Within the streets of Lausanne, you can feel that this is a city which pays homage to good living. Character and creativity run flawlessly together throughout every aspect of its urban aesthetic. Food and culture bear the same attention to detail as fashion and jewellery command. With regards to the latter, Lausanne as a shopping destination pays homage to the Swiss mastery of jewellery and watchmaking succinctly by providing delicious ´little pieces of wearable art.´ One such prominent artisanal atelier which takes pride of place in the cities historical quarter is Galerie Vice Versa.
Sixteen years ago, Christian Balmer opened the Bijoux Contemporains with a vision to ´develop and defend his passion for contemporary jewellery.´Today, around 50 designers showcase their whinsical, wearable works with ranges emerging from the experiemental jewellery collections of ´Bijou D´Auteur´ with their spectacular rococoesque inspired rings from Karl Fritsch, contemporary cubism collectables from Valentine Dubois, industrialised tectonic fusions from Sophie Hanagarth which juxtapose next to the ethereal, organic aesthetics of Mirei Takeuchi.
¨Vice versa is to jewellery what fashion design is to clothing. We provide an edgy choice of rare pieces beyond the mere ornament¨ – Vice Versa
Since March 2008, Vice Versa has acted as both showroom and theatre. One clean, contemporary space acts as the sales and experience space, whilst an exhibition space ´ L´ANNEXE´ plays host to four inventive spectacles of painting, sculpture, jewellery and contemporary installations each year.
One such notable contemporary designer who enjoys a selective European following is Valentine Dubois. After graduating in Applied Arts at La Chaux de Fonds school, Valentine then progressed onto hone her craft in Biel, Zurich and La Neuveville. Dubois uses a formal language for creating jewellery. Her work is a three dimensional building game that often stems from using the form of the square or circle as a point of reference to develop an ongoing design narrative. Her jewellery consists of small, portable sculptures with minimal, sober volumes.
Vice Versa´s complementary product ranges cover every circumstance with creativity and class. Their wedding ring collection ´ALLIANCES´ offer inter-twined and embellished bi-metallic premiums, whilst ´EDITION / NEISSING´ offers a premium choice of contemporary metal bands encrusted with diamonds and other precious metals which serve as a covetable engagement or celebration gift. Current times are quite literally catered for, as their discerning collection of ´MONTRES ´time pieces feature traditional models from Meister Telemetre as well as more progressive marks like Tamawa.
The fusion of art and fashion has always been a harmonious one. Vice Versa re-inforces this ethic into their philosophy to showcase a dynamic array of bijouterie and timepieces which act as a constant reminder of the Swiss artisans heritage and commitment to their craft. If you happen to find yourself in or around Place Sant Francois, then find some time to go inside for a casual browse. Within Lausanne, it literally is a gem of a find.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald, Executive Fashion Editor, LookBook 360
Photography: Bijoux Vice Versa