Friday, May 4, 2012

Beautiful things

This video was recommended to me by my teacher, and I haven't stopped watching it all day, I think I've seen it about 10 times now and showed it around to all my friends.

This is a 3-minute cinema epic film called "L'Odyssée de Cartier" made by Cartier to show the history as well as the journey of the brand, thus the name "The Odyssey of Cartier."

The story starts off where the panther, which is the historic icon and registered trademark of the brand, comes to life to representing the birth of Cartier in 1847. Started by Louis-François Cartier and eventually carried on by his 3 sons: Louis, Jacques and Pierre.

The panther, then, journeys through the land of the Tzars, Russia. Which is where Pierre Cartier went in 1904 to convince Russian aristocrats to open a store there.

After that, the panther ventures through the iconic symbols of Cartier's classic and eternal style: The love bracelet. Which is a bracelet I've always wanted! I love what it represents! As stated by the brand, "The piece locks on to the wrist and is opened and fastened with a screwdriver, serving to sanctify inseparable love." Isn't that SO cute? Future husband, if you're reading this, you know what I'll be expecting for our anniversary! Ha!

Next, the panther is confronted with the celestial dragon, which then transforms into the Great Wall of China. I was really intrigued by the graphics during this part! This chapter portrays some of Cartier's designs that have influences from combining Chinese art with an approach of the 1920s and onwards.

Afterwards, my favourite part of the film is when the panther enters a cave into a palace filled with animals such as snakes and crocodiles, not to mention trees and birds, made of jewels! Mmm... Just imagine living in a world where EVERYTHING was made of precious stones and gems! What a life that would be... Continuing on, when the panther exits the palace, the viewers see that he was actually in the Taj Mahal that is on top of an elephant. This epitomizes Cartier's relationship with the Maharajas and how they wanted to commission pieces from the brand. Below is a picture of Jacques Cartier during a trip to India in 1911. 

Then, the panther jumps off the elephant onto the first fixed-wing aircraft which was created by Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1906. I know you're probably wondering, "What does this have to do with Cartier?" I thought that too. After a bit of research, I found that Cartier has a line of Santos Dumont watches. Which is why we see an unknown man flying the apparatus wearing the Santos Dumont watch. However, that is not the only part to it. This is actually quite interesting. Back in the 1900s, wristwatches were mostly worn by women as jewels as men only wore pocket watches. So Alberto Santos Dumont actually popularized it by going to his friend, who was Louis Cartier, and he complained to him that he couldn't fly the aircraft and check his pocket watch at the same time. And that is when Cartier came up with the Santos Dumont watch which consisted of a leather band and small buckle. Interesting, no?

And finally, the panther ventures to Paris as the viewers see the gorgeous Eiffel tower and jumps off the aircraft into a building up the stairs to her rightful owner, or rather her alter ego. Jeanne Touissant, who worked with Louis Cartier and eventually was promoted to Jewelry Director in 1933. She was known all around Paris, as well as in Cartier, for her "unerring eye and distinctive intuitive style" and thus became known as, "La Panthère." Who knew that she was the reason for the historic icon? Because I sure as hell didn't until now.

In fact, I didn't know anything behind the brand before this film. And it is so interesting to find out more on the history about a certain brand that has been around for centuries. I also love how so many of their inspirations have come from different countries and cultures.

I found this movie so incredibly magical and so profoundly inspiring, I had to find out more about it! So I watched the behind the scenes of the making of this film. It is so interesting to find out how they made it and how much work was put into a 3 minute film in order to serve a concrete image of the brand and its history.

The director, Bruno Aveillan, is truly a genius.

P.S. Thank you Ms. Helene!

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