The model wears a Bouton d’Or pendant necklace that can be transformed into a brooch
THE BOUTON D’OR COLLECTION MARKS A NEW CHAPTER IN VAN CLEEF & ARPEL’S TALE OF ELEGANCE AND CRAFTMANSHIP
Jewellery has always been closely associated with celebrations and commemorations. From the magnificent gems of the world’s royalty that stand as emblems to a nation’s power and prestige, to the petite everyday baubles that you wear as a sweet reminder of cherished moments, they are physical manifestations of your heart’s desires—expertly crafted into a thing of beauty. Yet, not all jewellery are created equal. Standing out from a sea of gold, is the Bouton d’Or collection from Van Cleef & Arpels. Introduced earlier this year, the aptly named range which means “golden button” in French) takes its place alongside the Maison’s other beloved icons such as the lucky Alhambra and the beaded Perlée. Comprising rows of circular discs that have been expertly forged together, the highly tactile and geometric collection begs to be touched, held and treasured; exuding a joie de vivre that has come to be expected of Van Cleef & Arpels’ designs. Or perhaps even more so, thanks to its inspiration of the house’s Paillette motif. As Heritage Director and gatekeeper of Van Cleef & Arpels’ archives Catherine Cariou says: “The Paillette motif was born in the mid-1940s. It was the end of the war, the Liberation, a time of happiness and rediscovered peace. It was the return of yellow gold in all its forms, associated with rubies, turquoise and diamonds. The yellow gold reveals its full splendour.”
Close to 70 years on, this splendour and exuberance is now translated into two new jewellery suites. For the quintessential lady is the pink gold range with luscious mother-of-pearl and deep pink carnelians taking centre stage. Heading in a slightly bolder (yet no less elegant) direction are the yellow gold designs that glitter and gleam with abyss black onyx contrasted with chrysoprase the colour of spring’s first grass. Each suite is made up of a necklace, earrings, ring, bracelet and pendant necklace— of which, the yellow gold version can be detached and used as a clip as well. And in true Van Cleef fashion, the collection has more surprises to offer its admirers. Take the necklace and earrings, for example. Their dual-tiered modular designs belie their suppleness and fluidity that allow them to hug the neck and embrace the finger with the utmost comfort— something that is made possible by master craftsman hands that expertly join each component with agility and precision. Then, there’s the diamond-studded “buttons”—handcrafted and polished to have convex and concave surfaces for additional play of light. As is the case with the Maison, all is not what it seems at first, and this finely crafted collection proves that this 110-year-old luxury house is all about modern details. Especially when it comes to jewellery that lasts lifetimes.
"Jewellery are physical manifestations of the heart’s desires— expertly crafted into a thing of beauty."
The Bouton d’Or collection finds its design in the Paillette motif, which first appeared in Van Cleef & Arpels’ archives in 1939. A few years later, the motif started appearing on a myriad of designs that included necklaces, double twirl bracelets, floral brooches and structural rings. More importantly, the brand started incorporating the motif into the tutus of its beloved ballerinas, which brought a new level of vitality to the designs. “They are rather abstract motifs, like sequins or lozenges; so they are almost examples of geometric abstraction and really very emblematic of VCA,” says Cariou. “These jewels are closely related to the art of the time.” Having seen the reinterpretations of this year in the form of Bouton d’Or, we’d add that it’s emblematic to the art of this era as well.
A Ballerina clip with a turquoise-studded Pailette motif for its tutu; a sketch of a floral Pailette motif brooch
From the four-leaf clover shapes of the Alhambra and signature beads of the Perlée collection, to the high-textured surfaces of the new Bouton d’Or range, these are the Van Cleef & Arpels’ icons to keep on your radar
From left: Gold, onyx, chrysoprase and diamond earrings; pink gold, mother-of-pearl, carnelian and diamond Bouton d’Or necklace and ring
Known for its gleaming gold beads, the Perlée collection draws admiring glances, thanks to its delightful play of lights.
Clockwise from left: Pink gold, carnelian and diamond Perlée couleurs Between the Finger Ring; pink gold and diamond Perlée diamonds ring and bracelet
Shaped like a four-leaf clover, the Alhambra collection has remained a steadfast favourite with jewellery lovers since its introduction in 1968.
Gold, malachite and diamond Vintage Alhambra 5-motif bracelet and 3-motif earrings