Since its establishment in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has consistently maintained a tradition of excellence in every facet of its craft, attracting patronage from numerous celebrities and royalty. The jewelry house’s designs, rooted in inspiration drawn from nature, history, and culture, go beyond mere trends, remaining both relevant and highly sought-after for generations to come. The recently unveiled “Le Grand Tour” high jewelry collection, which was showcased in Rome, seamlessly merges Van Cleef & Arpels’ timeless essence with contemporary elegance, alluding to the idea that the journey itself is a masterpiece of artistry.
The “Grand Tour” in the 16th century was a significant journey undertaken by aristocrats, later embraced by artists and intellectuals, spanning the European continent to broaden knowledge and cultural horizons. In 1910, French Poet André Suarès chronicled his Italian journey, studying Renaissance masters in cultural hubs like Naples, Venice, and Florence. These journeys had a lasting impact, shaping Europe’s art and culture, introducing new ideas that left an enduring mark on society.
The “Le Grand Tour” collection draws inspiration from iconic destinations like Florence, Rome, Baden-Baden, and Naples, each accompanied by equally breathtaking jewelry pieces. This collection embodies the aristocratic journeys that began in the late 17th century, serving as an educational extension. The grand tours covered historical sites and ancient cities, notably in Italy, and even ventured through remote mountain passes. Rare gemstones, as precious as the art that inspired them, elevate the collection’s exquisite nature.
Throughout the collection, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings depict contrasting landscapes, blending Italian antiquity with perhaps Swiss inspired, majestic snow-capped mountain beauty. Three-dimensional clips blur the lines between jewelry and the goldsmith’s art, earrings evoke imagery of baroque girandoles and Etruscan bauletti, and rings captivate with graphic contours and vibrant colors. Each piece is a tableau of phenomenal crafted details, utilizing various gold-working techniques for reflection, light play, and architectural lines.
Traditional savoir-faire meets contemporary methods at Van Cleef & Arpels, showcasing the maison’s craftsmen’s virtuosity in delicate articulations and finishing touches on both, the front and back of each piece. A diverse selection of vibrant gemstones forms contrasting ensembles in this collection. From faceted gems to cabochons, transparent stones to pearls, and sapphires to emeralds, each stone’s beauty is celebrated in harmonious compositions. In the words of Nicolas Bos, CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, “The collection is multi-dimensional. It blends the traditions of jewelry and decorative arts – such objects were brought back as souvenirs from the Grand Tour – with the idea of once again discovering and mixing periods and cultures. For that, we followed the trail of our predecessors and chose cities that were renown stops historically. We took inspiration from antique jewelry – Roman, Etruscan, Medieval or Renaissance –, marrying it with our own heritage, style and craftsmanship. The result is like a colorful sketchbook that invites to dive into destinations and gemstones.”
As you explore this collection from its very inception to its final piece, you will find yourself embarking on a wondrous journey that transcends mere jewelry. The artistry within Van Cleef & Arpels’ latest collection is not limited to the physical pieces alone; it extends to the stories they tell, the emotions they evoke, and the dreams they inspire. It’s a journey that transports you to different corners of the world and different eras in history.
Style: Enol Blasco
Hair: Flavio Santillo
Makeup: Samia Mohsein
Producer: Danica Zivkovic
Local producer: Luna Loreti at Magma Productions
Model: Chiara Scelsi at Women Management
Lighting assistant: Fulvio de Filippi
Digitech: Francesco Gilli
Style assistant: Irene Ragnini