CATCH A WAVE: Lorenz Bäumer, jewelry designer, engineering grad and…avid surfer? That’s just one of the fun facts gleaned from the second installment of the French Institute Alliance Française’s “Art de Vivre: Fashion Talks.” Bäumer, born in Washington, D.C., to diplomats, took the audience through his career from furniture designer and costume jeweler (selling $30 to $40 baubles to his mom’s friends at Tupperwarelike parties) to longtime fine jeweler for Chanel and his current gig at Louis Vuitton, where he revealed there’s a massive 30-carat diamond in the atelier. As for the biggest changes in the industry right now, Bäumer noted that the active market in China has been driving prices upward for gemstones — “the price of rubies has really gone crazy” — while technology was becoming more and more key. The Place Vendôme-based jeweler, for instance, currently employs 3-D software, traditionally used for airplane and car designs, to create some of his high-priced finery. Next up on the FIAF roster: a talk with Oscar de la Renta on Monday.
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