High jewellery, when it truly deserves to be called so, requires extraordinary talent, the highest quality materials and unremitting inspiration.
Throughout history, Van Cleef & Arpels has been notable for its exceptional expertise and taste. It has acquired legendary gems, including the spectacular Prince Edward of York Diamond (a pear-shaped jewel from Africa weighing over 60 carats), and the illustrious maison has subsequently stood out for the sheer brilliance of its creations.
In keeping with this phenomenal tradition and just in time for the winter season, Van Cleef & Arpels has unveiled an enchanting jewellery collective, which features all of the brand’s collections that are adorned entirely with white diamonds. This year, both in boutiques and on the jeweller’s website, the Snowflake necklace, punctuated with breathtakingly delicate diamond flakes, stands alongside the Cosmos collection, as well as show-stopping pieces from Flowerlace and À Cheval High Jewellery.
If there is a gift almost guaranteed to make the recipient swoon with joy, it’s a sparkling diamond. These timeless stones are forever appealing, however the value of coloured diamonds (whether they be a candy floss-pink, royal navy-blue or blood-red) has skyrocketed while the cost of white diamonds dwindles. Today’s pieces are set with splendid stones that all perfectly match in size and graduation, but what many white diamond creations lack is character.
Van Cleef & Arpels’ collective, however, has the decadent distinction and opulent style of a bygone era. Central stones and paved surfaces of white gold or platinum boast meticulous attention to detail, which accentuates each diamond’s brilliance and celebrates the Parisian jeweller’s longstanding love affair with these incandescent gems. Particularly in vogue during the Art Deco period, and again in the Fifties and Sixties, each piece is a feat of high jewellery engineering and is set, uninterrupted, with diamonds of various cuts.
After the austerity of World War I and II, graphic and geometric forms were manipulated, giving way to more feminine and emblematic designs. This White Period of Art Deco produced some of Van Cleef & Arpels’ most abstract silhouettes. The Flowerlace collection, for example, brings together the elegance of nature and couture by combining the delicacy of lace with the vulnerable grace of flowers. Pieces resemble interlaced ribbons, as well as delicate diamonds petals and blossoms. Cosmos, meanwhile, draws inspiration from the four-leaf clover, which is thought to bring good luck.
As its name would suggest, the Snowflake collection’s magnificent round diamonds form sensational snow crystal motifs. Perhaps the most breathtaking piece from the whole collective is this collection’s sensational curved necklace, which elegantly falls on the wearer’s collarbone. Meanwhile, thanks to a relief setting technique, À Cheval’s stones are elegantly superimposed to create a remarkable effect of brilliance.