I love this illustration for Van Cleef & Arpels that I discovered in a copy of Harpers Bizzare, Singapore. The jewellery adorns the tree and does not overpower the image. Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the most recognisable names in the French and American jewellery world.
Helene Arpels’s striking looks and unconventional way of wearing jewellery captured the world’s attention. Her unique collection f rare and signed pieces provides collectors with a taste of chic from one of the world’s most admired fashion icons of the 70s. Born in Monte Carlo, Arpels was known as the leader of the cafe society in Paris and was often named on the “best-dressed lists” throughout her life.
This book presents the legendary jewellery and precious objects of Van Cleef & Arpels and how they relate to time, nature and love. Time is a fundamental element for both creativity and craftsmanship. Time gives objects their shape; defines their style; determines their function, social utility, and the choice of materials and techniques; indicates origin; hones taste and reveals the context. Time is interpreted through eight values inspired by Italo Calvino’s Lezioni Americane, or Six Memos for the Next Millennium. To honour the iconic pieces Van Cleef & Arpels created over the years, from Art Deco masterpieces to the illustrious Zip necklace, gravity-defying Mystery Set, or celebrated Minaudières-some of the most critical innovations in the history of 20th-century jewellery-making.
Nature plays an equally important role for Van Cleef & Arpels as an ever-present source of inspiration and tribute. Her gems and timeless masterpieces draw on flora and fauna. Each object is handcrafted with love, and Van Cleef & Arpel’s jewellery has sealed some of the century’s most legendary love stories. Van Cleef & Arpels is founded on love, the most powerful energy in the world.
The book is a brilliant historical and critical essay. A stunning iconographic selection of jewellery, precious objects and archive materials illuminates it. This work describes Mason’s eternal values of time, nature and love.