news — December 3, 2021 at 4:30 am

Van Cleef & Arpels story in Milan





There are milestones in the history of art, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or in architecture, such as the Parthenon in Athens. But there are milestones in jewelry too. Some of these landmarks were created by Van Cleef & Arpels. An example is the Zip necklace, the result of an exceptional goldsmith technique and an uncommon idea of ​​an uncommon person like the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, who in 1938 would have suggested this zip-shaped necklace to Renée Puissant. daughter of Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef. A difficult task: the designer only managed to make it in 1950.

Collana e bracciale Zip degli anni Cinquanta
Collana e bracciale Zip degli anni Cinquanta nella mostra di Van Cleef & Arpels

This and other creations of the Parisian Maison are now on display, until January 9, 2022, in the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique in via Monte Napoleone 10, in Milan. The exhibition of collectible jewelry is called Creations beyond time and includes 32 pieces of fine jewelry and watches with a high artistic content. The jewels span a period from the Thirties to the Seventies and are part of the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection. Pieces that are accompanied by 67 others created more recently, as well as archival documents that testify to the great sources of inspiration of the Maison: couture, nature, distant cultures, dance and love. The lower floor of the Milanese boutique was set up ad hoc to offer a thematic itinerary, also with creations never exhibited before in Italy.
Collana e bracciale Corde, in oro con dettagli in diamanti
Collana e bracciale Corde, in oro con dettagli in diamanti

Another example of a jewel that marked an era is the Corde necklace, inspired by the world of Parisian couture. In the 1940s the Corde collection was known for its flexibility and ease of combinations. The intertwined gold created knots and trimming motifs while the ropes were adapted to clips, earrings and secret watches. Thanks to the particular closure, the 1947 Corde necklace (on display for the first time in Italy) can be worn at the desired length. Its aesthetic inspired the Liane collection, in which the height of the pompoms can be adjusted thanks to the clasp.

The Paillettes motif, created by Van Cleef & Arpels towards the end of the Thirties, is reinterpreted today with the Bouton d’or collection: necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings with feminine combinations and always new colors such as the rose gold set, white gold and diamonds on show in Milan, with a play between concave and convex gold elements, which adds volume and dynamism to the creation.

Una versione contemporanea della collana Corde, con chiusura regolabile in diamanti e ametista
Una versione contemporanea della collana Corde, con chiusura regolabile in diamanti e ametista

Among the memorable jewels of Van Cleef & Arpels there is also the Couscous necklace, created in 1948, probably following a trip by the Arpels brothers to Morocco. The Arpels family has transformed these grains into a distinctive aesthetic, thus evolving the technique used to decorate the edges of jewels. Still used today in the Maison’s workshops, this craftsmanship inspired the Perlée collection, for example with the transformable Perlée couleurs pendant, the Perlée clovers and Perlée diamants bracelets, with the Perlée Signature and Perlée diamants pavé rings. The different types of gold enhance the sparkle of the gold pearls, the same used for the Couscous necklace, which features the Bagatelle floral motif (reference to the Jardins de Bagatelle in Boulogne, near Paris) in the colors of the French flag.

Flowers have always been one of the sources of inspiration for Van Cleef & Arpels. The Marguerite brooch is from 1907, while in 1925 it was the turn of the Fleurs enlacées, roses rouges et blanches bracelet: jewels that won the Grand Prix at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes de Paris. Over the years, the Maison has represented many floral styles, such as the Two Clovers ring from 1950, the Trifogli brooch from 1952 and the Fiore earrings from 1955. And today with the Folie des Prés collection.

Flowers are also the basis of the Rose de Noël collection which, like its homonymous flower (hellebore), opens in winter just in time for the winter holidays. The exhibition includes a pair of historic Rose de Noël earrings in green agate from 1977 and more recent ones in gray mother-of-pearl and onyx.

The seventies are the era of Entre les Doigts rings, invented by Van Cleef & Arpels: another milestone in jewelry. The latest Entre les Doigts from the Two Butterfly collection are exhibited at the Milan exhibition, which allow the grace and beauty of flying butterflies to rest on the fingers with elegant wings in ornamental stones or mother-of-pearl and diamonds, and from the floral themed collections Frivole, Lotus, Cosmos and Socrates.

Toujours sur le thème végétal, le trèfle à quatre feuilles, symbole de chance, est le motif qui a inspiré la collection Alhambra, à partir de 1968. Une collection porte-bonheur, étant donné qu’elle est toujours proposée aujourd’hui. En revanche, « pour avoir de la chance, il faut croire à la chance », disait Jacques Arpels, le neveu d’Estelle Arpels. Des célébrités comme Françoise Hardy, Romy Schneider portaient des bijoux de la collection, tandis que la princesse Grace de Monaco aimait superposer plus de motifs en pierres ornementales.

En 1954, Van Cleef & Arpels crée une collection La Boutique, également portée par la Princesse Grace de Monaco, la Princesse Soraya d’Iran ou Hélène Beaumont. La collection comprend des figures de mammifères, d’oiseaux et de papillons, aux tonalités ludiques, bienveillantes et poétiques, expression des années 60. Les miniatures représentent l’adieu au formalisme dans le port de bijoux de soirée pour un style non conventionnel. Comme pour les broches Petit Oiseau de 1961, les broches Tigre de 1968 et Girafe de 1972. En parallèle, les pin’s de la collection contemporaine Lucky Animals renouvellent le bestiaire traditionnel de la Maison.

Pour la première fois en Italie, le collier en or jaune et améthyste de 1971 est exposé. Le style révèle des influences indiennes, qui se dissolvent dans l’écho des colliers Art Déco des années 1920, qui comportent, comme ici, des pendentifs. glands, pampille.

Collana in stile indiano con ametiste e diamanti, assieme a una clutch interamente in oro con chiusura in diamanti
Collana in stile indiano con ametiste e diamanti, assieme a una clutch interamente in oro con chiusura in diamanti

Les bracelets Ludo (surnom de Louis Arpels) font également partie de la collection de bijoux présents dans l’exposition milanaise, comprenant géométries et styles graphiques, pierres précieuses et souvenirs Art Déco. En plus des trois pièces historiques Ludo, avec un tricotage spécial, un bracelet et un éclat de montre, qui ne dévoile le cadran qu’après avoir tourné le motif lapis lazuli ou corail.

Nées en 1935, les montres Cadenas ont permis aux femmes de regarder l’heure en toute discrétion, dans le plein respect des conventions sociales. Wallis, la duchesse de Windsor susmentionnée, en possédait un en platine et en diamants. Les exemplaires contemporains présentés sont en or et diamants.

Bracciali della collezione Ludo in maglia d'oro e rubini con chiusura in diamanti
Bracciali della collezione Ludo in maglia d’oro e rubini con chiusura in diamanti

L’un des jalons signés par Van Cleef & Arpels concerne la technique Serti Mystérieux. Breveté par la Maison en 1933, il représente encore aujourd’hui un véritable défi pour la joaillerie. La micro-mosaïque de pierres précieuses est soutenue par des pistes invisibles, qui obligent les maîtres lapidaires à intervenir sur chaque pierre. Le niveau de virtuosité augmente dans le cas des surfaces courbes. Ce procédé complexe a récemment évolué grâce au raffinement du Serti Mystérieux Navette, qui permet de reproduire la vitalité des plumes ou des pétales, et du Serti Mystérieux Vitrail, qui embellit les deux faces d’une même création. Exposée à Milan, la bague Céroessa en or blanc et or rose avec rubis sertis en corolle Serti Mystérieux taille chamois autour d’un diamant de 10,16 carats dialogue avec la bague Entre ouverte de 1956, dans laquelle le rubis invisible serti d’un le diamant se dévoile au centre d’anneaux d’or jaune et de platine.

Boutique Van Cleef & Arpels via Monte Napoleone, 10
20121 Milan
Jusqu’au 9 janvier 2022
Du lundi au samedi de 10h30 à 19h,
dimanche de 11 à 19

La locandina della mostra «Creazioni oltre il tempo»
La locandina della mostra «Creazioni oltre il tempo»







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