French Fancies: Dangleterre

I favour responsible, sustainable and artisanal brands. Here’s another one whose products I’ve been (quite rightly) lusting after.

Paris-based jewellry brand Dangleterre emerged in 2019 with sophisticated jewels using richly coloured gemstones that make for surprisingly easy statement pieces. The company’s founder Ségolène Dangleterre favours ethical sourcing and empowering jewellry.

The magnificent Favorite ring by Dangleterre, lapis lazuli, tourmaline and 18kt gold.The magnificent Favourite ring by Dangleterre, lapis lazuli, tourmaline and 18kt gold.

How it all began

After three years at art school, Ségolène Dangleterre wasn’t yet ready to start her own design career, so she set out to help other artists and designers communicate about their work. At that time, helping creative people to describe and explain their creative process was a real vocation.

Dangleterre went on to run her own communications agency focusing on brands that bridge the divide between art and industry. Over the course of her career, she honed her eye and developed a deeper understanding of craftsmanship, a process that dovetailed with her passion for precious stones and would eventually result in her own brand.

My mother was a very feminine and sophisticated role model, with lots of jewels from the 1980s. They were big, with lots of colour, and as a little girl I was fascinated by her treasures.

When her mother passed away, Dangleterre and her sister had some of the necklaces from her collection recreated to wear themselves. “They were not from very well-known brands, just jewels they had seen around her neck for years and Dangleterre realised there are a lot of suppliers and makers in Paris.

The experience planted the seed for her own brand and she spent the next few years business planning, plus learning wax carving and goldsmithing. Dangleterre launched in 2020 with a striking collection of generously proportioned rings and necklaces in bold lapis lazuli, warm tourmaline and deepest onyx. With a growing e-commerce business and support from big French press titles including Vogue Paris and Madame Figaro, the brand is now poised to make a more international mark.

And nearly 20 years after art school, Ségolène Dangleterre feels she has finally found her medium.A beaded necklace by Dangleterre, in tourmaline, red jasper and gold.A beaded necklace by Dangleterre, in tourmaline, red jasper and gold.

The design process 

The first step is always the gems. She starts by mixing shapes and colours and then sketches the mount, but sometimes the wax carving stage takes her further from the initial idea than she’d expected. Her favourite part of the process is when she stops thinking about proportion and comfort and starts adapting the piece.

Not unnaturally, she designs jewels she wants to wear, her prototypes are always in her size; she wants something she can’t find anywhere else, that’s unique and bold. Sometimes, she reconnects with that joy and excitement that we all experience as a child when you have something shiny, something you value and cherish because it looks pretty. It’s all about being bold.

Jewellry is fantastic because when you think about it, it has no function, and that’s quite rare. When something doesn’t meet a need, it has an incredible power to bring you pure joy and pleasure. A jewel says something about you, your personality, your mood, and I wanted to create empowering jewels for fantastic people.

Inspiration

Dangleterre is inspired by the natural world. Her parents met in Tahiti, Polynesia and when she went there aged eight, she was fascinated by the gaily coloured fish with all their patterns, dots, stripes and colour gradients.
The Paradisier ring, by Dangleterre, tourmaline and 18kt gold, was inspired by birds-of-paradise.The Paradisier ring, by Dangleterre, tourmaline and 18kt gold, was inspired by birds-of-paradise.

Early on, Dangleterre was super excited about the idea of traveling the world to choose stones and rare gems, but in the end chose to work with expert partners instead, to make sure the stones she uses are ethically sourced, with responsible practices along the supply chain in terms of the environment and human rights. That’s also why she built strong partnerships with RJC-accredited (Responsible Jewellry Council) suppliers in Paris.

Dangleterre uses recycled gold in her jewellery because she believes companies must set an example and be responsible in their practices and products. She chose recycled gold to reduce the carbon footprint even further. Clients can also bring in their old or broken jewels and she will recycle the gold and deduct it from the final price of a new piece.

Emblematic piece

Her most emblematic piece is the Favourite ring (top), because of its shape, energy and generosity. It was one of her first designs, she had this pyramid cabochon and  created the design very quickly, it was instinctive.

She finds it interesting to see the different kinds of people who are attracted to this ring, people of all ages, all styles, it’s why she loves her job so much.

Jewels are yours for a limited time, when you pass them on to someone else, they become something else entirely. The intention I put in the design takes a whole new dimension when it is worn.

Exotic wood and cultured pearl bangles, by DangleterreExotic wood and cultured pearl bangles, by Dangleterre

Dangleterre is actually interested in the exploration of the different archetypes of jewellry. But she’s super interested in rings because of movement: hands allow us to express ourselves, the way we move our hands tells people a lot about us.

A ring is a shiny little version of yourself. You feel a ring when you are wearing it more than any other jewel; the weight, the texture, you can always see it. It’s fascinating how people can have such strong feelings and emotions about their rings.Your hands tell your life story, I think they deserve to be dressed.

Future challenges 

Dangleterre is working on a new series of rings. Her main challenge is to keep a fresh eye on jewellry to continue to offer uncommon, joyful and powerful jewels. She wants to stay true to herself and cherish the gems for their looks and colours, rather than their monetary value.

On my next trip to Paris I shall be making a detour to her workshop!

Images courtesy of Dangleterre

20 Comments on “French Fancies: Dangleterre

  1. Pingback: French Fancies: Dangleterre – World Era

  2. Ah, such beauty! I’m not one for wearing a lot of jewellery but I do like a good statement piece and enjoy browsing. When done right, every item is a little work of art. There’s a coffee table book in these French Fancy posts, Sheree. Wouldn’t it be lovely dipping in and out of all the gorgeous French style?

    Liked by 1 person

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