Lighting the World’s Finest Paspaley Pearls
A truly unique approach to lighting design was implemented by the team at Mindseye, for their collaborative work with Luxury retail architects Carbondale and purveyors of the world’s finest pearls; Paspaley.
The recently opened Paspaley boutique in Melbourne’s Crown Casino; Australia's premiere entertainment complex, displays some of the finest pearl jewellery and is a reflection of Paspaley's unparalleled passion and expertise, which has made them internationally recognised as the source of the finest quality and most beautiful pearls in the world.
The lighting brief was twofold; develop the perfect light for the world’s best pearls, and support and enhance the corporate image of Paspaley, demonstrating their role as luxury brand leaders in the retail of fine pearl jewellery.
Mindseye approached their research with months of exhaustive testing with a purpose designed and fully adaptable experimental display cabinet. It was clear from the outset that normal jewellery lighting was simply not appropriate for the pearls. Typical jewellery lighting relies on lots of point sources of light to glitter and dazzle, reflecting from the multitude of facets of precious stones and catch the intricacy and brightness of precious metals. The structure of a pearl is significantly different: it is built up in thousands of translucent layers of ‘nacre’ giving it its own luminosity and lustre as well as being a single highly reflective surface, and therefore cannot be treated the same way as a diamond or other precious stones and metals.
After weeks of testing hundreds of different combinations of lighting techniques Mindseye developed a combination of five distinct elements, each of which work together to achieve the perfect display lighting for the world’s finest pearls.
This bespoke lighting concept then had to be applied to the various display vitrine formats, but crucially, also to the store as a whole, so that, once removed from the vitrine, the pearls still looked their absolute best, anywhere in the store. To achieve this, a concealed cove light source washes the ceiling to create the halo effect and one angled spot was recessed within each ceiling zone to create the highlight, so the pearls could be viewed at the sales desk or wherever required in the store. This ensured that the perfect pearl lighting was consistent throughout.
Carbondale and Mindseye worked closely together on the other vital component of the Paspaley experience: a façade treatment that could become globally recognised . Another unique lighting concept was developed to deliver this requirement.
Inspired by Paspaley’s most prestigious products, unique strand stringing technique and the wide variety of colours, brilliance and luminosity of pearls, the installation creates a consistent and playful effect through 49 ‘strands’ of LEDs behind frosted glass. Each strand has a set of parameters which defines its identity. Bespoke lighting specialists The Light Lab manufactured the strand LED fittings, running on an animation sequence developed with Mindseye to create a distinctive sparkling façade.