Van Cleef & Arpels’ New High Jewelry Collection is a Worldly Wonder

by | Jul 11, 2023 | Fashion

Two models wearing Van Cleef & Arpels ruby red necklaces.
Photos courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels

Aptly titled “Le Grand Tour,” the collection finds inspiration in the great voyages that altered the artistic and cultural European landscape starting in the 16th century.

FASHION: Before the era of Google search and TikTok content, the way of discovering worldly treasures was through physical exploration. In the 16th century was born the concept of the Grand Tour, an immense voyage aristocrats (later, artists and intellectuals) would take across the European continent to broaden their knowledge, knowledge that they would be able to carry with them and share with the rest of society.

In 1910, French Poet André Suarès published Le Voyage du Condottière, following his journey across Italy, as he explored Italian cultural hubs such as Naples, Venice, and Florence, and studied various Renaissance masters like Michelangelo and Leonardo de Vinci. These grand expeditions changed the artistic and cultural landscape of Europe, ushering in new ideas and understandings of the world that would continue to shape society.

For its latest high jewelry collection, Van Cleef & Arpels reinterprets its own Grand Tour, proving that the journey itself was also a work of art.

A model posing in a emerald Van Cleef & Arpels necklace.

Since its founding, Van Cleef & Arpels has always been inspired by traveling — being informed by other cultures and carrying an open mind to better fuel the imagination. The new, aptly titled “Le Grand Tour” high jewelry collection uniquely directly highlights this core foundation of Van Cleef & Arpels, though crafted in modern fashion.

“The collection is multi-dimensional. It blends the traditions of jewelry and decorative arts – such objects were brought back as souvenirs from the Grand Tour – with the idea of once again discovering and mixing periods and cultures,” said Nicolas Bos, president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, in a statement. “For that, we followed the trail of our predecessors and chose cities that were renown stops historically. We took inspiration from antique jewelry – Roman, Etruscan, Medieval, or Renaissance –, marrying it with our own heritage, style, and craftsmanship. The result is like a colorful sketchbook that invites you to dive into destinations and gemstones.”

A model in Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry looking out the window.

All the stops were taken in the creation of this approximately 70-piece collection, breathing life into Le Grand Tour through the highest level of savoir-faire. The high jewelry collection can be best described as a merge between jewelry and art, executed with the utmost intricate detail.

Each piece is inspired by a different tour destination — a fluid sapphire necklace evoking London-found Wedgewood porcelain, radiant rubellite earrings mirroring chandeliers found in the Parisian ladies-in-waiting Court’s, a sculpted tourmaline necklace reminiscent of the Alps snow-capped landscapes, a striking turquoise cabochon necklace reflective of the waters of Venice.

A model in a emerald Van Cleef & Arpels necklace and purple dress.

Other inspired destinations include Florence, Rome, Baden-Baden, and Naples, all of which have equally breathtaking accompanying jewelry. Furthering the already exquisite nature of Le Grand Tour were numerous uses of rare gemstones, as precious as the art the high jewelry collection was inspired by.

The craftsmanship, the details, the inspiration — the collection in its entirety (from start to end) takes you on a worldly and wonderous journey. Simply put, as stated, it’s “an invitation to dream and escape.”

by Janelle Sessoms


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