A FULL IMMERSION INTO TIME, NATURE, LOVE AND ITALY: A PRECIOUS PUZZLE BY VAN CLEEF & ARPELS IN MILAN
TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND PROCEED WITH EYES WIDE OPEN. YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER A WORLD WITHIN THE WORLD, A MICROCOSM OF JEWELRY, AT THE INTERSECTION OF DESIGN AND LITERATURE, ENCAPSULATING THE TIMELESS HERITAGE OF VAN CLEEF & ARPELS.
Illustration by INKYCUBANS
The ‘Cadeau’ series by the expert jewelry duet Aisha Baker and Hoonik Chang is a one-of-a-kind, limited-edition marvel, a Present to a modern woman, accomplished and realistic yet still enchanted by the magic lingering in the world.
The fairytales are anything but forgotten. Reinvented by the artistic duo through precious and peculiar materials, imaginative and eccentric designs, perfect asymmetry and advanced techniques, they take a physical form of colorful, delicious, exuberant and happy pieces. Red, pink, yellow, blue, gold and white, little crowns, hearts, lips and stars—the castles, clear skies, princesses, romantic stories we were told as kids, still alive at the back of our minds.The ribbons of the Cadeau Pink earrings, a ‘present’ in yellow gold, enamel, diamonds and lemon quartz, wrap around the sublime fantasies hovering in the air, swinging to the gentle footsteps of a modern woman, open to the beauty and art of enchantment.
As you enter the Milanese Palazzo Reale, look around and breathe in the air of luxurious court life, the heart of political affairs, a centuries-old royal residence. These rooms have seen the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Picasso and Van Gogh, Chagall, Caravaggio, Boccioni and Kandinsky, Klimt, Monet, Warhol and Dalí.Today they host Van Cleef & Arpels. Over 400 pieces of jewelry, watches and precious objects, produced since the establishment of the Maison in 1906, are exhibited alongside archival documents, sketches and gouache designs, deconstructing the creative process and leading you through the intricacies of artistic thought, which gave life to these poetic creations.The Palazzo looks different: walls draped in red silk, surfaces covered in gold leaf, pink and aquamarine lighting, showcases of plexiglass or mirrors transforming and amplifying the space around you. Everything reflects and refracts in everything, echoing the luminosity and shimmer of the jewels—scenography specifically designed by Johanna Grawunder.You enter Time, Nature and Love.Guiding you through this precious maze of gold and rubies, diamonds and emeralds, platinum and sapphires is the curator of the exhibition Alba Cappellieri. Connecting the Maison and Time through the literary work of Italo Calvino, she takes you to the multiple rooms of the Palazzo—Paris, Exoticism, Lightness, Quickness, Visibility, Exactitude, Multiplicity, followed by the intersections with Dance, Couture and Architecture. After you have passed the Time, enter the section of Love, exhibiting the precious and symbolic romantic gifts, for love was at the very origins of the Maison. Finally, as you have satiated your hunger for love, go on and dive into Nature: flowers, birds, animals, colors and shapes—an inexhaustible source of beauty and inspiration for artistic soul.The pieces of the puzzle come together as you immerse yourself in this divine concoction of exquisite jewelry, modern scenography and elite literature. The seemingly complex interrelations become clear as you walk through the exhibition, from one creation to another, savoring and relishing, allowing the story to tell itself.Join the experience at Palazzo Reale, Milan, from November 30, 2019, to February 23, 2020.
THE JEWELRY ICON