Living Ind

Light and Life

A New Orleans jeweler honors her city and its rebirth with a new collection.

The French word fleur de lis translates to "flower of the lily" and is said to signify perfection, light and life. There's no symbol more appropriate to represent the rebuilding of New Orleans and no better jeweler than New Orleans native Mignon Faget to capture it in silver and gold. Already renowned for her fleur de lis designs, Faget has launched a new collection of Louisiana Iris pieces in honor of the rebirth of New Orleans. (Before the 19th century, irises and lilies were both commonly called fleurs de lis.

"The symbol is derived from the Iris, the native wildflower of Louisiana," Faget writes in a letter to her collectors on the opening page of her catalog showcasing the Louisiana Iris collection. "It is said to have bloomed from the tears of Eve as she was driven from the Garden of Eden. The Iris and Fleur de Lis designs carry special sentiment for all of us this year. We wear them as badges of honor."

The Louisiana Iris brooch, with intricate twists carving out the flower, and the Louisiana Iris Necklace, 18 inches of freshwater pearls decorated with amethyst and a smaller version of the brooch, an be found at Koi in the Oil Center, Lafayette's only Mignon Faget carrier.

"I proudly share the designs on the following pages inspired, as is all my work, by the beauty and culture of New Orleans, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast," Faget continues in her catalog. "This is our time of rebirth."

The Louisiana Iris brooch can be found at Koi in the Oil Center. The brooch is available in both sterling silver ($125) and 14-karat gold ($875), as is the necklace ($125 for silver and $875 for gold). Koi also carries the more affordable fleur de lis Rebirth Pin, $25 in silver and $12 in Bronze d'Ore, and a portion of the proceeds from sales of the pin go to the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation.