The wife of Napoleon and the first empress of France, Joséphine de Beauharnais has been renowned for centuries for her beauty, grace and wit. The extraordinary love letters she exchanged with Napoleon have gone down as some of the most romantic in history, while the magnificent roses from her walled garden at the Château de Malmaison are still admired hundreds of years after they were first bred.
It is, therefore, no surprise to find she is the muse for a new collection by Parisian high jewellery maison Chaumet, aptly called Joséphine, in which grace and character reign supreme, and which is evidence that exquisite jewellery is the ultimate symbol of style and power.
Fronting the campaign is a woman who Joséphine de Beauharnais would no doubt have admired had she been around today. South Korean actress Song Hye-kyo has been capturing the hearts of film and television lovers in Asia for the past two decades. Best known for her work in hit South Korean television dramas such as Encounter and Descendants of the Sun, Song is one of Asia’s most beautiful women and—like the empress who came before her—is renowned for her graceful bearing and personality.
“You can be beautiful but it’s difficult to be graceful, and it’s even harder to have both grace and character,” says Song. “You have to have a strong belief and always be honest with yourself and to the world. Be kind, be bold, be graceful, be virtuous. That’s my interpretation of grace and character.”
In a video campaign recently released by the French maison, Song goes through a sumptuous Parisian closet filled with what looks like almost identical dresses in search of something to wear. Thankfully, she also has a wonderful range of Joséphine Aigrette stackable rings for more casual days, and for more dressier occasions, a stunning Joséphine Aigrette Impériale tiara, which immediately gives her a stylish, powerful aesthetic of her own.