Van Cleef & Arpels has been inspired by the world of dance for almost a century, especially the world of ballet, which the brand paid homage to through the creation of its first ballerina clip in 1941.
Since then, the Maison has embellished its high jewellery pieces and works of art with a multitude of references to dance, from figurative ballerinas that seem to flit across powder cases, to the swirl and airiness of dance costumes forming the inspiration for abstract designs for earrings and clips.
And now, making its debut in the Van Cleef & Arpels dance company this month is the ballerina clip from the brand’s Bouton d’Or collection, the first ballerina clip of the Maison in contemporary jewellery.
The clip presents a graphic interpretation of the paillette motif, similar to sequins applied in a decorative cluster, and recalls the virtuosity of the feminine figures found in the Maison’s high jewellery and watchmaking, while demonstrating exceptional savoir-faire and showcasing exquisite gemstones.
Crafted from polished yellow gold, which adds warmth to the figurine, the clip depicts a delicate, lifelike dancer in motion. Her colourful skirt comprises three dimensions, with the paillette motif brought to life through the unparalleled skill of the maison’s craftsmen: Each rounded pastille — made of gold, turquoise or lapis lazuli — is reworked by hand and polished for maximum sheen. Glittering diamonds fashioned onto the figurine’s headdress and costume highlight the brilliance of the jewelled piece. And a row of quivering diamond drop beads, suspended from the hem of the costume, add an exciting element of movement.
Even the shade of each ornamental stone is carefully selected to ensure evenness and intensity, and matched for colour. Turquoise recalls the sky’s radiant blue, and lapis lazuli contains flakes of pyrite, whose metallic lustre mirrors the yellow gold of the figurine. And needless to say, the diamonds selected for the peerless ballerina clip meet Van Cleef & Arpels’ standards of excellence: D, E or F for colour, and IF or VVS for clarity.
This launch also represents a renewed focus on the Maison’s paillette motif, which the brand first introduced in 1936, inspired by the world of couture and the details on precious fabrics of the period. Within the Bouton d’Or collection, this motif is repeatedly reinterpreted through the use of various precious stones and types of gold.
Alongside the Maison’s continual support for dance productions and pioneers — from serving as a partner of the L.A. Dance Project founded by Benjamin Millepied, to awarding the annual Fedora – Van Cleef & Arpels Prize for Ballet — the brand proves its enduring commitment to the art of dance, and the extraordinary ballerina clip represents a new era in the evolution of Van Cleef & Arpels’ dance-inspired creations.