The Officer is a collection of chandeliers designed to bring the ultimate piece of jewellery into a home, says brand ambassador Victoria Christian
Words Sophia Charalambous
Victoria Christian is explaining to me why a chandelier is like a piece of jewellery.
“If you’re wearing a dress with a great neckline but the wrong suite of jewellery it’s noticeable, but if it hits right, it sets everything off,” she says. “It’s the same with the right chandelier in the right space – it’s just magical.”
The eldest daughter of designer Clive Christian is working alongside her father on his latest business venture, The Officer. With the name inspired by the OBE Clive was awarded in 2012, The Officer brings together experts in the fields of interior design, panelling, drapery, cabinetry, works of art – even property – with the pièce de resistance being the chandeliers and wall sconces, designed to be positioned in the home as works of art.
“Clive is forever turning the lights down to add to the experience wherever we are, any restaurant – he’s known as the man who says, ‘can we just turn this light down a little bit’, reveals Victoria.
“You can have a lightbulb to light a room but why would you when you can have something naturally spectacular that’s a masterpiece?”
It’s the word Masterpiece that titles one of the two collections, heralded as the world’s most expensive chandeliers, with the 24-arm priced at £2.15 million. A total of 24,000 individually set, brilliant-cut, naturally- mined diamonds feature on the 24 arm candles made of blue Wedgwood Jasperware and topped with solid gold flames. The second collection, Four Seasons, features hand-cut crystal oak leaves in colours that respond to the seasons, with classic white Wedgwood Jasperware Candles. Then there is the crystal, which according to Victoria, is the hardest, most brilliant, deepest-clarity crystal that can be used. Even the metal rods holding each piece in place are hidden, giving the illusion of ice crystals frozen in place.
“I’d like to think if King Louis was specifying his Palace of Versailles Hall of Mirrors now, he would be specifying the Masterpiece collection,” says Victoria.
“The refraction of light ultimately comes down to craftsmanship – if it’s made of glass it will never have the same brilliance and clarity that a really hard crystal will have – you can see tiny little rainbows that run through it.”
While The Officer is able to be operated virtually, the chandeliers can be viewed ‘By Appointment’ so clients can behold the pieces in their true splendour.
With an eye for opulence, you may expect Clive Christian to have experienced such things from an early age, but the world of luxury design wasn’t something he was born into – his mother was an artist and his dad a biochemist – growing up in the picturesque surroundings of Scotland.
Victoria explains: “Clive was born with an innate understanding and appreciation of beauty – he was quite an unusual person in that way – an appreciation of beauty in nature starts to grow into an appreciation of beauty in general.
“When I first started working with him years ago, he used to say to me, ‘our environment is our children’s environment.'”
“What he meant is you don’t own anything – you’re just really looking after it for the next generation – what we do now is for our children… I might be wrong, but I think I see the same appreciation of beauty in nature in my son.”
Victoria’s son Joseph is now two, and she tells me that being a mum makes you look at life in a whole new light. She took some time off work – Victoria is also the brand ambassador for Clive Christian perfumes – to “revel in being a mum” alongside her husband Tony.
“Sure, there’s high times and low times and no sleep times,” she adds. “It’s a big learning curve and an incredibly joyful, rewarding experience.
“I take my hat off to anyone who has more than one – that’s a whole other level of management.”
Taking time out to reevaluate what’s important has been heightened by the pandemic, but Victoria explains how her father had taught her this message from a young age.
“He’d just rather have a few special pieces that mean so much,” says Victoria. “He would say to me as a teenager when we went shopping, ‘don’t look at the label, the price, look at it, and think will it enhance my life, will it enhance my experience of life, will it bring me joy and if the answer is yes, then make it your life’.” Well said.
Find out more about The Officer here