Since the time Marco Polo returned from his famous trek to China Europeans have been intrigued and then enamored with the exotica of the orient. This fascination found its peak in Europe with the period known as the rococo. It manifested itself in architecture, interiors, porcelain, gardens, painting and even fashion. Once the early Chinese pieces found their way into the European market there developed a new style which was a blend of classic Chinese motifs and objects from China with a European sensibility. The French titled this Le style de Chine or chinoiserie. This fashion reached it’s pinnacle in the third quarter of the 18th century. Over four centuries later we designers continue to be inspired by this style.
My love affair with Chinoiserie began in the late 70’s when I purchased my first piece of export porcelain (albeit with chip in it), a Blue Canton plate. Thus began a long affair with this style.
I just adore the fabulous 18th century Chinese House (Chinesisches Haus) is a garden pavilion in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam, Germany. The gold figures pop against the celadon building.
The great French Rococo painters of the 18th Century, Boucher and Fragonard depicted romantic moments. In this François Boucher painting we see both occidental and oriental influences.
After I purchased and restored my historic house in Charleston S.C. I finally realized a bucket list item in the creation of my own chinoiserie room. Coincidentally pre revolutionary Charleston, was the place in the colonies that first imported the Chinese china pattern Blue Canton. Talk about full circle Chinoiserie experience!
To continue my love of Chinoiserie in design and to explore new areas of designing product I love I am presenting in this blog post and on line a collection of chinoiserie inspired jewelry. These pieces’ are beautifully made in America. My lovely Parisienne god daughter Volga expresses how to wear these gorgeous pieces with modernity.
These bracelets, earrings, and ring are available at the Carolyne Roehm Shop.