OPENING DOORS TO THE NEWLY RENOVATED VAN CLEEF & ARPELS BOUTIQUE MAYFAIR

It seems as though love is at the heart of most of the jewellery designs I’ve encountered in my travels. Perhaps Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the most famous and influential. The first clue is in the very name – Estelle Arpels & Alfred Van Cleef – two people drawn together by a passion for each other and precious stones. I couldn’t wait to delve deeper into this love story and others on my visit to the newly renovated Van Cleef and Arpels London boutique, New Bond Street, Mayfair.

van cleef_invitation_bond street

 

The history of the great jewellery maison all started in the Place Vendôme in 1906 – in the heart of the city of love, Paris – 11 years after Alfred and Estelle were married in 1895. They shared a passion for beautiful design and precious stones, as well as a family tradition in the jewellery business. So, it was only natural the two would form a bond that would transcend anything they imagined in their timeless jewellery designs.

My excitement grew as I walked up to the Maison’s big, heavy doors and pushed them open with those beautiful VC&A monogram door handles – so iconic. Check out my Snapchat: LizaUrla and see for yourself!

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 23

Warm, inviting tones of soft beige and subtle shades of grey greet you from the inside of this newly renovated space. The beautiful staircase sweeping into the room gives it the movement that Van Cleef & Arpels perfected in their designs.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 1
Multi-faceted, just like their jewels, the room sparkles with beautiful glass and chrome. The staircase spirals up through many floors, giving me a bird’s eye view from the top.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 26
From the first floor, you can enjoy Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewellery collections, as well as their gorgeous watches and exquisite bridal pieces. I fell in love with this beautiful necklace.
SHOP THE LOOK:
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 15
I had a hard time parting with this necklace from the Van Cleef & Arpels High Jewellery collection. The colours, the design, my Stella McCartney jacket, it’s all just too perfect!
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 16
You could wear this Van Cleef & Arpels necklace with virtually anything at all.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 17
Or nothing at all, whatever is your fancy!
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 25
The iconic Van Cleef & Arpels Ballerina and Fairy clip collection came into being in the 1940s. This collection was a particular favourite of Louis Arpel, who loved the ballet.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 22
Up on the second floor, we’re going to encounter such beautiful creations as those inspired by nature – Cosmos, Lotus and Two Butterfly collections. Floor two is also home to Van Cleef & Arpels’ most iconic collection, that timeless symbol of luck, Alhambra.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 5
TWO BUTTERFLY BETWEEN THE FINGER RING, PINK GOLD, ROUND PINK SAPPHIRES, WHITE GOLD, ROUND AND MARQUISE-CUT DIAMONDS; DIAMOND QUALITY DEF, IF TO VVS. £17,300.00

The butterfly is another favourite motif of Van Cleef & Arpels, and the Two Butterfly collection is significant, and perhaps, emblematic of the pair’s famous bond and passionate union. Check out the video here.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 7

TWO BUTTERFLY BETWEEN THE FINGER RING, YELLOW GOLD, ROUND TSAVORITE GARNETS, WHITE GOLD, ROUND AND MARQUISE-CUT DIAMONDS; DIAMOND QUALITY DEF, IF TO VVS.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 9
The butterfly motif is explored in some rare and exquisite detail in the Butterfly Collection. The precision and symmetry that goes into each one of these Flying Beauties is nothing less than divine perfection.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 8
FLYING BUTTERFLY BETWEEN THE FINGER RING, WHITE GOLD, ROUND DIAMONDS; DIAMOND QUALITY DEF, IF TO VVS. £28,500
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 10
FLYING BUTTERFLY BETWEEN THE FINGER RING, WHITE GOLD, PINK GOLD, ROUND AND MARQUISE-CUT DIAMONDS; DIAMOND QUALITY DEF, IF TO VVS, £24,700
Up on the third floor is a private salon with the most exceptional pieces on display. This was by far my favourite collection.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 12
BYSANCE NECKLACE, 1972, INDIAN INSPIRATION BAG, 1964, CACHEMERI PENDANT CLIP 1969, INDIAN INSPIRATION RING, CIRCA 1970
This lace bow clip was popular with the ladies in the 1940s. Made of platinum, gold and diamonds, it is lightweight enough to wear with the most delicate of evening gowns. Royalty loved this collection.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 3
LACE BOW CLIP 1945, PLATINUM, GOLD, DIAMONDS
But I promised you a love story, isn’t there just the thing in my goody bag: Van Cleef & Arpels Treasures and Legends. I couldn’t wait to dive into this book and share some of its treasures with you. For starters, after reading about Wallis Warfield Simpson and the incident of a burglar making off with some of her jewels, I’ve started wearing more jewellery when I leave home! Just like she did on that fated night. She wore one of the first pieces Edward (Prince of Wales) had given her in 1935. An exquisite necklace with a double riviere of rectangular diamonds, and a series of fourteen perfect emeralds, worth 200,000 Euros.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 18

CERFS-VOLANTS 1 MOTIF BETWEEN THE FINGER RING

There is such movement and fluidity in each piece that they come to life when you wear them.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 19
It’s amazing how beautiful jewellery and famous love stories follow each other. This jewellery Maison has been bringing famous lovers together for decades. To name a few: Wallis Warfield Simpson and Edward VIII; Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco; Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 20
DIAMOND DANCER DECOR CLIP, HIGH JEWELRY COLLECTION
Style and movement are two words that come together in every Van Cleef & Arpels creation. The attention to detail is amazing. Each piece flows from an asymmetrical design of exquisite beauty.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 21
Perhaps one of the most charming aspects of the Edward and Mrs. Simpson love affair with jewellery, were the inscriptions. In 1936, Edward had the words, ‘Hold Tight’ engraved on the clasp of a beautiful ruby and diamond bracelet. A stunning necklace to match of 101 rubies was inscribed with the words, ‘My Wallis from her David’ (Edward’s family nickname).
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 13
Another fascinating love story in this book is the one between Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III. The lovely new bride was to receive many gifts from admirers on her wedding day, not least of which from her new husband.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 14
She was showered with bridal gifts – a Van Cleef & Arpels ribbon bracelet, and a Daisy clip with diamonds for petals and a large cabochon sapphire flower in the centre.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 27

Prince Rainier chose for his new bride a stunning engagement set of diamonds and cultured pearls by Van Cleef & Arpels – a three-strand necklace with matching bracelet, ring and earrings.

But there was one gift by Van Cleef & Arpels that didn’t make it, because it was so admired by the purchaser – the Greek millionaire Aristotle Onasis gave it to his wife instead!

Speaking of love affairs and magnificent gifts of jewellery, I am collaborating with a famous psychologist on an article about men and women and tokens of affection. How can we get men to gift more jewellery? Stay tuned!

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 2

PERLÉE RINGS, WHITE & YELLOW GOLD FROM £600

Simple elegance, each gold bead in the Perlée collection is polished by hand and contains a wish.  Imagine the fun you could have with these and your loved one, making wishes together. Such a wonderful gift –an ode to elegance and modernity.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS_GEMOLOGUE_London_9 Bond Street_Liza Urla_Jewelry Blog 24
I just love reading about the inspiration behind each famous jewellery collection. It sets up such a wonderful connection with jewellery, making it more personal than ever. I feel the same connection with each of my own pieces of jewellery. The stories behind each, perhaps, aren’t as exciting, but they are dear to me and that just increases their value.
Experience this wonderful collection and grand re-opening yourself at the Van Cleef & Arpels Mayfair Boutique, 9 New Bond St., London.

GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.

*Photographed by Yulia Harding. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. 

All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE. Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

Jewellery Designers

View all Designers

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.