This book presents the legendary jewelry and precious objects of Van Cleef & Arpels, and how they relate to time, nature and love. Time is a fundamental element for both creativity and craftsmanship. Time gives objects their shape; defines their style; determines their function, social utility, and the choice of materials and techniques; indicates origin; hones taste; and reveals context. Time is interpreted through eight values inspired by Italo Calvino’s Lezioni Americane, or Six Memos for the Next Millennium, to honor the iconic pieces created by Van Cleef & Arpels over the years, from Art Deco masterpieces to the illustrious Zip necklace, gravity-defying Mystery Set or celebrated Minaudières—some of the most important innovations in the history of 20th century jewelry-making.
Nature plays an equally important role for Van Cleef & Arpels as an ever-present source of inspiration and tribute, embodied in unique gems and timeless masterpieces drawing on flora and fauna. Van Cleef & Arpels is founded on love, the most powerful energy in the world. Each object is handcrafted with love, and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry has sealed some of the century’s most legendary love stories.
In a brilliant historical and critical essay, illuminated by a stunning iconographic selection of jewelry, precious objects and archive materials, this work describes the Maison’s eternal values of time, nature and love.
Alba Cappellieri is Full Professor of Jewelry and Fashion Accessories Design at Politecnico di Milano, where she is Director of the International Master’s in Jewellery and Fashion Accessories and the Master’s in Fashion Design, and teaches Brand and Product Management at Milano Fashion Institute (under the consortium with Politecnico di Milano, Bocconi University and Università Cattolica). From 2013 to 2016 she taught Design for Innovation at Stanford University. Alba Cappellieri is a member of the Scientific Council at the Van Cleef & Arpels School of Jewelry Arts in Paris and an advisor with the Creative Academy of the Cologni Foundation in Milan. She was appointed Ambassador of Italian Design for Italian Design Day in Osaka in 2017, in Sydney in 2018 and in Baku in 2019. Since 2014, she has been Director of the Museo del Gioiello jewelry museum in Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza, Italy’s first museum exclusively dedicated to jewelry. Her recent publications include: Gioielli, Dall’Art Nouveau al 3d Printing (Skira, 2018), Catene, gioielli tra storia, funzione e ornamento (Silvana Editoriale, 2018), Brilliant (Corraini, 2016), Gioielli alla Moda (Corraini, 2016), Gioielli sentimentali (Marsilio, 2014), Il design italiano incontra il gioiello, with M. Romanelli (Marsilio, 2013).