Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels latest exhibition celebrates Maison’s time-honoured legacy

Van Cleef & Arpels latest exhibition celebrates Maison’s time-honoured legacy


by Camille Macawili
33 mins ago

“Van Cleef & Arpels, Precious Jewels Telling Time” exhibition honours the early jewellery and watchmaking tradition of the Maison.
Currently running from now until November 22, 2023, brand patrons can not only marvel its dazzling new collections in the Les Salons Dubai Opera boutique at Dubai Opera Plaza, but also marvel at a curated selection of jewels, interesting objects, and archival drawings (dating back to 1925 up until the 1970s).
Van Cleef & Arpels Les Salons Dubai Opera
Uncovering 27 watches, table clocks and precious objects, the showcase highlights the Maison’s beauty, technical complexity and distinctive approach to telling time. Despite the historical references, visitors will be surprised to learn that the modern designs, usually crafted from a melange of gems and diamonds, are inspired by these creations – many of which are transformable jewels that offer various styling options. This selection distills the defining features of Van Cleef & Arpels throughout decades of jewellery and watchmaking savoir-faire, constantly enriched with innovation.
This won’t be the first nor the last time Van Cleef & Arpels will be unveiling an exhibition in-store. Throughout 2023, the Maison brings in different themes and collections sourced worldwide as the brand’s form of continuous education and cultural enrichment for jewellery enthusiasts and curious minds.
Scroll through the gallery for a sneak preview of pieces to look out for during your visit:

For more information, call +971 4 339 8001
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Images: Supplied

What to Expect from Van Cleef & Arpels’ Breathtaking Patrimonial Exhibition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

What to Expect from Van Cleef & Arpels’ Breathtaking Patrimonial Exhibition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

A new exhibition in Riyadh—the first and largest of its kind—puts on show spectacular Van Cleef & Arpels creations until mid-April 2023. Take a look inside the much-talked-about showcase by the high jewelry maison. 
Amina El-Demirdash, great granddaughter of Queen Nazli, wearing the Queen’s Van Cleef & Arpels diamond necklace. Photo: Julian Torres
Giving visitors an opportunity to discover an enchanting vision – one in which Van Cleef & Arpels’s expert craftsmanship and pursuit of harmony come together as a true art form – the “Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love” patrimonial exhibition has begun from January 19, and runs until April 15, 2023. Some stunning pieces are on display at the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, displaying the works of the maison for the first me in the Kingdom. Supported by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, the exhibition features more than 280 jewelry pieces, watches, and precious objects created since the maison was founded in 1906 – alongside more than 90 archival documents, sketches and gouaché designs.
Empress Farah Pahlavi wore a Van Cleef & Arpels crown at her coronation, and it featured 36 emeralds, 36 spinels and rubies, 105 pearls, and 1,469 diamonds. Photo: Rex
Two noteworthy pieces on display are the breathtaking Princess Faiza Collaret, and the Queen Nazli necklace. Created in 1929, the art deco collaret is remarkable for its 10 drop-shaped emeralds of extraordinary quality and its diamonds of multiple cuts and shapes. Weighing 165ct, it was purchased by the Egyptian Crown, and is a typical Court jewel that Princess Faiza of Egypt, the sister of King Farouk, would love to wear on special occasions, including gala balls in Paris, Zohria Palace, and on the French Riviera. A woman of great elegance and the owner of a highly original collection of jewelry, Princess Faiza appreciated the fusion of old stones in more contemporary settings. The necklace that she bought in 1929 was modified in the late 1930s. It takes the form of a highly flexible choker, whose diamond droplets are set with nine old emerald pendeloques. A 10th emerald is positioned at the back of the jewel on a particularly ornate clasp. Having been acquired by a new owner, the piece reappeared at auction in November 2013, at Christie’s in Geneva. It was purchased by Van Cleef & Arpels for its private collection.
Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels. Photo: Stéphane Aït Ouarab 2023
Another art deco masterpiece is the Queen Nazli necklace. Set with 673 diamonds for 204.03ct, and a center sun motif, in 1938, on the wedding of Princess Fawzia of Egypt to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, future Shah of Iran, Van Cleef & Arpels created jewelry to be worn by the bride and by her mother, Queen Nazli of Egypt. Engulfed with platinum and diamonds, the Collaret delicately holds more than 600 diamonds, with nearly 200 to 300ct, and is among the 20th century’s finest examples unifying the lightness of white jewelry and the elegance of art deco. Subsequently, Queen Nazli wrote a letter to Van Cleef & Arpels expressing ‘her great satisfaction’ and placed another order for a Passe-Partout necklace in yellow gold and colored sapphires, and a gold box decorated with a Colibri hummingbird motif in Mystery Set rubies and sapphires.
Photo: Stéphane Aït Ouarab 2023
The exhibition is curated by Alba Cappellieri, professor of Jewelry Design at Milan Polytechnic University and president of the Milano Fashion Institute, and its scenography is conceived by international architect-designer Johanna Grawunder. Drawing from Italian writer Italo Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Cappellieri chose key concepts through which she interprets the maison’s creations and their relationship with time. Grawunder, meanwhile, brought into play light and color to generate an immersive experience and a timeless journey to discover the maison’s jewelry creations. “Inspired by the colors of Saudi Arabia, I have used many RGB LEDs to create colorful shades and an atmosphere that I love to define as ethereal. This atmosphere generates a gradual transition from one room to another, creating a dialogue between all the protagonists of the exhibition,” Grawunder says. ‘
Photo: Stéphane Aït Ouarab 2023
The displays revolve around three sections: Time, Nature, and Love. The first section, devoted to Time, extends across 10 rooms. Cappellieri’s objective was to demonstrate the ability of the maison to understand and represent its time, especially considering the challenges for jewelry to be timeless, and to represent past, present, and future. “Coming from a design culture, where every object must represent its time, I realized that the ability of the maison is in bridging sometimes controversial aspects,” Cappellieri continues. “In Van Cleef & Arpels, you find alternative and ephemeral, you find global and local. You can find the details and the big gems. You can find beauty in terms of ornamentation, and you can find science in terms of innovation. That’s the story I tried to tell through this exhibition.” At the very center of the exhibition is the section on Love, displaying creations that are tokens of some of the most mythical romances of the 20th century. “For me, love is the most powerful energy in the world and every piece of jewelry is crafted with love,” Cappellieri says. “Moreover, Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry influenced some of the most legendary love stories of the 20th century with its symbols and gifts of love.” The third section dedicated to Nature is expressed through botany, flora, and fauna. A time-honored source of inspiration, nature has provided Van Cleef & Arpels with a boundless repertoire. “Through the maison’s creations, nature becomes art, in terms of gemstones and craftsmanship, but also as a humanistic attitude towards harmony,” Cappellieri concludes.
Photo: Stéphane Aït Ouarab 2023
One of the main highlights of the opening ceremony was a trio of special performances by none other than Farrah el Dibany, the Egyptian-African mezzo-soprano who was also the first singer to join the Paris Opera Academy. Below, a closer look at her time on stage to celebrate Van Cleef & Arpels.
Farrah el Dibany in a Honayda gown, and Van Cleef & Arpels Snowflake necklace, bracelet and ring set, all in yellow gold and diamonds. Photo: Stéphane Aït Ouarab 2023
Farrah el Dibany performs in a Safiyaa gown, along with the yellow gold and diamond Palmyre necklace, bracelet and earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels. Photo: Stéphane Aït Ouarab 2023
Read Next: Farrah el Dibany Showcases Van Cleef & Arpels’ Breathtaking Legend of Diamonds Collection

LVMH’s Sidney Toledano Talks Recruiting the Next Generation of Luxury Artisans

LVMH’s Sidney Toledano Talks Recruiting the Next Generation of Luxury Artisans

PARIS — Luxury association Comité Colbert brought brands and big names together to promote careers in craftsmanship to students.
Sidney Toledano, LVMH Fashion Group chair and newly elected president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, joined French Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak on stage, along with Minister for Education and Vocational Training Carole Grandjean and Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Trade, Crafts and Tourism Olivia Gregoire.

The afternoon panel closed the three-day educational fair “Les de(ux)mains du luxe,” Comité Colbert’s clever play on words referencing the future of handicrafts.

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Despite business booming for the luxury sector, companies across the board have expressed difficulty in recruiting young artisans to carry forward traditional methods.

Toledano reminded the crowd that Louis Vuitton, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Louis-François Cartier were all artisans before they were “designers.”

“They were artisans, they were entrepreneurs, they were storytellers,” he said. “Their business power rested on their savoir faire.”

Toledano was careful to note that the day’s event was to continue the ongoing quest for education and elevation of craft. He said that in his youth he grew up surrounded by artisans, but young people today are more separated from craft.

“It’s a problem that exists for our industry,” he said. “How we transmit to the next generation is a real question — is it stronger word of mouth, marketing, storytelling? — to transmit the opportunities of these careers.”

Toledano said it’s the responsibility of government programs and the private sector luxury companies to raise the status of craftsmanship careers.

“The métiers de la main need to be reinvented and young people need to discover the métiers d’art — they are in constant evolution, innovation and we need to transmit the idea of savoir faire,” said Minister Malak.

Malak said the French government is committed to five pillars of promotion for craftsmanship: spreading knowledge of the professions; education and internships alongside experienced craftspeople; investing in innovation and new technology to transmit age-old techniques before the disappear; ensuring crafts are not just centered in Paris but dispersed throughout France, and finally, that they grow internationally as well.

She cited cross-cultural programs to promote French craftsmanship in the U.S. and Japan and said the government is establishing residency programs in Africa and China to train artisans abroad.

“There’s a great potential of not just exporting our French savoir faire, but also learning from other countries and creating exchanges and cooperating with them, because it’s also this cooperation that will help reaching new markets, new citizens that are interested in it, and also pushing the boundaries of sustainability in this field and innovation in this field,” said Malak.

Other guests included LVMH director of craftsmanship development Alexandre Boquel, Van Cleef & Arpels president Nicolas Bos, Christofle president Emilie Metge and Hermès director of human resources Vincent Vaillant.

“Luxury is one of the things France is most known for — along with maybe football and cooking,” joked Christofle’s Metge. “We know how to celebrate luxury and savoir faire, but the most important thing we have to keep in mind is that luxury, without the next generation, can die out.”

Panelists agreed that government investment in manufacturing is important, but that educating and recruiting the next generation is key to keeping luxury alive. While business has been booming and luxury companies have been recording record profits, recruitment remains a weak link.

All of the panelists agreed that while craftsmanship is at the core, communication is the key.

“We have to be able to transmit to the next gen to be sure that we can stay at the top level of manufacturing and the way to design products and luxury goods,” said Metge, adding that luxury cannot continue to gate keep.

“We need to transmit to the new generation, but be sure that you don’t ‘own’ the savoir faire and that you are here to pass it on to the next generation. Be more democratic — able to talk to any generation and not only in one luxury, very high and elitist category, but we need to talk to teenagers. This is the most important message that we want to have today,” she added.

Students tend to focus on the ideas of being a designer or stylist, but students interested in the art of fashion often don’t know about the work that goes on behind the scenes.

“These types of professions, in the past, have been hidden,” said LVMH’s Boquel. “There’s been an opposition between the abstract professions versus the manual professions. The best way to change this is to communicate about the image we have. We want to showcase the beauty of the professions and to explain that there is expansion of development for talent. It’s a huge opportunity for you to create your professional path within luxury.”

Following the panel, Toledano toured the room at Paris’ innovation hub Station F, visiting various stations from some of the 23 luxury brands on show. LVMH presented the programs of its Institut des Métiers d’Excellence, Van Cleef & Arpels offered a workshop to promote its L’Ecole des Arts Joailliers, while Cartier presented its Haute École de Joaillerie.

Léonard demonstrated pattern making, Chanel showed the creation of a bag, and Christofle demonstrated gilding techniques.

Toledano even stopped by the Dior display to speak with a seamstress who was working on a tulle couture gown.

The event wrapped up a three-day educational fair that brought more than 4,000 students to learn about métiers d’art at the hands of the luxury fashion houses.

Farrah el Dibany Showcases Van Cleef & Arpels’ Breathtaking Legend of Diamonds Collection

Farrah el Dibany Showcases Van Cleef & Arpels’ Breathtaking Legend of Diamonds Collection

Vagues étincelantes necklace in white gold with diamonds, Souffle de diamants ring in white gold with diamonds, Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry; dress, Gemy Maalouf. Photo: Joseph Degbadjo
Having begun her journey in the musical sphere at the young age of 14, Farrah El Dibany is no stranger to the fine arts. The mezzo-soprano isn’t just the first Egyptian-African singer to join the Paris Opera Academy, she also holds a master’s degree from the Berlin University of the Arts and a bachelor’s in architecture at Technische Universität Berlin. Given her eye for the most intricate details, it would be safe to assume that this multifaceted woman aims at excellence in every sphere of her life—fashion included.
Often seen draped in elegant gowns, Farrah El Dibany takes over the pages of Vogue Arabia’s November 2022 issue sparkling in a new collection by Van Cleef & Arpels. This month, the French luxury jewelry house is celebrating its Legend of Diamonds line, which comprises two chapters: The 25 Mystery Set Jewels, and the White Diamond Variations. Here’s everything you need to know about both.

25 Mystery Set Jewels
Châtelaine earrings with detachable pendants in white gold with diamonds, Collerette Mystérieuse transformable necklace in white and rose gold with diamonds, pink sapphires and rubies, Hollywood bracelet in white and rose gold with diamonds, Collerette Mystérieuse ring in white and rose gold with diamonds and rubies, Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry; dress, Gemy Maalouf. Photo: Joseph Degbadjo
Over the years, Van Cleef & Arpels has repeatedly highlighted the undeniable beauty of colored gemstones with collections including Collection of the Century (2002), Pierres de Caractère (2006), Pierres de Caractère – Variations (2013), Émeraude en majesté (2016), and Treasure of rubies (2019). Now, the fashion house unveils the 25 Mystery Set Jewels, a collection of 25 statement creations, all of which feature painstakingly cut diamonds that come from one rough diamond of 910 carats, the Lesotho Legend. “Finding a stone of this size in its natural state is truly emotional,” the Director of the Van Cleef & Arpels Stones Department shared. “It’s the kind of thing we dream of but don’t dare to imagine. We are here at the beginning of this diamond, after its formation, when there has not yet been any human intervention. When I see a rough stone like this, I would like to keep it this way, because it is so beautiful.”
The Lesotho Legend, which is counted as the fifth largest rough diamond in both size and quality ever mined, found its 67 brilliant fragments embedded in a series of stunning jewelry pieces. The Van Cleef & Arpels Design Studio ensured that the brand’s trademark style was recognizable throughout. Designers worked closely with expert gemologists and the High Jewelry Workshops to design precious settings inspired by the history of the Maison. For an extra dimension, Van Cleef & Arpels accompanied each diamond with precious gems, bringing together curved lines, and an intense play of colors—via rubies, sapphires and emeralds.
White Diamond Variations
Châtelaine earrings with detachable pendants in white gold with diamonds, Roaring Twenties transformable long necklace in white and rose gold with diamonds, Hollywood bracelet in white and rose gold with diamonds, Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry; dress, Alexandre Vauthier. Photo: Joseph Degbadjo
The second chapter in the Legend of Diamonds series, the White Diamond Variations collection, takes us back to the importance diamonds hold in the world of Van Cleef & Arpels. Celebrated since the time the very first VCA piece was sold in 1906 – a heart set with brilliant-cut diamonds – the diamond takes centre stage in this 82 piece line, which takes inspiration form the Maison’s rich heritage.
From cascading necklaces that take inspiration from the Roaring Twenties, to sparkling chandelier earrings that can be transformed into a clip, the White Diamond Variations pieces truly convey the absolute versatility of this most precious of stones. Jewelry enthusiasts will also delight in the Dear Liz earrings (inspired by the 1920s Bow brooch that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor), the Vagues étincelantes necklace, which is crafted to sit gently on the skin like a foam of diamonds, and the gorgeous Boogie-woogie bracelet, reminiscent of the Maison’s archival designs from the late 1930s through the 1940s.
Below, take a closer look at Van Cleef & Arpel’s captivating creations, as seen on Farrah El Dibany.

Diamond Chandelier transformable earrings in white gold with diamonds, Diamond chandelier clip in white gold with diamonds, Collerette Mystérieuse ring in white and rose gold with diamonds and rubies, Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry; jacket, pants, Alaïa. Photo: Joseph Degbadjo
Diamond Chandelier transformable earrings in white gold with diamonds, Fabulous Fifties necklace in white gold with diamonds, Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry; dress, Gemy Maalouf. Photo: Joseph Degbadjo
Diamond Chandelier transformable earrings in white gold with diamonds, Fabulous Fifties necklace in white gold with diamonds, Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewelry; dress, Gemy Maalouf. Photo: Joseph Degbadjo

Style: Anna Klein Digi tech:Dope ParisProduction: Danica Zivkovic Hair: Annesofie Begtrup at Wise & Talented Makeup: Annabelle Petit at Wise & TalentedNails: Adrienne at B-agency Photography assistant: Patricia Zheng

50 Royal Tiaras Will Go On Display At Sotheby’s Ahead Of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

50 Royal Tiaras Will Go On Display At Sotheby’s Ahead Of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Photo: Courtesy of Sotheby’s
There are myriad ways to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this June, but the most enjoyable might be a trip to Sotheby’s mammoth royal exhibition, running from May 28 to June 15. Rather than homing in specifically on the Windsors, the storied auction house will trace the full history of the British monarchy in its “Royal Portraits & Manuscripts” showcase, assembling works ranging from Queen Elizabeth I’s celebrated Armada portrait, on loan from Woburn Abbey for the occasion, to Andy Warhol’s depiction of Queen Elizabeth II, based on a photograph taken at Windsor Castle in 1975 and released as part of the artist’s Reigning Queens series in 1985. Dotted amongst the historic paintings: rare and fascinating ephemera, including a death warrant signed by Elizabeth I, a gold and silver embroidered Bible that once belonged to Queen Anne, and collectors’ items from Elizabeth II’s Coronation.
Classical motifs inspired this diamond-set 1830s diadem.
It’s the tiaras, though, that make the exhibition so compelling – with aristocratic families from across Europe loaning their family jewels to Sotheby’s for the occasion. No less than 50 diadems will be on display, with Sotheby’s using each piece to highlight the evolution of jewelry design from the 18th century onwards. Take the spectacular 1830s tiara that nods to the classical styles of ancient Rome – brought back into fashion in the early 1800s by Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Joséphine, whose love story will get the Ridley Scott treatment later this year. Even more unusual? A Van Cleef & Arpels creation from the ’60s, which nods to dazzling Indian jewelry with its turquoise cabochons.
A turquoise-set Van Cleef & Arpels tiara produced in the 1960s.
Meanwhile, over at Kensington Palace, Windsor diehards can take in images of the royal family from Queen Victoria’s reign onwards – with an emphasis on Queen Elizabeth II and her descendants, including Vogue photographer Norman Parkinson’s intimate family portraits of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon. The jewel in the exhibition’s crown? David Bailey’s 1988 photograph of Diana, Princess of Wales. Consider it the best possible way to keep yourself entertained until the next season of The Crown.
Originally published in
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Discover the Remarkable Van Cleef & Arpels Creations That Continue To Enchant Jewelry Connoisseurs

Discover the Remarkable Van Cleef & Arpels Creations That Continue To Enchant Jewelry Connoisseurs

Palmyre earrings in white gold with diamonds, Zip Couture Alliance graphique necklace in white gold with pink sapphires and diamonds, Van Cleef & Arpels; dress, Elisabetta Franchi. Photographed by Greg Adamski
It all began with a love story when Estelle Arpels, the daughter of a precious stone dealer, tied the knot with Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stone cutter, to later join their passion for jewelry making with Van Cleef & Arpels. Loyal to its vision for elegant craftsmanship of a selection of exceptional quality precious stones, the fine jewelry house has been catering to a high-profile international clientele for about 100 years. Van Cleef & Arpels has perfected the mission to create more accessible jewelry for women, relying on historical narratives and precious stones that formulate its day-time jewelry profile.
Flying butterfly necklace with detachable clip in white gold with diamonds, Flying Butterfly Between the Finger Ring in white and rose gold with Traditional Mystery Set sapphires and diamonds, Van Cleef & Arpels; top, SemSem. Photographed by Greg Adamski
Though known for its emblematic Alhambra launched in 1968, Van Cleef & Arpels has offered other iconic pieces punctuated with the house’s signature sophistication and elegance. The Zip Couture Alliance Graphique necklace is inspired by the 19th century and re-appropriates the humble beginnings of a boot fastener. Suggested to design by Alfred Van Cleef’s daughter, Renée Puissant, this piece was designed in 1950. With a ribbon of rubies, round and baguette-cut diamonds mounted in platinum, emeralds, and sapphires, this piece has adorned the necks of stars including Irina-Lazareanu, Anne-Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, and Margot Robbie.
Inspired by an Oasis located in the Syrian desert, the Palmyre Collection brings the Palmyre earrings and necklace that reflect timeless elegance and sophistication. Embellished with different rows of sparkling diamonds set in white or yellow gold, the collection brings out an airy, fluid-like setting. The collection illustrates a scenery of glittering drops of water, enhancing the diamonds’ natural beauty, as they’re worn day and night.
Palmyre necklace in yellow gold with diamonds, Ludo bracelet in yellow and white gold with diamonds, Van Cleef & Arpels; dress, Maison Yeya. Photographed by Greg Adamski
In 1935, the Ludo bracelet was created in honor of Louis Arpels, who was referred to as ‘Ludo’ by his friends. Lauded for its sleek gold ribbon built of hexagon bricks, two colors of gold are blended in the representation of flexible fabric. The assembly frames a jewelry clasp that gives the impression of a belt buckle trimmed with round diamonds, effortlessly draping around the wrist.
Médaillon abstrait long necklace in rose and white gold with spessartite garnets, pink and black spinels, coral, onyx, and white cultured pearls, Van Cleef & Arpels; dress, Valentino. Photographed by Greg Adamski
The Médaillon Abstrait long necklace is an exhibition of precious stones beaded in an inlay of pink and black gems, corals, pink and white gold, and pearls. The necklace’s geometrical character was inspired by the long necklaces of the 70s and flexibly transforms from a long tasseled piece into layers of three.
With a tender and lightweight flow, Van Cleef & Arpels revisits asymmetry and the art of illusions through its Two Butterfly jewelry collection. The Flying Butterfly with a Detachable Clip stands out in an attire of one marquise-cut white diamond to testify the jewelry house’s innovation and vision for breaking the typical frame for creativity. The Flying Butterfly Between the Finger Ring is painted with a Traditional Mystery Set of Sapphires, narrating the story of a delicate confrontation linked by an open band of rose or white gold.
Read Next: Discover the UAE’s Most Exciting Emerging Jewelry Design Talent at This Exhibition
Photography: Greg Adamski Style: Mohammad Hazem Rezq Hair and makeup: Manuel Losada Floral design: FloretteProduction: Danica Zivkovic Senior fashion market editor: Amine JreissatiModel: Sophia Alshehry Production assistant: Rama NaserPhotography assistant: Nino ClavecilasShot at Al Barari

Iraqi Calligrapher Wissam Shawkat on Collaborating with Van Cleef & Arpels on a Special Ramadan Artwork

Iraqi Calligrapher Wissam Shawkat on Collaborating with Van Cleef & Arpels on a Special Ramadan Artwork

The Perlée collection. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
With two collaborations, Van Cleef & Arpels has taken an artistic route to convey the values of the Holy Month of Ramadan. This season, the French luxury jeweler has teamed up with French visual artist Arthur Hoffner and Iraqi calligraphy artist Wissam Shawkat on two artworks — each one emanating harmony.
Wissam Shawkat photographed by Alin Constantin for VCA Calligraphy Commission 2021 Winner Coverage. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
Championing local talent, Van Cleef & Arpels enlisted Iraqi calligraphy artist Wissam Shawkat to create a series of artworks inspired by the spherical beads of the Perlée collection. The artwork titled Pearls Radiant Harmony unifies three individual designs, with each of them embodying the ethos of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr. “Ramadan, for me, means a time when people all come together and help each other. It purifies the heart and helps us enlighten from within. It’s a time to give more and get less,” says Shawkat.
Vogue Arabia caught up with the artist to learn more about the collaboration and how the artwork came to be.
How did the Perlée collection inspire the design?
The artwork is inspired by the perfectly spherical beads of the Perlée collection, harmoniously coming together to create unity in an enchanting world. The Perlée collection has always been a symbol of joy and femininity, a celebration of delicate golden beads. I’ve strived to bring together the harmony of the season with the enchantment found in Van Cleef & Arpels’ creative universe, shedding light on the maison‘s values of unity and positivity.
The design process took approximately two and a half months as we worked together to translate the harmony of the season through a collective vision.
It has been an absolute pleasure to design this artwork, and I’m very happy with the outcome. I look forward to sharing this artwork with my family and friends in the art world during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Pearls Radiant Harmony by Wissam Shawkat. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
You have created three designs and weaved them into one. What was your thought process behind this? 
Using my unique calligraphy style, called the Al Wissam style, I unified the three designs to showcase harmony across the artworks. I have also used different stroke widths to create movement within the design. The stroke shapes and forms resemble the crescent and circular moon, a key symbol associated with Ramadan. The calligraphic style remains united and consistent with the rest of the campaign while giving this master artwork design its unique look and feel. 
What are the words used in the designs, and what do they mean? 
The artwork titled Pearls Radiant Harmony comes as a reflection of the spherical beads that form the Perlée collection and is showcased in an illustrative and magical way while conveying the beautiful message of the season: “Let harmony bring us together to enlighten our lives.” Each word becomes a sphere in harmony with the next word; the strokes of calligraphy completing each other and unifying harmoniously to create an enchanting scene. The main word meaning “bring us together” is the largest circle and holds the whole design together. 
In your opinion, what is the significance of calligraphy?
Calligraphy is the artistic identity of the region. It became very widespread because of its connections to Islam and the writing of the Qur’an, so this is how it grew. Since the 1960s calligraphy has been practiced as a contemporary art form, but now it is becoming even more popular due to the internet.  
Photographed by Alin Constantin for VCA Calligraphy Commission 2021 Winner Coverage. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
What do you love the most about this collaboration?
There are a lot of common threads between my work and the values of the maison. Van Cleef & Arpels are artists in jewelry making, and I find my art so aligned with these efforts towards achieving excellence. The precision of the design, thought process, and craftsmanship are just a few things that align our values and ethos.
Just as the maison enchants us with new designs based on patrimonial creations, similarly, I strive to introduce a contemporary touch to an ancient art form through my work as an Arabic calligraphist. I seek to push the boundaries of creativity, strive for excellence, persevere to achieve perfection in the strokes and techniques of my work – these traits are aligned with the maison‘s mastery of its craftsmanship. It has been an amazing experience to have this opportunity to express my creative potential while aligning with the maison‘s values and artistic style.
This is the beginning of a long-term collaboration whose purpose is to give visibility to this art form as it will serve as an inspiration for the new generation of calligraphists. As an art form that is not only culturally relevant but also very important to the region, Van Cleef & Arpels aims to perpetrate Arabic calligraphy with a contemporary twist for emergent artists of the future, so that it is continued to be practiced and innovated in the years to come.
Photographed by Alin Constantin for VCA Calligraphy Commission 2021 Winner Coverage. Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels
 Read Next: Meet the Winner of the Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Designer Prize 2020

Paris High Jewelry Maisons Present These New Dazzling Collections

Paris High Jewelry Maisons Present These New Dazzling Collections

“I think more is more when it comes to jewelry,” is one of the opening lines from the new Netflix series Bling Empire. It offers a rare, inside look inside the lives of extremely affluent Asians living in Los Angeles and importantly, their relationship with high jewelry. For, even if Vogue Arabia has the opportunity to see millions of Euros worth of high jewelry behind the gilded doors of the maisons in Place Vendôme, Paris clients are kept apart and offered one on one appointments with maisons keeping their identity a secret. “In the world of high jewelry not everyone is invited,” states one of the show’s reality stars as she models one of her Louis Vuitton high jewelry pieces. “You have to really earn your way there.” Peruse the latest reveals from three high jewelry houses below.
Van Cleef & ArpelsSous les étoiles, une rêverie céleste
This is an extravagant collection of 150 high jewelry creations interpreting the universe through exuberant reverie bursting with color. “The maison has always been interested in the instant where observing nature encounters poetry and the imagination,” states Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels. “For this new collection, we wanted to prolong the adventure that began with Jules Verne, by exploring the literary and scientific tradition of which his work forms a part. It led us to the Greek philosopher Lucian of Samosata imagining a voyage in space, to Johannes Kepler and his inspirational text The Dream, or Lunar Astronomy – written in the early 17th century – and to Camille Flammarion, who published his wonderfully illustrated Astronomie opulaire in 1880.” Leave the earth behind and aim for the heavens taking emeralds from Afghanistan, sapphires from Burma, blue tourmalines, and lapis-lazuli with the highlights of the dazzling collection featured here.

Van Cleef and Arpels watch with diamonds

Van Cleef and Arpels ciel de minuit necklace

Van Cleef and Arpels antennae reversible necklace

Van Cleef and Arpels antennae reversible necklace

Van Cleef and Arpels necklace with emeralds and sapphires

Van Cleef and Arpels Halley necklace and ring

Van Cleef and Arpels arche solaire bracelet

Van Cleef and Arpels pendant with diamonds and sapphires

Van Cleef and Arpels necklace

Van Cleef and Arpels météore décentré earrings

Chanel Escale à Venise
Seventy high jewelry pieces merge to interpret Gabrielle Chanel’s passion for Venice. One of her favorite destinations, Venice and all its beauty helped Chanel deal with her grief following the untimely death of her love Boy Capel. Led by Patrice Leguéreau, director of the jewelry creation studio, the collection features contemporary, sculptural pieces that draw from the city’s emblematic lions and Byzantine architecture. Travel to Venice through the collection featuring tsavorite garnets, yellow sapphires, cornalines, and fire opals below.

Chanel platinum ring with diamonds and emerald

Chanel platinum ring with diamonds and sapphires

Chanel earrings with diamonds

Chanel bracelet with rubies, onyx and diamonds

Chanel gold earrings with diamonds

Chanel gold necklace with diamonds

Chanel necklace with diamonds

Chanel diamond earrings

Chanel platinum ring with diamond and sapphires

Chanel platinum bracelet with diamonds

BoucheronA History of Style, Art Deco
Inside the private apartments of the maison Boucheron, its creative director Claire Choisne unveiled a new collection dedicated to Art Deco, with several transformable pieces offering both men and women high jewelry solutions. Emeralds, onyx, and diamonds are cut into a multitude of varied geometric forms offering a seductive and even sweet–keep your eye out for the bow-tie diamond ring that also can be worn as a hair clip–in the gallery below.

Boucheron platinum ring with emerald and diamonds

Boucheron diamond and emerald necklace

Boucheron onyx and diamond brooch

Boucheron earrings with onyx and diamonds

Boucheron diamond earrings

Boucheron platinum ring with diamonds

Boucheron brooch with onyx and diamonds

Boucheron platinum ring with diamonds

Boucheron earrings with diamonds, emeralds and onyx

Boucheron bracelet with diamonds

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