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portrait by Karim Sadli
Imagine an encounter between the Paris of Patrick Modiano and the captivating lightness of Bianca Jagger; the architectural lines of buildings by Haussmann and the fluidity of a Halston dress. Imagine a clash between mineral classicism and tropical exuberance or the Place de l’Etoile and the jungles of South America and you will have an idea of what Aurélie Bidermann is all about.
Educated in the heart of the 16th arrondissement like quite the stereotype of eternally innate Parisian style and savoir-faire. Parents who enjoyed collecting Art Nouveau, Symbolism and Orientalist art. Travel from an early age, substituting the straight lines and zinc rooftops of Paris for the emerald green jungle canopies of South America; the sensuality of the Pacific isles; the explosion of color of mysterious flowers and the cobalt blues of an endless ocean. This is Aurélie Bidermann’s creative melting pot, as well as inspiration drawn from her grandmother who had her necklaces, red lipstick and powder compacts custom made in boutiques in Place Vendome. In vogue back then - little animal figures, gold ducks with lacquered feathers and sapphires for eyes, puppies with onyx dotted coats, tortoises with enameled shells: a little girl’s dream as she busies herself customizing her mother’s long necklaces with flowers she fashions from sheets of paper.
Suffice to say that jewelry in Aurélie Bidermann’s eyes is equated with spontaneity, exuberance and joy. She kicks off her business on her own, wearing the hats of designer, advertising guru and PR person. There’s cotton braiding as well as colorful gems, silhouettes of elephants and mother-of-pearl dragonflies. It’s all so gloriously uninhibited, with an itinerant, organic twist; there’s no distinction between precious gems and costume jewelry, from now on what’s important is to showcase femininity and to please. When her first boutique opens its doors, it’s much more than a retail space, it’s a story within four walls spanning Palm Springs, Rio, Jaipur and Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Raring to go, the designer realizes she has a manual calling – she saw herself as an auctioneer or possibly a ceramist or sculptor – and looks at a place as if it were an open book, a fairytale album where four leaf clovers and gingko go hand-in-hand with Navajo Indian ornaments, wheat cobs and the joyous inclusion of silk pompoms. Stacked bracelets and rings, balanced colors and mix of materials soon turn her work into fine jewelry. But here again, very precious stones have a fun twist; apple cores sparkle with gems, bells ring to the tune of diamonds, scarabs and ladybirds are on the verge of unfurling sapphire or tsavorite studded wings. It’s fine jewelry with an F for fun and so audaciously feminine: impeccably designed high-end luxe, the reflection of a designer who is never separated from her bracelets engraved with lucky symbols: three little eyes, numbers « Because when it comes down to it», she says, « I’m not afraid to believe in it, it’s fun thinking about it ». And after all, isn’t the best kind of style all about being light?