances within one singular striking composition, Cassandra created her "Baguette". A ring unlike any you will have seen before, this design is full of life. Quite literally, this ring will roll on your finger because of the moving mechanism on either side of the gemstone. It is surprising and spirited, supple and stylish all at the same time.
Inspired by the unusual and rare patterns of parquet at the Chateau de Villandry on the Loire. The Chateau, famed for its gardens with geometric patterns, has a series of rooms facing the garden with parquet floors made from varying woods from the estate.
Inspired by the pair of fountains in the gardens of Vaux Le Vicomte designed by Andre Le Notre. Inside two circular basins beyond the waterfall wall, six frogs come together to spout water around a pool in the centre of which rises an ornate central fountain.
As Cassandra walked towards the stables of the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in the sunshine she could see from afar a distinct motif emblazoned onto a circle of brickwork. Entirely different to the ornate polished adornments within the château, this symbol was made from robust iron and yet the artistry and symmetry of the swirling lines was exceptionally elegant.
Keeping both the precision of the swirls and the sculptural robustness of the original motif at play, she began to design her own bracelets and earring pendants. She decided to name this series after the French word for stables, Écurie, as a reminder of that sunny day outside the majestic Vaux-le-Vicomte.
The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte was built for Nicolas Fouquet, the finance minister of Louis XIV, between 1658 and 1661. A great patron of the arts, Fouquet called upon the best artists of the time to build his own magnificent palace.
The inspiration for Cassandra's Fouquet design appeared in Fouquet's bedroom: a pair of ornate candle holders mounted onto the wall. Keeping the shape in mind, Cassandra returned to her workshop and inverted the shape with her own stylistic features. Reimagining a pearl in place of a candle, this gilded beacon glows in its own unique way and can be worn as a pendant or earrings.
The Hugenot Cross is a Christian religious symbol of the French evangelical reformed faith, originating in France and drawn into the history of Hugenot ancestry as a representation of the death of Christ and also victory over death and impiety.
There are eight points of the cross to symbolise the eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3 - 12), in between which you will see four Fleur de Lys with three petals each that are said to signify the twelve apostles. Traditionally, these crosses also feature doves as a symbol of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16), but throughout history and times of persecution, this dove has been replaced with a pearl to represent a teardrop.
As I stepped inside the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte I thought about French fabulist and poet Jean de la Fontaine's work Le Songe De Vaux, to tell a tale about the creation of Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and the splendour inside.
I found myself pausing to take in the boiseries, the wood panelling on the walls and doorways, to admire the carvings of undulating leaves and flowers. As I looked closer, scrolls of leaves curled into one another, while flowers burst out between the folds. I realised those golden orbs and scrolls would be a striking starting point for a new design, my own golden Songe De Vaux.
As I started to gather inspirations and ideas around me for my new collection, bringing together a taste of La Belle France, I realised there was one ingredient that couldn't go amiss: Patisserie.
Out of every design, Patisserie is one of my bravest. I just knew there was an opportunity for a series of fun and quirky pieces that combined molten precious metals and the sweet shapes of Parisian pastries, extracting their essence into an abstract jewellery creation.
The Patisserie bracelet consists of four unique patisserie outlines, while the pendant earrings feature one statement shape. I'd love to find out - can you spot the croissant, the pain au chocolat, the canelé and the éclair?
My Noisette pendant is as charming as it sounds. A smooth golden hazelnut that swivels open to reveal a gemstone hidden within.
The trick to really 'cracking' this design was crafting a clever mechanism that could reveal a sparkling kernel within the small jewellery shell. There are the Cocoa Pods and Pomegranate pendants of previous collections, but I knew my Noisette pendant had to remain perfectly precise and bijou.
Traversing across collections and the countries that inspire them, Cassandra Goad's quote pendants capture an array of different thoughts and feelings, as special emblems to wear on our own journeys and travels.
Taking inspiration from Paul Gauguin's sculptural piece "Soyez Mystérieuses" carved in 1890, Cassandra's new quote pendant brings to mind that effortless nonchalance, luxurious "je ne sais quoi" and elusive magic of La Belle France. Be mysterious.
Cassandra picked out this famous French proverb for one of her latest quote pendants, enriched by its ethos of spirit and rigour. After all, seizing the day and making the most of every moment is the only way to discover the many great wonders a country like France has to offer.