A fascinating innovation which fully respects the hallmarks of Vhernier: the new *Coucher de Soleil* collection is the fruit of a desire to create innovative jewellery unlike anything else, featuring a strong sense of movement and a combination of classic jewellery materials with less traditional ones, all while adhering to the principles of simplicity and precision that distinguish the brand.

The result is jewellery that has the classic Vhernier forms — cuff bracelets and band rings, sculptural earrings that mirror the curve of the lobes — but also features an extraordinary lightness, thanks to the individual vertical components from which it is made. The metal bands create a more decorative design than is typical of Vhernier’s customary approach, yet the result still features the clean, understated aesthetics for which the brand is famous.

The other major innovation in this collection is the choice of materials.
For a brand that sees innovation as its imperative, the time had come to try something new: after ebony paired with gold, after such highly unusual stones as kogolong, after an extremely elegant and contemporary interpretation of titanium, which was extraordinarily crafted in the Velvet collection, the spotlight has turned to *bronze*, chosen for its lightness and the captivating orange glimmers in its colour, which go so well with Vhernier’s rose gold.

In fact, when paired with gold, bronze reveals a dynamic luminosity that brings to mind a sunset: the light reflects on the texture of the jewellery to create gorgeous and unexpected interplays.

As is customary with Vhernier, the collection is a testament to the highest level of expert craftsmanship. For instance, it took two years of research to go from the concept to the desired result; time spent studying how to achieve utterly flawless shapes from bronze casting, and how to forge the perfect metal band. This was a time-consuming process, as no corrections can be made to bronze while it is being worked.

The collection features *four different variants*: rose gold and bronze; white gold and gunmetal bronze; white gold, gunmetal bronze, and white diamonds; rose gold, bronze and brown diamonds.

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Van Cleef & Arpels: The jeweller with the Midas Touch

Van Cleef & Arpels has masterfully transformed gold through various textures, techniques and themes over time, illustrating the breadth and richness of its style.
The shortage of precious stones and industrial takeover of platinum in Europe from the late 1930s saw the resurgence of yellow gold in jewellery. Working with the precious metal during a period of uncertainty and renewal following World War II also led to a change in the language of shapes and aesthetic codes. Undaunted by the constraint of materials, Van Cleef & Arpels continued to express its creativity and showcased its technical innovation by creating new motifs that combined both naturalism and abstraction.
Jewellery of the late ’30s and ’40s – known as the Retro period – flaunted a new uniqueness and aesthetic. Pieces took on the look and feel of fabrics, while the once popular geometric Art Deco designs made way for cleaner lines in more fluid styles. A noteworthy creation by Van Cleef & Arpels from the time was the Chantilly motif, whose shape evoked both a small leaf, as well as a threaded fabric. Its hybrid form became the basis of compositions that explored multiple light sources, movement and rhythm. Apart from gracing clips, rings, Coup de Vent necklaces and diamond-set Lampion earrings, the motif also flourished at the heart of the maison’s iconic Zip necklace, which summed up Van Cleef & Arpels’ creative repertoire and formidable jewellery-making prowess.
Presented in 1950, the house’s first Zip necklace took over a decade of research and development to realise. It’s said that in 1938, the fashion- forward Duchess of Windsor challenged her friend – then artistic director of Van Cleef & Arpels, Renée Puissant – to create a high jewellery piece inspired by the humble, utilitarian zip.
The transformation of everyday objects into jewellery is also illustrated by the tubogas (also known as snake chain or gas pipe) – a lightweight, articulated, fluid gold ribbon with a hefty appearance. Created in the latter half of the ’30s, the design was highly received during the ’40s and was employed by several jewellers. Van Cleef & Arpels’ elegant tubogas iterations highlighted the suppleness and radiance of gold on necklaces, earrings, Fer à Cheval (horseshoe) rings and Belle-Hélène bracelets set with rubies, sapphires and diamonds.
In the 1950s, Van Cleef & Arpels incorporated gold threads in its jewellery. Twisted, braided, woven or striated, they were manipulated in various ways to take the form of precious ties, cords and fabrics, such as lace. Gold pastilles and sequins punctuated with diamonds gracefully animated a ballerina’s tutu. Another design included networks of fine, smooth lines that made up the delicate weave of a gold fishnet protecting a glittering pistil of precious stones at the heart of an imaginary flower. The vitality, volume and movement of flora were expressed by numerous leaves that seemed to be drawn with a single movement and then chiselled.
Trends accelerated throughout the ’60s and ’70s, which were distinguished by female emancipation and the growing attraction for Indian-inspired jewellery. Van Cleef & Arpels reinterpreted this evolution by producing more accessible creations, such as gold and hard stone pendants. For its Mimosa and Narcisses collections, the maison employed techniques to create textured gold that looked crumpled or hammered.
Oriental-inspired motifs also took on a new vigour in the maison’s exceptional objects, including cigarette boxes, compact cases and evening bags. A Paillette Cousu Sellier (saddle-stitched paillette) set from the late ’60s expressed the house’s penchant for hand-crafting techniques. Geometric patterns took centre stage once again in the ’80s. Large, distinctive pieces of the period incorporated colours and mixed materials, such as wood and coral with gold that was curved and smooth.
It is evident that through Van Cleef & Arpels’ expansive repertoire ranging from heritage to contemporary creations over the years, there is no doubt that the maison has revealed its panache in savoir faire, as well as its singular vision in the artful transformation of gold.
This story first appeared in the January 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore. 
The post Van Cleef & Arpels: The jeweller with the Midas Touch appeared first on Prestige Online – Singapore.

Stunning asymmetrical jewellery pieces that add more visual interest to your look

Unveil a new side to your style persona through asymmetrical jewels or ensembles that are bound to make an impression.

One of the limited-edition showpieces from Cartier’s Clash [Un]Limited collection is this unconventional and audacious Baignoire mitten watch – a watch inserted into a supple gold and diamond mitten. Developed over two years at the innovation unit of the Maison des Métiers d’Art in collaboration with a master glove-maker, the gold-mesh mitten is made using 3D printing and fits like second skin. It is set with a constellation of nearly 1,600 diamonds surrounding a Baignoire Allongée watch featuring a diamond-paved dial hemmed with studs. This unique piece alone took almost 227 hours of work to complete.

Turn heads with a single, dramatic ear cuff such as this Opalescence pendant earring from Boucheron’s Carte Blanche, Holographique high jewellery collection, which is centred around the theme of light and reflection. This jewel takes an extremely lifelike form of a betta or Siamese fighting fish, whose body is a single piece of carved opal. Fanning out from the stone are sweeping pink gold fins and a tail embellished with diamonds and translucent enamel thanks to the plique-à-jour technique. It is also transformable into a brooch.

Contemporary and free-spirited, this Hermès Lignes Sensibles À l’écoute hand jewellery is designed to wear like second skin. Connecting a double ring and a bracelet with an articulated, diamond- studded chain, the piece slips on like an invisible glove yet turns the back of the hand into a canvas that shows off the soft glow of rose gold and dreamy coloured gems. There are altogether 4.46 carats of white diamonds, 0.96 carats of brown diamonds, a 4.6-carat black jade cabochon, a 2.33-carat blue-grey tourmaline cabochon, a 2.68-carat green-yellow tourmaline cabochon and a 1.05-carat cushion-cut yellow-orange citrine.
Harry Winston

Inspired by the design of the grand Fifth Avenue entryway of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is this Diamond Crossover necklace from the Fifth Avenue by Harry Winston collection. A modern and spectacular creation that pays tribute to the jeweller’s home city, the platinum necklace flaunts a total of 212 diamonds weighing 77.38 carats set in a medley of geometric shapes and angular forms. On one side are carefully calibrated baguette diamonds, while on the other a strand of graduated round brilliant diamonds, and another strand of graduated marquise-cut diamonds.
Van Cleef & Arpels

This pair of Van Cleef & Arpels Sous les Étoiles Orion earrings comes from a transformable white gold set that can be worn multiple ways. It includes a chain necklace with a diamond pendant and a pair of cascading diamond earrings – both of which can be embellished, interchangeably, with two additional bejewelled adornments. One is a mesmerising 2.88-carat pear-shaped Madagascan mauve sapphire pendant, while the other is a dangling waterfall pendant graced by two pear-shaped Madagascan mauve and pink sapphires totalling 2.66 carats, brilliant-cut diamonds and more pink sapphires. They are seen here clipped onto the earrings, creating a a visually arresting sight.

The result of a joint effort between Graff’s watchmaking division in Geneva and the house’s design team, jewellery workshop and technology department in London, is this Abstract jewellery watch. The jeweller’s speciality has always been in exceptional diamonds and their artful composition – as demonstrated here flawlessly. An asymmetric cluster of pear-shaped and marquise-cut diamonds totalling more than 13 carats are set at different heights and gently overlap in places, creating a delicately voluminous cascade of scintillation around one side of a pavé diamond dial.
Tiffany & Co.

One of nature’s beauties beloved by Tiffany & Co. is the butterfly. This iteration – the Sky butterfly brooch from the Colors of Nature collection – is as remarkable as it gets. Made of yellow gold and perfectly symmetrical, it however contrasts over 8 carats of custom-cut purple sapphires on one side, with more than 11 carats of custom-cut and cracked-ice diamonds on the other. A hinge allows the wings to be set in four different positions, evoking the motion of flight. While the brooch would typically be worn on a lapel or the chest, how about the shoulder, sleeve or hair – for a change?

Conceptualised to be worn over both the decolletage and the back, this Piaget Extraordinary Lights necklace is also transformable to be worn up to nine different ways. On the “day” side are an 8.88-carat cushion-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond and a pear-shaped Tanzanian red spinel of 3.61 carats. On the “night” side is a 5.34-carat Sri Lankan blue sapphire. Other gems featured include pearls, white and yellow diamonds, red spinels, spessartites and blue sapphires. A unique piece that took craftsmen over 450 hours of work, it is fully articulated and comfortable to wear – allowing its owner to fully appreciate and show off its magnificence.
(Art Direction: Lee Kuan Leng)
This story first appeared in the January 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore.
The post Stunning asymmetrical jewellery pieces that add more visual interest to your look appeared first on Prestige Online – Singapore.


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