A couple of years ago, following French choreographer and longtime collaborator Benjamin Millepied’s dance revival of Romeo and Juliet, Van Cleef & Arpels was struck with inspiration that led to the conception of a high jewellery range dedicated to the star-crossed lovers. It was somewhat an extension of the brand’s deep appreciation for the world of literature and William Shakespeare in particular especially after paying homage to A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a collection a while back.
Now reliving the timeless tale of the two protagonists, Van Cleef & Arpels has found another pièce de résistance in the Italian rose clip. The two flowers adorning the clip—referencing the rose mentioned by Juliet in the famous balcony scene—narrate the story with one embellished with diamonds, reflecting the youth and innocence of Juliet, and the other with rubies and diamonds, symbolising the burning passion of Romeo. A combination of pink sapphires, rubies and diamonds on the stalks and leaves elevate the visual imagery to a new level.
The Italian rose clip also parades the jewellery house’s unparalleled savoir-faire as it brings the brand’s signature Navette Mystery Set technique into play. Here, the rubies are cut into buff-topped navettes and fastened to a multi-layered structure—each one individually positioned on a golden honeycomb which contributes to the striking relief effect on the creation. And in true Van Cleef & Arpels fashion, the clip is accorded with a transformative feature as the rose motif can be detached and worn suspended at the end of a ribbon of diamonds or alone as a clip.
A true labour of love, the clip (and necklace) represents over two years’ worth of work that involves a constant dialogue between the design studio, the stone experts, the lapidaries, jewellers, stone setters and polishers. The Mains d’Or, the master craftsmen from the maison’s high jewellery workshops, alone spent 3,700 hours perfecting the piece and the result is nothing short of spectacular—a three-dimensional sculpture of precious stones that perfectly embodies modern-day Romeos and Juliets.
Swipe the gallery to take a look at Van Cleef & Arpels Italian Rose Clip (and necklace):