THE CARTIER PANTHER HAS BEEN SLINKING THROUGH HIGH SOCIETY SINCE THE DAWN OF THE 20TH CENTURY, AN ICONIC MASCOT OF THE FEARLESS WOMAN MADE ALL- THE-MORE INVINCIBLE BY THE GUARD OF THE EMERALD- EYED CARTIER CAT.
The Panther, the Lovers and the Vanity Case.
The Panther was first unleashed into Cartier’s menagerie in the 1920s by Jeanne Toussaint, the lover of Louis Cartier himself. In 1917 Louis gifted Toussaint with a black onyx vanity case depicting the panther prowling through cedar trees. It was not long before Louis invited Toussaint to design accessories for the maison. Toussaint, inspired by the feline sublimity of the animal etched onto her gift made the panther her signature; punctuating each piece she designed with the animal.
Celebrities and aristocrats alike, seduced by the brazen allure of the animal sported the creature in fashionable settings throughout the 20th century and indeed the turn of the 21st. Last year Cartier celebrated their 100th anniversary unveiling a new collection sharpening the soft curves of the panther’s ears and nose in favour of a geometric aesthetic demonstrating the maison’s dedication to avant-garde designs.
Get Sassy for Less.
The collection retails at anywhere from 9,000 upwards while some pieces carry the undisclosed-for- a-reason, ‘price on request’ small print meaning savvier shoppers may be inclined to hunt for knock off pieces that pack a similar punch without the eye watering price tag. Fortunately there are a whole host of ways to get the look for less. Those in pursuit of the real deal should head to auctions to uncover 2nd hand pieces that are made only more endearing by the idea of previous ownership. One can only guess what those piercing emerald eyes will have witnessed…
Other fashion houses have also taken to using the Panther in their costume jewellery collections. Roberto Cavalli jewellery evokes the same bold and brazen attitude as Cartier without the five figure price tags.
Butler and Wilson is the go-to brand for fabulous accessories at affordable prices. These Swarovski crystal doorknocker earrings, £32.00 are a quick-fire way to inject some sass into your sartorial ensemble. Other brands to explore include EFFY stocked by Macy’s and Susan Caplan’s vintage pieces that can be acquired on the company’s website.