The universe of Van Cleef & Arpels is built upon the three main elements of fantasy, wonder and poetry. Through spectacular creations that evoke a sense of magic and mystique, the revered French jeweller has also long celebrated the beauty of the feminine form through its unforgettable fairies and ballerinas.
During and after the war in the 1940s, the Maison began incorporating fairies into its artistic universe. Possessing magical powers, this imaginary race was believed to evoke hope and healing, which were both much needed in those turbulent times. As Van Cleef & Arpels creations have long revolved around the theme of fantasy and poetry since its beginnings, fairies were a natural extension of its jewellery repertoire.
The dainty, sprightly, delicate and mystical characteristics of fairies were never easy to express through the art of high jewellery. However, together with its team of Mains d’Or (the term by which Van Cleefs & Arpels’ master craftsmen are lovingly known as), the house successfully dreamt up lifelike, expressive and soon-to-be iconic fairy clips reimagined in the feminine form.
Meticulously sculpted by master artisans, Van Cleef & Arpels’ fairies and ballerinas emulate the curvaceous female form in the most naturalistic way. It is said that Maison's artisans spend significant amounts of time observing ballerinas in action to observe how their bodies are angled with every graceful movement.
Lithe silhouettes of dancers and fairies are then depicted in realistic sketches. Next, the feminine figures are brought to life by sculpting their bodies in green wax, which enable the Mains d’Or to follow every curve and movement of their forms as closely as possible before they are shaped in gold. If you look closely, many of these fairies and ballerinas often have faces crafted out of a rose-cut diamond, adorned with a headdress festooned in a myriad of gemstones.
For their latest high jewellery collection titled Sous les Étoiles, Van Cleef & Arpels drew inspiration from the mysterious cosmos and presented a series of creations based on stars and planets. The collection also celebrates the feminine form with several fairy clips. This time, they are realised as graceful déesses or goddesses of the celestial realm in the form of Déesse Mercure, Déesse Neptune and Fée Cassiopée clips, which are all unique pieces.
The Mercury goddess clip features a 5.1-carat white opal cabochon representing the planet complemented by rays of yellow gold, as well as diamonds, rubies and pink sapphires set in tiered gradient, deftly mimicking the graceful twirl of the goddess’ dress.
The Neptune goddess and Cassiopée fairy clips are resplendent in shades of blue and white. The former features lapis lazuli with an intense blue shade, in the form of a disc as well as a cabochon, and sapphires in gradated tones highlighted by yellow gold contours. The latter, a majestic personification of the constellation Cassiopeia, has her entire dress set with blue and mauve sapphires that mingle with diamonds set in star-shaped motifs.
Over the past year, the jeweller also added seven new fairy clips to its creations, all of which draw from nature and literature. Staying true to its faithful interpretation of the female physique, these novelties transport beholders into the magical world of legends and myths through their graceful and fantastical forms.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Van Cleef & Arpels's Masterfully Transformed Gold
Van Cleef & Arpels has masterfully transformed gold through various textures, techniques and themes over time, illustrating the breadth and richness of its style. Allyson Klass writes.
Scotch Whisky Tourism Is A Real Thing!
Scotch whisky tourism is a real thing, attracting a record 2.16 million visitors in 2019. And if the recently opened, eight-floor Johnnie Walker Princes Street visitor experience in Edinburgh for the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky is anything to go by, the optimism for future growth is justified.
Patek Philippe Enriches Its Vast Repertoire Of Chronographs
Patek Philippe enriches its vast repertoire of chronographs with three new models that illustrate the maison’s expertise in the measurement of short intervals of time.
Clic-Clac By Henry Jacques - A Fusion Of Fragrance And Fashion
A fusion of fragrance and fashion, the old and new, the utilitarian and extravagant, is the Clic-Clac by Henry Jacques. The maison’s CEO Anne-lise Cremona tells Yanni Tan in a Singapore-exclusive how the ultra-luxurious solid perfume accessory is a trailblazer.
Something For Everyone
Bvlgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin shares with Florey D Mikil the new models, from Octo Roma to Divas’ Dream to Gérald Genta, presented at Geneva Watch Days 2021.
June Goh-Rin About The Storms She Has Weathered And Lessons Learnt
Throughout the challenges of the last two years, June Goh-Rin did not lose an ounce of optimism. She tells Annabel Tan about the storms she has weathered, lessons learnt, as well as the wisdom she is taking into this brand new year.
Spirit Of The City
After a lengthy hiatus, Vivienne Tam has debuted a new direction in her hometown. The godmother of Hong Kong fashion gives Gennady Oreshkin a peek into her mind, in which mythology and her personal philosophy meet to create a radically new vision for her first gender-fluid collection.
BMW M240i xDrive Coupe Review
The BMW M240i xDrive Coupe was such a hoot to drive along mountain passes and motorways, says Tony Tan, who travels to Munich to test-drive the new model.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust - Perfectly Poised
All is calm and all is bright in the fully embellished – yet perfectly poised – Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust.
Historical Placemaking Properties: Trophy Assets Or Savvy Investments?
Shophouses have a special place in the hearts of many Singaporeans, but beyond their architectural charm, they offer investors and the community so much more. Simon Monteiro, senior associate vice-president of List Sotheby’s International Realty, discusses their value proposition.
Hot Jewelry Trends For The Holiday Season
Summary: While this season's fashions are slim and feminine, jewelry has gone clunkier, chunkier and even a little retro.
Catering To Confident Women
Jewelry designer provides her clients with creative expression.
Hot Jewelry Trends For The Holiday Season
Summary: While this season’s fashions are slim and feminine, jewelry has gone clunkier, chunkier and even a little retro.
What Dreams Are Made Of
Lucia Boscaini, Bulgari’s brand curator, looks back at some of the most magnificent jewels owned by Italian superstar Sophia Loren
Is Bespoke Skincare Worth Its Hype?
We are all unique individuals – so if we can buy customised cars, clothes, jewellery and shoes, why should our skincare be “one-size-fits-all”? We take a deeper look at bespoke skincare to find out how and why it is gaining undercurrents of popularity.
Most Stylish Women 2021
From mannish to maximal, sexy to sculptural, vintage to vampy, our portfolio of snazzy dressers truly represent the best of Singaporean style.
The Diva Treatment
Bvlgari’s latest Divas’ Dream designs will spoil you silly with bold, graphic shapes and a joyous trove of coloured gems for glamour done right. By
Clash Of The Titans
Expanding On The Concept Of Duality, The Clash [un]limited Capsule Collection Is Clash De Cartier Amplified
Cartier's Emblematic Feline That Allows It To Keep Clawing Back Into Our Consciousness
There’s certainly an allure to Cartier’s emblematic feline that allows it to keep clawing back into our consciousness.
Meet Brenda Kang Of Revival Vintage Jewels
Popular luxury labels reign supreme in Singapore, but when it comes to jewellery, attitudes are slowly changing, shares Brenda Kang of Revival Vintage Jewels. She reveals that jewellery lovers are unable to resist the charm of vintage and the allure of next generation jewellers.