Teaming up with celebrity stylist Nicola Formichetti, jewellery label La Joie is presenting a line of bejewelled masks for the fashionable and health-conscious set

Joy may be hard to come by in the wake of a pandemic, but jewellery label La Joie is intent on bringing that bit of light back to the world. The solution? A brilliant collaboration with Nicola Formichetti, the celebrity stylist and close collaborator of Grammy award-winning artist Lady Gaga. In a project conceptualised by Tatler Asia, the two creative forces have come together to create a scintillating pandemic essential with a fun twist: bejewelled face masks.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 more than a year ago, face masks have swiftly become part of our style lexicon. Why then should this most visible accessory of our times not be something precious, stylish and cool? Enter the collaboration between La Joie and Formichetti.

The mask itself is made from silk—long held as one of the best materials for face masks (gentle on the skin and won’t give you “maskne”)—and embellishments of coloured gems joined by delicate links of white gold, making them equal parts opulent and playful. What’s more, it’s also as versatile as it’s beautiful: the bejewelled elements can be removed and worn separately, as a necklace or earrings—a savvy piece of technical mastery that makes the face mask that much more valuable—while the silk face masks can be customised by colour and preference. It’s just one of the thoughtful considerations that the innovative jewellery brand and Formichetti have taken into account in their collaboration, which fuses the worlds of jewellery, art and fashion, and, considering that we will be wearing face masks for the foreseeable future, a worthy investment piece too.

Founded in 2020 by Jean Nasr, La Joie, which means “the joy” in French, is an offshoot of the famed Mouawad jewellery company, and focuses on unique, boundary-pushing designs and a specialisation in coloured gems. On a similar parallel, Formichetti is a formidable stylist known for his daring and visually arresting work. Based in Los Angeles, he is one of those influential catalysts in the fashion and entertainment industries—whether it’s creating fashion-forward magazine editorials, styling Lady Gaga for her explosive Chromatica album, and working with celebrities such as Nikita Dragun and Sia. Recognising the synergies between them, it wasn’t hard at all for Tatler Asia to suggest that the two creative forces combine their distinctive visions for a special collaboration, even in the midst of a pandemic.

Here, we speak to Jean and Jessica Nasr, the father‑daughter duo behind La Joie, and Formichetti about the inspiration behind the collaboration, the challenges of collaborating virtually and the little joys that they found in isolation.

How did this collaboration with Nicola Formichetti come about?

Jean Nasr (JN) I believe that fashion and jewellery go perfectly hand in hand, and they are both of a creative nature and complement each other in so many ways. Nicola was an obvious choice because of his reputation, and it resonated that we both can create something together.

And I think in both Nicola’s and our design aesthetics, there is a touch of something wild—so we thought that really worked.

Nicola, could you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind this collaboration with La Joie?

Nicola Formichetti (NF) It was very interesting for me to collaborate with them as I love doing something very special. I thrive on that, and I loved the challenge [of] a face mask, which is definitely here to stay for a little bit longer. 

Inspiration-wise, I work with my instinct, always. When I was talking and researching about this project, I thought about what La Joie does [with jewellery]—it’s something special and elegant, but also has this natural feeling, even though they work with hard stones. I felt inspired by the organic, soft, beautiful colours, so I said, “Let’s do something with flowers, they represent positivity and are very feminine.”

JN To add to what Nicola has said, even during this pandemic, a lot of people have been brought down in so many ways. But I think that despite all the setbacks that you have in life, there’s always the power of positivity. And I don’t think there is a better way of expressing that than through the workings of nature with flowers. Flowers are always a celebration of life.

(Related: Coronavirus Tips: The Most Stylish Face Masks To Wear)

What did you find the most enjoyable about working with each other?

NF The positivity and support from Jean and Jessica have been very strong. I talked a lot with Jessica through the design process, and [working digitally] has actually made us much more efficient. I don’t want this situation to last forever, but it’s actually a very good tool, even with the time differences. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved, even with the long distance and Covid restrictions.

JSN I think it’s so difficult for creatives to get together without a personal relationship and a personal bond. It’s so hard to come together—we have two different houses, different design concepts and aesthetics—so it’s a very rare thing for us to collaborate digitally and remotely to create these masks, which look so in unison.

Nicola, how would you style the masks?

NF The great thing about these masks is that they’re a statement, but you can style it both ways: you can go high and low. You can do it casual—I think it’d be super cool with T-shirts and jeans (personally, my friends would wear it like that), but at the same time, you can go into a more dressed up place, for sure. I think that’s the modern way to wear it, so that it’s not too over the top, even though I love that. I’ve always loved that mixture of high and low together.

(Related: Face Masks: 8 of the Most Innovative Accessories and Creations)

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