Van Cleef & Arpels writes a new chapter in its romance between Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef with the greatly anticipated opening of its Hong Kong Maison this year. The couple founded the brand in Paris, 1906, when the French capital was the centre of the world. Van Cleef & Arpels conquered the Big Apple in 1939 as New York rose as the global capital. This year, the jeweller sets up its third Maison in Hong Kong. This was the location for a recent LUXOS fashion shoot, New Romance.
You will feel like home when you step into this Van Cleef & Arpels Maison, designed by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku. The ethereal golden glow of the façade ushers you into a sophisticated environment where neutral colours, wood and floral décor remind you of the first historic Maison in Paris. What sets this Asian Maison apart is its urban feel. Custom-made high counters and bar stools, oak wood flooring, streamlined walls all create a sense of hushed luxury. The focal point of the interior is the large Murano glass chandelier and the impressive wood and glass staircase connecting the mezzanine and ground floor. Warm yet light, dreamy yet modern – let's discover Van Cleef & Arpels’ multi-faceted world.
The maison is renowned for its Mystery Setting technique, where the gemsetter fits rubies, sapphires or diamonds seamlessly one next to another, creating fluidity and three-dimensionality. Hollywood legend Marlene Dietrich wore a diamond and Mystery Setting ruby bracelet created by Van Cleef & Arpels in Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘Stage Fright.’
Van Cleef & Arpels specially created the Ballerina Dancer necklace and its detachable clip to celebrate the Hong Kong Maison opening. An iconic design from the 1940s, the Ballerina Dancer is now more stunning than ever, featuring pear and navette cut diamonds on the face, tiara, leotard and slippers, with the tutu entirely mystery-set with rubies.
Van Cleef & Arpels is also haute couture’s indispensable companion with its couture-inspired designs and transformable jewellery. Its Place Vendôme workshop took on the challenge of crafting a Zip jewellery for the Duchess of Windsor. It can be worn as a necklace when opened; as a bracelet when closed. The Zip necklace caused a sensation in the jewellery world when it was launched in the 1950s and has since become a Van Cleef & Arpels’ signature piece.
This year, we see four new designs for the Zip necklace using white gold and diamond: white cultured pearls, mother-of-pearl and lapis lazuli; turqoise, chloromelanite and chrysophrase; emeralds and onyx; as well as multi-coloured sapphires. The stones are set with extreme precision onto two ribbons, the Zip necklace embodies the best of high jewellery-making of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Besides ballerinas and couture, nature is also a recurrent theme. The strength and fragility of living things inspired some of Van Cleef & Arpels’ most iconic collections: Les Voyages Extraordinaires, Papillons, Flowerlace, Frivole, Dragonflies, Snowflake... The ‘mains d’or’ of Van Cleef & Arpels breathe life into their designs.
President & Chief Executive Officer of Van Cleef & Arpels, Stanislas de Quercize, tells us that the Maison “creates visions of a paradise, where roses have no thorns, where butterflies and dragonflies bring good luck, and where the clover leaves bring health, wealth and good luck.” Fairies reign supreme in this magical world, portrayed in the Folie des Prés collection, where you will see a gracefully designed white gold fairy clip, set with beautiful diamonds and blue sapphires.
The high jewellery collection ‘Bals de Légende’ is one of the most magical creations as Van Cleef & Arpels capture the romance of the 20th century’s greatest balls in a series of necklaces, clips and rings.
“There can be many brands in the world, but a maison is different. It distinguishes itself with long-lasting values and generations of history,” Quercize stated. You will no doubt discover this and much more at the Hong Kong Maison.
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