Van Cleef & Arpels Presents Le Secret Collection
The guardian of hearts, Cupid puts a finger to his lips beguilingly. In gold and diamonds, the charming son of Venus sets the tone for this High Jewelry collection, dedicated to secrets in their various forms. Faithful to the ancestral tradition of jewelry with meaning, it reinvents the personal talisman: repositories for memories, treasures or surprises that can be continually rediscovered. Whether caressed by the eye or the fingertips, they are a delight to open and handle, playfully revealing what lies within. Van Cleef & Arpels has made mystery one of its best-known signatures, this theme lends itself to an exploration that is both familiar and inventive. From hidden messages and labyrinthine paths, to puzzles and unexpected metamorphoses, the Maison deploys all its creativity to depict expressions of feeling. Drawing on cherished sources of inspiration such as nature and symbols of love and luck, over one hundred pieces evoke a stroll through a secret garden, where the visible and invisible meet. A sparkling leaf reveals a lucky ladybird, while a dove enveloped in Mystery Set™ rises into the air to deliver a tender message.
The language of stones offers the Maison an infinite palette of expression, from the bright colors of strong emotion to more tender shades. The flaming red of 28 Burmese rubies blazes on a transformable long necklace, while the Message des hirondelles necklace arouses the curiosity in gentle tones of mauve sapphires. On the Lune ring, white diamonds and black onyx alternate in a remarkable game of hide and seek. From secrecy to disclosure, each piece reflects the playful spirit of this collection, which re-enchants the art of High Jewelry with its revelations of hidden meaning. In the Maison’s workshops, one belief is fundamental: beauty should take pride of place over effort, with the hours spent at the workbench making way for the self-evidence of the finished piece. With its wealth of technical prowess, the Le Secret collection reflects this desire to create surprise and emotion thanks to the hand of Man. Here, wonder has its roots in an engraving that caresses the skin, a hidden mechanism or an undetectable transformation. The virtuoso savoir-faire of the Mains d’Or™ finds expression in the multiple secrets that nestle at the heart of these creations, like the Fleur bleue ring whose upper section pivots and rises to display a quote from Oscar Wilde engraved in the gold: “Une vie sans amour est comme un jardin sans soleil” (A life without love is like a sunless garden). The piece reveals itself to the person who has pierced its mystery.
Treasures of ingenuity, precision and patience were required to develop these mechanisms and ensure that they can be manipulated with fluidity and ease. The Marguerite d’amour clip evokes the natural gesture of stripping away, with petals that when pulled by the fingers turn to reveal their message. The Dentelle secrète bracelet changes its appearance thanks to a system of mother-of-pearl shutters that take the place of the onyx plates initially visible
in its openwork sections. From detachable clips to long necklaces that become necklaces and bracelets, the tradition of transformable pieces is renewed – giving rise to the Séraphîta ring, containing several jewels in one. It can hold two different bands at its center, one set with a 16.46-carat sapphire or one adorned with diamonds and mauve sapphires. The unexpected and the rare come together, raising the art of metamorphosis to its peak.
Cupid, the well-known god of love from Roman mythology, shares a secret with the onlooker by putting a finger to his lips. First depicted by the Maison in the 1940s, he appears here surrounded by his traditional symbols, perched on a heart-shaped rubellite of a pinkish purple hue. Intended to plant the seeds of love in the hearts of men and women, the bow crafted from a twisted thread of gold supports an opulent garland of pink and mauve sapphires, while the arrows are punctuated by pear-shaped and baguette-cut diamonds. The cherub’s rose-cut diamond face and the different settings (bead, prong, closed, plumard) are testimony to the virtuosity employed to portray love and its mysteries.