Van Cleef & Arpels unveils Le Grand Tour high jewellery collection (and we’re mildly obsessed)

10 August 2023
By Fashion Quarterly

Journey through time and gems with Van Cleef & Arpels new collection inspired from eras bygone.

Like an enchanted souvenir, each of the collection’s creations evokes the Grand Tour, a historical odyssey through the major cultural centers of Europe.

Van Cleef & Arpels, the iconic Maison, has elegantly woven the cultural heritage of Europe into their latest masterpiece – the Le Grand Tour raconté par Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewellery collection. With sculptural necklaces, intricate earrings, and astonishing clips, this collection of approximately 70 pieces offers not only a glimpse into the Maison’s creativity and exquisite craftsmanship but also a profound statement on the intersection of art and travel.

The roots of this collection reach deep into the past, drawing inspiration from the rich tradition of the Grand Tour. At the turn of the 20th century when Van Cleef & Arpels was born, the curiosity for diverse cultures, historical eras, and various artistic forms fueled imagination, sparking innovative creations. This curiosity was a part of the cultural fabric even before the Maison’s founding, as explorations to ancient civilizations ignited the minds of intellectuals and artists across Europe. These historical connections continue to shape our contemporary pursuits of experiences and encounters through travel.

Eclat Mystérieux necklace, Carriera earrings with detachable pendants and Jeu de colombage transformable ring.
Eclat Mystérieux necklace, white gold, pink gold, buff-topped Traditional Mystery Set emeralds, mauve sapphires, white cultured pearls, diamonds.

The Le Grand Tour collection goes beyond the conventional realm of jewellery. It seamlessly marries the opulent traditions of jewellery-making with the finesse of decorative arts. The pieces evoke the essence of souvenirs collected during the Grand Tour, elegantly blending distinct periods and cultures. To achieve this harmony, the designers followed in the footsteps of their predecessors, choosing historically significant cities as the foundation of their designs such as London, Paris, The Alps, Rome, Venice, Naples, and Baden-Baden. This collection is a vibrant sketchbook inviting us to explore a tapestry of destinations and gemstones.

The jewellery in this collection is a testament to the Maison’s artistic prowess. Necklaces and bracelets transform into landscapes, capturing the grandeur of Italian antiquity and the breathtaking allure of snow-capped mountains. Sculptural clips blur the lines between jewellery and masterful goldsmithing. Earrings radiate the grandeur of baroque girandoles and the elegance of Etruscan bauletti, framing the face with a captivating glow. Rings rise in intricate relief, showcasing intricate contours and a spectrum of sparkling colours. Each piece is a meticulous tableau, alive with intricate details that tell stories of craftsmanship and innovation.

Gold takes centre stage in this collection, skillfully crafted to showcase various textures. It’s hammered to reflect light, moulded into intricate gadroons to play with shadows, transformed into shimmering pearls, and sculpted into architectural lines through alternating polishing techniques. This fusion of traditional savoir-faire and contemporary artistry creates a delightful sense of surprise, paying homage to the evolutionary journey of jewellery.

The collection’s gemstone palette is a symphony of hues, composed by the Maison’s skilled gemologists. Each setting highlights the inherent beauty of a diverse array of stones, harmoniously arranged. Faceted gems mingle with cabochons, and the translucent glow of precious stones finds companionship in the lustre of pearls, opalescence of opals, and the natural allure of coral. Deep sapphire blues harmonise with the elegance of lapis lazuli, while emeralds’ verdant charm dances with the sparkle of diamonds. Garnets’ warm tones intermingle with a myriad of coloured sapphires. Embracing the art of hardstone carving, engraved emeralds grace the heart of transformable necklaces, and historical intaglios in sapphire, jasper, and citrine adorn clips reminiscent of antiquity’s treasures.

“Le Grand Tour raconté par Van Cleef & Arpels” is not just a collection; it’s an immersive journey through history, art, and the world of high jewellery. Through meticulously crafted pieces, Van Cleef & Arpels unveils not only the splendour of gemstones and precious metals but also a tapestry woven from the threads of culture, creativity, and the boundless pursuit of beauty. This collection bridges the gap between the past and the present, reminding us that great voyages are indeed works of art in themselves.

Discover the Van Cleef & Arpels Le Grand Tour collection here


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Fashion Quarterly Winter 2023 Cover
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