Mark your calendars. From January 18 to July 4, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York will present a major retrospective of jewelry by the French firm of haute joaillerie Van Cleef & Arpels. Three-hundred and fifty pieces will showcase the spectrum of their creations from their origins in 1906 through the 1980s, along with many artistic renderings in watercolor.
Some of the jewelry, like the broach pictured on top, features their innovative setting technique that is not only invisible, but fluid. The stones are set to follow curves, an enormously difficult feat, which the company refers to as its “mystery setting.” Other pieces were meant to be transformed in creative ways, such as a broach that can be turned into a pair of earrings and a smaller broach, like the bird above or the “zipper” necklace below.
It’s appropriate that an exhibit that is set to open soon after Valentine’s Day has a love story attached to it. The company is the result of the marriage between the children of a diamond merchant and a purveyor of precious stones. I’ll bet she got quite a fine engagement ring!
Today’s expression, à couper le souffle, (ah coopay le soofluh) litterally means “to cut the breath.” We would say, “it takes my breath away.” Treat yourself to an exhibit that will have that kind of an emotional impact on you. Definitely take someone along to whom you can drop broad hints about your taste in jewelry.
- Pamela’s Top Trends in Luxury (pamelamartinduarte.wordpress.com)
- Van Cleef & Arpels, l’art de la haute joaillerie exhibition at Musée des arts décoratifs SEPT 20TH – FEB 10TH 2013, PARIS (dianepernet.typepad.com)