La maison Desrues
Since 1929, Desrues has produced jewelry, accessories and buttons for the most famous fashion houses. These beautiful, high-tech creations require excellence in savoir-faire and hours of work. The official costume jewelry, accessory and button provider to Gabrielle Chanel, Desrues became the first House in 1985 to join what would later become the Métiers d’Art.
For the great designers of the time, he was the ultimate reference in jewelry, accessories and buttons. In 1920s Paris, George Desrues began to ply his trade under the wing of Monsieur Chandelier, a jewelry craftsman who supplied the couture houses of Paris. It was 1929 when George Desrues opened his own workshop on Rue Amelot in Paris.
Engraving, polishing, gilding… The little workshop quickly developed, taking on new savoir-faire and establishing collaborations with renowned clients such as Madeleine Vionnet, Balmain, Jeanne Lanvin and Hubert de Givenchy. In the 1960s, George Desrues came up with his first button collection to adorn suits designed by Gabrielle Chanel. His turners sculpted buttons using drawknives, then his craftsmen bejeweled, stamped, and soldered them to bring the infinite spirit of CHANEL to the workshop of Rue Amelot. The collaboration between the two was so close that it led to CHANEL taking over the company in 1985.
Desrues at Plailly
Today, Desrues pursues its creative process at a site in Plailly, located in Picardy, where artistic craftsmanship and savoir-faire are demonstrated on a daily basis along a long hallway lined with doors. The craftsmen, engineers, stylists and model-makers design, sculpt, engrave, polish and gild the pieces that will adorn the collections of fashion houses. Since 2020, leatherwork has joined their array of expertise.
Between tradition and innovation
Throughout the decades, all the costume jewelry pieces, accessories and buttons that have left the workshop have been carefully archived. All are testimonials to the correlation between the history of Desrues and that of jewelry. For example, the way the fine jewelry that the workshop initially produced gradually gave way to “costume jewelry” for fashion houses. Or the development of materials. Or the notion of luxury, which has endlessly vacillated between flamboyance and minimalism. Or the endeavor to maintain the most artisanal types of savoir-faire while integrating innovation and digital processes into the creative and technical approach.