Christmas Fairy Tale
LIVE THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE OF THE BALLETS DANCERS IZA AND ANA...
On December 24, 1990 Paris was partying and the decorations shone bright across the City of Lights…
The fairy-tale atmosphere of Christmas played out before Ana’s spellbound eyes. But the young ballerina had only one thing in mind: leaving the capital and dancing on Saint Petersburg’s Opéra Mariinsky stage. ‘The ballet performances there are known throughout the world and feature the most talented dancers’ she was told by her friend Iza with whom she was assiduously following her ballet classes at Opéra Garnier. They had become inseparable and Iza and Ana were two Parisians with an unbridled appetite for this fine art. Ana, transported by her dream and a thirst for adventure, arranged to meet Iza on that Christmas Eve morning, on the platform of the station, to say goodbye. She was heading for Saint Petersburg on the Orient Express, on a journey that would take her towards her dream, but far away from her friend…
Iza gave Ana her faithful talisman, a testament to the precious link between them, intended to bring her luck, happiness and prosperity in her quest. Ana opened the box and full of emotion discovered a diamond-studded Russian doll, hanging on a gold chain. She christened the necklace ‘Lucky Doll’ before taking her friend in her arms. ‘We will meet again Iza’ she whispered warmly into her ears, her cheeks red with cold, before boarding the Orient Express. And then began a long journey through the snowy forests and icy landscapes of the great East. The lights of Paris gave way to snowflakes, falling delicately against the train’s window. Sometimes she could see silver-coated foxes moving around the snowy landscape, watching the train go by with astonishment before furtively heading off into the woods.
They were so quick and unpredictable that she nicknamed them ‘Volte-Face’. Ana observed the sumptuous, icy landscapes for hours but her dream of becoming a great ballerina at the Opéra Mariinsky never left her mind, and at one point her eyes fell closed. She woke up to elaborate dome-shaped roofs… the light shining through the window, lighting up the train carriage. The cold tones gave way to shimmering, spicy colours. Ana had at last found her second City of Lights: Saint Petersburg! Charmed by what lay ahead, she held her Lucky Doll talisman close to her heart and thought tenderly of her dear friend Iza. Ana crossed Decembrists square jumping and spinning around in her black velvet dress. Everybody was looking at her. It gave her the idea of trying out a few dance steps. It would be her very first show in Saint Petersburg! Performing all her ballet moves, entrechat, bourrée steps, saut d’ange, her heavy black dress suddenly became light and airy... With a smile on her face, if a little short of breath, she saluted her city audience with a modest curtsy.
It was at that point that a very elegant man dressed in coat-tails appeared before her, seemingly amused by Ana’s show. He was a diamond jeweller, owner of a boutique called Korloff founded in 1978. He loved Paris and had enjoyed some great years there, but his heart was in Russia. His attention was drawn to Ana’s Lucky Doll necklace. ‘This was one of my very first creations’ he said to her in a tide of emotion. Ana couldn’t believe it! She explained that her good friend Iza, also a ballerina in Paris, had given it to her as a lucky charm. Touched by this, he made her a generous proposal: ‘I am throwing a private party for the launch of my new Opéra collection. A ballet show will be part of this fine event and I will be inviting the greatest dancers from all over the world. Would you like to be one of them?’
Ana could not withhold her joy. She grasped her Lucky Charm in the palm of her hand, thinking about Iza. A few days later, Ana crossed the threshold of the prestigious Korloff logo draped in black tulle and a scattering of glitter. Fifty or so guests were there, all of them incredibly elegant. Mr Korloff came over to greet her. ‘I have somebody to introduce to you Ana,’ he whispered. Her heart thumped against her chest as she moved towards the guests, and saw a head of curly brown hair she thought she recognised. She was totally overcome with emotion when she recognised Iza’s laugh. There was absolutely no doubt about it, it was her. How could it be? The two young women hugged in pure joy. They understood by Mr Korloff’s shining eyes that it was no coincidence. He had organised everything to reunite Paris and Saint Petersburg at the heart of his event. Iza was dressed in a powder pink tulle dress, a perfect match for the sumptuous black volumes Ana was wearing. The Paris duo was ready to bowl Saint Petersburg over… Mr Korloff approached the two women and showed them his trusty black lucky charm and the soul of the company: The Black Korloff. This incredible 88-carat gem had been with him from Paris to Saint Petersburg and brought him luck and success. He told them that it was enough to touch the gem to see your dreams come true… A few weeks later, Ana received a letter bearing the Mariinsky Opéra crest. In the letter, the director invited her to an audition, so impressed he had been by her dancing at Korloff. As for Iza, the famous jeweller asked her to help him put together his Opéra jewellery line and be its ambassador.
And that is how the Black Korloff legend was born in the roads of Paris and Saint Petersburg and continues until today, as the heart and soul of Korloff.