Cartier’s Garden

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[I] try to spend my life photographing beauty. It is what brings me the greatest joy and to that which I want cast my gaze upon for eternity. Of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in the world, nothing will ever outshine what nature gives to us. How she makes woman with delicate skin and blushing cheeks, the colors of an exploding flower at the height of its bloom and that exceptional gift of gemstones and diamonds like stars that have fallen from the heavens to earth.

Recently we had lunch with Cartier at The Modern where we were first introduced to to their Étourdissant collection, a beautiful french word for “splendid”. The high jewelry collection is Cartier’s showcase of the most extraordinary, one of a kind pieces that can take the Maison years to create with the finest precious stones in the word. A collection so spectacular it is dizzying, like life itself if we watch with our eyes wide open. As we talked about the collection I was enchanted with the source of inspiration: the south of France, the Côte d’Azur, light and shadows, radiance and hues and the painters from France that created such vibrant works of beauty as a window into a world of natural wonders.

This thought of natural beauty stuck to me and I let images flood my mind and take me into an afternoon reverie. I became engrossed with the idea of creating Renoir’s garden.  A place of dappled color, untamed beauty, a young girl with iridescent paper-like skin dreaming of all to come in life lost in her thoughts as she whiles away the afternoon. She is innate beauty nestled in a bouquet of nature’s glorious shimmering colors. We watch her, with all the luxury of time, her jewels that seem to float off her delicate skin and glitter in the warm, late afternoon light. She lives in a world of splendor changed only be the gentle breeze that sweeps through kissing her cheeks and carrying her thoughts away.

The house of Cartier has reminded me that we must celebrate beauty, treasure color, create contrasts and seek character for it is the explosion of these things that make the world étourdissant.


Étourdissant Cartier Collection earrings, platinum, diamonds & pink chiffon gown with flower aplique by Marchesa

Renoir_Garden_Cartier_02 “Art is about emotion; if art needs to be explained it is no longer art.”– Pierre-Auguste RenoirRenoir_Garden_Cartier_03

Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, platinum, sapphires, diamonds & a light blue chiffon and sheer lace gown by Maria Lucia Hohan.


“You come to nature with all your theories, and she knocks them all flat.”- Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Étourdissant Cartier Collection ring, 18k yellow gold, opal, colored sapphires, black lacquer, diamonds with vintage Gucci grey silk chiffon gown from Cloak Wardrobe under a rainbow pastel chiffon skirt by Marchesa. Renoir_Garden_Cartier_06

Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, platinum, 18k yellow gold, 55.91 carat peridot, onyx, diamonds with emerald green silk chiffon gown by Naeem Khan.


“The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself and carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion. It is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Renoir_Garden_Cartier_08 Renoir_Garden_Cartier_09

Étourdissant Cartier Collection ring, 18k white gold, pink diamonds, brown diamonds, white diamonds in a vintage baby pink silk gown by John Galliano from Cloak Wardrobe.


“I look at a nude. There are myriads of tiny tints. I must find the ones that will make the flesh on my canvas live and quiver.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Étourdissant Cartier Collection earrings, 18k yellow gold, imperial topazes, colored sapphires, black lacquer, diamonds along with an Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, 18k yellow gold, onyx, diamonds and nude silk chiffon gown by vintage Alexander McQueen from Cloak Wardrobe.


“I like a painting which makes me want to stroll in it.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Étourdissant Cartier Collection necklace, platinum, diamonds and pink silk chiffon gown by YSL from Cloak Wardrobe


“Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, platinum, sapphires, diamonds & a light blue chiffon and sheer lace gown by Maria Lucia Hohan.


“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” 
– Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Cartier Étourdissant collection shot at Jack Studios in New York City || Modeled by Emma Bartlett || Styled by Krisana Sotelo || Floral Set Design by Putnam & Putnam || Prop Stylist by Zio & Sons || Makeup by Christine Cherbonnier || Hair by Michael Thomas Lollo || Nails by Angel Williams

Some of the Pierre-Auguste Renoir paintings that inspired this story:

Femme avec parasol dans un jardin || Girl with Daises || The Bathers || La Promenade || The Lovers || Dance at Bougival || By the Seashore || Nude 1910 || In the Garden || Young Girl Bathing || Reclining Nude || In the Meadow || Young Woman Seated || The fisherman


Renoir the Film

  • these are jaw dropping and I think my favorite of all your work… maybe. The way you describe your stream on consciousness is just SO beautiful, Jamie. You have an art.

  • I had been waiting to see the final shots from this shoot ever since seeing tidbits of it on your snapchat, knowing it was going to be an incredible shoot… and as always, you have delivered magic!

    The softness of the model, the gowns, the jewels, the aura of it all… you’ve managed to capture all of the beauty perfectly!


    PS – I love that you've included Renoir's pieces that inspired you for this shoot!

  • Natacha

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for creating such étoudrissantes pictures!
    It kind of made me think of the movie “the secret garden”, I don’t know if you saw it, it’s a bit old (1993)
    here’s a picture of the garden:

  • Deb

    So, so beautiful. Your best yet I think. How did you create such a gorgeous shoot?

  • Gregory

    Thank you for writing this post.Happy new year!

  • Elizabeth Padilla

    What a beauty!!! all of the portraits are fantastic. Love the inspiration, you made it, this are like paintings.
    The cinemagraph is so esquisite.
    Congrat´s for all of your work. Have a nice 2016

  • Lucero Arechiga

    Yay! I finally get to see the final product. It was such a great teaser to see it take shape on Snapchat. I wish you would do a post with some of the behind-the-scenes. How long it too the team of florist to create the garden, the gown options, the jewels….

    Hope you’re back safely in NYC, Dallas got crazy with the weather for a second!


  • Mandel

    Great! Absolutely not a single look.

  • Tess D’Urbervilles

    What I love about your work is really that it goes beyond the simple picture that frames time. It is passion. And I think that everyone can see it.

    Keep sharing all this!

    Vittoria from 5 IN THE MORNING

  • From the model, to the chairs, to the flowers, to the lighting, to the clothing, to the hair, to the jewels, to the makeup, to the poses, to the PHOTOGRAPHY..each and every detail is thought out and perfectly executed. Only an artist like you can bring such timeless, fine art into the modern day, with such style and flair! Truly a remarkable shoot. I think it’s my favorite of yours. I loved seeing the BTS on Snapchat, and of how it all came together. Just beautiful.

  • Accidental Icon

    Love the image, love the sharing of process, love the fashion+art+commerce balance. Re(imaging the past in a modern way, perfections.
    Accidental Icon

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