STYLE Edit: How space inspired Van Cleef & Arpels’ new collection: Sous Les Étoiles features high jewellery pieces named for Helios, the Greek god of the sun, Halley’s Comet and cepheid stars
The cosmos has always been alluring to humanity; we gaze at it constantly, conduct experiments to decode its mysteries, and even make up fantastical tales to explain celestial phenomena.
For Van Cleef & Arpels, the starry sky and the wealth of interpretations around it are ripe sources of inspiration for its dazzling creations.
“The maison has always been interested in the instant where observing nature encounters poetry and the imagination,” explains Nicolas Bos, president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Today, 10 years after the brand’s Les Voyages Extraordinaires collection, which drew from Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, the brand introduces the Sous les Étoiles collection, which celebrates humanity’s myths, mysteries and epiphanies about the stars. Drawing from literary works to scientific truths about the stars in our sky, the collection is one that will prove just as magnetic and captivating as the stars themselves.
If there is one piece that’s not to be missed, it is the Hélios long necklace, named after the sun god of Greek mythology who would bring light to the world every morning by flying across the sky in his golden chariot.
The necklace is striking but elegant, composed of diamonds and cultured pearls suspended in a halo of white and yellow gold. At the heart of the necklace is a resplendent yellow Sri Lankan sapphire, weighing in at an astounding 50.38 carats.
The necklace, complete with a tassel of pearls, can be worn in three different lengths, with or without the pendant, and can be transformed into a diadem crowned by a large pear-shaped diamond that usually sits at the wearer’s nape. This transformation reflects the ever-changing light of day, wrought by Hélios traversing the skies in his chariot.
If real heavenly bodies are more to your taste, then you will love the Céphéide set. Cepheids are bright pulsating stars whose luminosity changes from week to week, rhythmically varying in diameter, temperature and brightness.
These literal twinkling stars inspired Van Cleef & Arpels to create a necklace and earrings out of colourful chalcedony and tanzanites, whose colour varies in a stunning green-to-mauve gradient. The necklace features baguette-cut tanzanites surrounding a chalcedony cabochon, while the earrings feature the tanzanites arranged harmoniously with tsavorite garnets, mauve sapphires and diamonds.
To further celebrate the ever-changing nature of the cepheids, both items in the set can be transformed; the necklace pendant can be worn as a clip, and the ones on the earrings can also be detached.
Finally, Van Cleef & Arpels has also created the Halley set, inspired by Halley’s Comet. The comet swings by Earth once every 75-76 years and is visible to the naked eye – to our knowledge, it is the only such comet that can appear twice in a human lifetime.
The brilliance and vivacity of the comet inspired the maison to create a necklace that is equally dazzling. A pear-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 11.29 carats symbolises the head of the comet, framed by bright white and yellow diamond rays emanating outwards to create a sense of movement and dynamism, suggesting the comet’s speed. The necklace is accompanied by a ring of similar design, with a pear-shaped white diamond symbolising the comet.
For the curious, Halley’s Comet will next appear in 2061, and will surely continue to inspire humanity for generations to come.
- The luxury brand revisits the stars a decade after its Les Voyages Extraordinaires collection, inspired by Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon
- The twinkling diamonds and sapphires speak to the moment where ‘nature encounters poetry and the imagination’, says Nicolas Bos, president and CEO