Van Cleef & Arpels: Nature’s winter jewels

Van Cleef & Arpels ushers in the season of ice and snow with Diamond Breeze, a sparkling ensemble of lotus-inspired pieces

Lotus Between the Finger ring. Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels

From daisies and buttercups to camellias and chrysanthemums to violets and lilies of the valley, flowers have always been an endless source of inspiration for the artisans at Van Cleef & Arpels. Over the years, the luxury jewellery maison has captured the beauty and mystery of individual species and bouquets alike in an array of precious materials. This includes the sacred lotus flower, a symbol of beauty, purity and completion that first appeared on a Van Cleef & Arpels creation in the 1920s.

Featured within the Lotus collection as well as various High Jewellery collections as a clip or decorative element, the lotus flower is typically captured in a blend of sparkling diamonds and gleaming white gold or platinum. Now, as part of its annual Diamond Breeze celebration to mark “the magical spectacle of nature donning her winter cloak”, Van Cleef & Arpels is revealing three new additions to the Lotus collection.

Archival Rose de Noël clip. Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels

Comprising a pendant, earrings and Between the Finger ring, the radiant ensemble reinterprets the lotus in bouquets of three or four. The pendant is made up of three asymmetrical flowers, with an openwork style that allows light to pass through the diamonds and further amplify their brilliance. The earrings likewise feature three flowers, two of which are in contact with the skin and each dazzling in their expert craftsmanship and gem-setting.

The latest interpretation of the Between the Finger ring, which first featured a single lotus flower in 2001, sees a quartet of blooms that appear to delicately quiver in the wind. The varying sized petals slope upward at different heights, creating the effect of snow-covered nature. All three pieces are crafted from white gold and adorned with diamonds.

Kim Haddou and Florent Dufourcq. Photo: Van Cleef & Arpel

But Diamond Breeze doesn’t end there. Van Cleef & Arpels also collaborated with a selection of artists, designers and interior architects who have provided their own interpretation of the shapes and colours of winter. Helen Amy Murray, a British expert in soft material sculpture who first partnered with the maison in 2011, sculpted the lotus along with the poppy and Christmas rose in suede or satiny silk crepe with golden and pearl nuances. Together with fluttering butterflies, the flowers are set on a white background that also serves to frame the jewellery pieces.

Erik Madigan Heck. Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels

Other featured collaborators include Swedish paper artist Fideli Sundqvist; photographer, painter and filmmaker Erik Madigan Heck; interior architects and designers Kim Haddou and Florent Dufourcq; and textile designer Céline Thibault and her partner, interior designer Géraud Pellottiero.

Fideli Sundqvist. Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels

“In the snow-capped heart of winter, curious stone flowers awake like whispers in a slumbering pine forest. Bouquets of cedar needles, frozen in muffled textures, black or bright, absorb light to call forth a fleeting sparkle,” say Thibault and Pellottiero, who explore the balance between Japanese meditative design and French ornament.
“A ray of sunshine accentuates the musical essence of these jewels.”

See also: Van Cleef & Arpels enters a world of whimsy with high jewellery collection

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