Cassandra's Trésors

Cassandra's desk is an assortment of tresors that remind her of France and the bleu, blanc and rouge.

I like to surround myself with beautiful things when I'm designing a new collection, so I can have visual and symbolic touch points of the place I am reflecting on.

For my La Belle France collection, I have amassed various pieces on my desk, from a Ladurée box that reminds me of a beloved Parisian friend to poignant literature I'll read and re-read, all of which helps ground my thinking.

The book on my desk at the moment is Annie Ernaux's La Femme Gelée. Winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2022, Annie Ernaux is renowned for her courageous and uncomprimising autobiographical examination of life, language, gender and class. I love the raw honesty and dramatic emotion of her writing that takes you to another era and I'm fascinated by her vocabulary, which I'll often note down to remember words I have never heard before.

Amongst the treasures on my desk, you will spot my golden Frog, inspired by the glorious frog sculptures in the gardens and grottos of Château de Vaux-Le-Vicomte. Rather than fountains of water, my design has a shower of facetted diamonds.

There's also my Avenue des Pyramides gold bracelet, which I designed some years ago. It's pleasing to bring it back into this collection where it feels quite at home, as I'll still walk down Avenue des Pyramides in Paris oday, just as I did when I first stopped outside number 1, where I was inspired by the patterened brass box motifs of the door handle.

Amongst all the octagonal and rectangular geometric shapes I've become so fascinated by during my journey to France, there's also a curious silver box with the imprint of a leaf. Subconsciously, I think it was the concave shape of this box which led me to create the saucer-like shapes of the La France charms.

Then lastly, turning to the natural world, there are shells to remind me of France's stunning coastlines, and always fresh flowers from my garden.

After all, every time I take a trip to a new country - my mind bursting with inspiration and ideas - it is my desk I will return to for contemplation, where I'll go on to develop my designs.

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