“It was a dream come true,” explained Daniela Villegas. An obligatory destination during her trips to Paris, the Mexican-born LA-based designer was thrilled when Deyrolle welcomed her to its rue de Bac emporium to exhibit her jewelry during fashion week. And given her fascination with nature, it’s easy to understand why the historic destination was the perfect choice to host her brand’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
Daniela has been designing for her namesake brand since moving to Los Angeles in 2008. And a decade following the launch of her first collection of just seven pieces, she now counts Hollywood’s A-List among her loyal clientele. Crafting colorful, one-of-a-kind designs handmade in her LA workshop, the passionate nature observer combines organic elements, including beetles, porcupine quills, feathers, shells and pebbles, with 18K gold and precious and semi precious stones, and one of her biggest sources of inspiration throughout her career has been Deyrolle.
Established by entomologist Emile Deyrolle in 1831, the Paris emporium fuses natural science with elements of fantasy. “A Noah’s Ark,” according to its current owner, Prince Louis Albert de Broglie, the store’s exotic taxidermy, entomology and natural history specimens displayed in antique wooden cases and glass bell jars have proved a mecca for enthusiasts, collectors and curious observers alike since it first opened its doors. Artists from Salvador Dali and Damien Hirst to creatives Wes Anderson and Sophia Coppola have all been clients, and Woody Allen even filmed several scenes for ‘Midnight in Paris’ there.
Deyrolle also has a reputation as an educational resource for scholars and a teaching destination for children, its original botanical, zoological and entomological wall charts now replaced by material relating to sustainable development and climate change – Deyrolle observes the Washington Convention rules on international trade in endangered species and all protected animals have come from zoos, circuses or farms where they died of old age or illness.
Since her first presentation in Paris it’s been Daniela’s dream to stage an event at Deyrolle, and during the fashion week exhibition visitors not only enjoyed a brief presentation of the ten year journey of the brand, which included a glimpse of pieces from past collections, but were also able to view designs from her latest collection, ‘Curosity’. “It is inspired by the brave botanists, naturalists and explorers that continue to shape our world with their knowledge and their insatiable sense of adventure to discover new things and species,” she explained, with jewels named after luminaries from Captain James Cook to Sir David Attenborough. “Their sense of individual wonder is often powered by an unavoidable urge to make known the unknown, to keep expanding the limits of our lives and installing constant hope based on knowledge. The collection celebrates their intense imagination and excitement for scientific work, which contributes greatly to the way we see our cosmos today.”