robert goossens



Robert Goossens was born in 1927 in Paris of a bronze smelter father and a mother working in a theater. In 1942 he began his apprenticeship as a goldsmith at Bauer, a workshop that works for the House of Cartier. His initiation continues in the workshop Lefevre, again for Cartier. In 1949, he performs very varied orders requiring mastery of various techniques, such as inlaid ivory, tortoiseshell and mother of pearl, woodworking and leather, sculpture, painting or enamelling. At this time, it's Max Boinet, friend of the fashion people thatleads the young Goossens in the world of high fantasy (Dior, Balmain, goddesses, Rochas, Fath, Balenciaga, Castillo, Schiaparelli). But Robert Goossens remains fascinated by ancient jewelry, devoting a great admiration to the jeweler Sterle and especially the House Boivin. In 1953, while retaining its status as an independent craftsman, Mr Degorce seeks Robert Goossens to assist him. This 75 years old master craftsman realizes jewelry accented with pearls, rhinestones, ruby ​​and sapphire for Mrs Gabrielle Chanel. Nothing to do with his real goldsmith profession but Goossens learns. He thus begins indirectly at Chanel and gives free rein to his creativity. He develops barbaric inspired jewelry, Visigoth or Etruscan; he designs snake bracelets with an internal spring system. For Hermès, he created the hedgehog, the horseshoe and the caliper in gold and silver. His dream takes shape: evolve alongside the big names.

The meeting with Chanel

But if Robert Goossens produces for Coco Chanel, he still has not met her yet. Following the disappearance of Mr Degorce in 1957, he was summoned by Coco Chanel's assistant, Mrs Michelle. Coco crosses the corridor. Robert Goossens arises. She looks at him and says, "I trust the true professionals." This brief interview marks the beginning of an exciting collaboration until the disappearance of Gabrielle Chanel. For Coco Chanel, jewelry, whatever its value, should be comfortable, portable and true to the personality of the wearer. One day Robert presented a jewelry collection inspired by Ancients. "They are beautiful," she said, "and if we are asked, we will say they come from the excavations of the rue Cambon! "Mademoiselle wants more! Always jewelry, but also objects, mirrors, chandeliers, furniture where pyrites to assemble, rock crystal, coral. All symbols that, like the wheat heads prosperity and happiness in the house, are precious to Coco Chanel. So for her, Robert chisels and gilds a consequent harvest, signing either Robert Goossens or Robert from the Marais, referring to the district of Paris he likes. "As for jewelry and decorative items, I think I am today the only witness to the creative spirit of Mrs Chanel, professionally speaking. "Between 1954 and 1971, she invented an amazing vocabulary of forms that marked the decorative arts.

The collaboration with Yves Saint-Laurent

Approached by Maison Saint-Laurent wishes to recruit the "Mr. Jewel" of the house Chanel, he started in 1974 at St. Lawrence in collaboration with Loulou de la Falaise suggesting him new inspiration tracks. This is Africa! Robert documents and imagine a line of jewelry as Africanists bamboo models while continuing to decline the themes of hearts and crosses, and to make chandeliers, tables or mirrors. The collaboration is very successful until 2000. In 2005, Robert Goossens sells its company to Chanel and agrees for the time of "active" retirement as he likes to say so. He sponsors the creative workshop "The Paruriers" where he provides advice to a team of craftsmen. Today, at the age of 87, Robert continues to dream about new projects: creating a training workshop for youth to make them benefit from extraordinary experience. Although he likes maliciously add, "I have learned in the street. "


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