mercredi 23 mai 2012

Van Cleef & Arpels - "Timeless Beauty"

May 19th was the day Van Cleef & Arpels chose to organize their black tie cocktail accompanying the launch of the sumptuous exhibition “Timeless Beauty”, spanning over 100 years of history. The exhibition is running from May 20 to July 15 in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Shanghai covering the two first floors for a total of 1200sq. meter space right in the heart of People’s Square. I was pleased to be invited to the preview cocktail.

The French Maison, created at the end of the nineteenth century by Charles Arpels and Afred Van Cleef,  is well known for its innovative masterpieces and by its broad scope of inspirations. For instance nature has always been a major theme for. Fascinated by the never-ending transformation of the fauna and flora, the jewelers designed numerous delicate flowers, blossoms and animals, real or imaginary bringing vitality and poetry to the creations of the brand since the 1920s.

Feuille Mysterieuse 2006
diamonds, rubies, 

Bird of Paradise 1927
Platinum, Diamonds

Bird Cage 1935
Enamel, agate, rubies, gold, sapphire, coral, 

Mystery Set Flowers 1937
Platinum, gold, rubies, diamonds

Other major inspirations of the Maison have always been oriental cultures.  Van Cleef & Arpels counts numerous of masterpieces with Indian influences, Egyptian, Syrian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai,  etc. “Timeless Beauty” features some of them matching their original sketches that the guests could admire that night while enjoying a glass of Perrier Jouet.

Indian Inspiration Necklace 1971
Gold, carved emeralds, diamonds

Chinese Hat 1931

Chinese Hat

Another big theme is femininity.
Femininity, elegance and refinement… aesthetic values that have always been at the heart of Can Cleef & Arpels. The Maison has become the favorite of the most beautiful women and have adorned them on mythical occasions (coronations, engagements, weddings, etc.). Among them, numerous of famous figures such as Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco, Princess Fawzia of Egypt, Catherine Deneuve, etc…

Other incredible yet decadent pieces.

Farah Diba 1967
1541 stones including 1469 diamonds, 36 emeralds, 36 rubies,  105 pearls

Zip Necklace 1951
Yellow gold

On a personal point of view, I have been absolutely dazzled by “Timeless Beauty” and really impressed by the production of the displays. It is incredibly well done, sometimes really creative with the use of 3D effects, videos, noises, lighten tubular structures and bubbles; esthetically matching perfectly the essence of the brand. The flow of the event itself was flawless and well carried out. Many celebrities, actors, political figures and socialites from both countries showed up that night. The French Consul General Emmanuel Lenain honored us of his presence as well as former Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin and Minister Jean Louis Borloo. On the Chinese side Fan Bing Bing, Gong Li came as well as Zhang Jingchu, Tong Dawei, Wang Xueqi, Song Jia, Qin Lan, Pace Wu and few others.

By far the most impressive and creative exhibition I ever saw in MOCA and probably as good as the retrospective Cartier did in the Forbidden City in 2009.

20th May to 15th July 2012

1 commentaire:

  1. du 20 septembre 2012 au 10 février 2013

    Van Cleef & Arpels, expose près de 400 bijoux dans un musée national, celui des Arts décoratifs à Paris.

    Ma boulangère de Rochefort du Gard ne sait pas qui est Van Cleef Joaillier alors pour elle, j’ai préparé ce communiqué sur cette exposition qui aura lieu de Septembre 2012 à février 2013.
    Enfin une exposition qui permettra aux néophytes de comprendre nos métiers, Une marque, une griffe, mais derrière ces mots, plus de quarante corps de métiers différents, le Musée des Arts décoratifs va sans le vouloir, rendre justice aux obscurs de ces métiers, les dessinateurs, les polisseuses, les brunisseuses, les sertisseurs, graveurs, émailleurs, les bijoutiers, les joailliers les lapidaires, les diamantaires, les maquettistes, orfèvres, etc. ;)qui ont fabriqué sous le sceau d’un grand commerçant, une marque à l’échelle de la planète en moins de vingt ans.
    Les divers services de communication qui gravitent autour de cet événement, ont oublié l’histoire.

    D’où venait cette famille des Van Cleef, et quand rencontrent t ils les Arpels ?
    Qui était Salomon Van Cleef, le père du fondateur de la joaillerie. ?
    Estelle Van Cleef/Arpels a-t-elle réellement existé ?
    Alfred et Esther étaient-ils enfants de riches diamantaires ?
    Que s’est-il passé en 1940 ?
    Comment est décédée Renée Rachel Puissant Van Cleef ?
    La fin des Van Cleef en 1942
    La création en joaillerie de 1940 à1945 importante, mais oubliée !
    L’après-guerre 39/45 ?
    La fin de la maison et son rachat par Richemont

    Mon premier livre « L’histoire des Van Cleef et des Arpels » a traité ces sujets, mais depuis,….. trois années consacrées à l’histoire de ces deux familles peuvent compléter avec un grand intérêt les oublis de l’histoire officielle.


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