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Van Cleef & Arpels: Perlée Perfection

Van Cleef & Arpels: Perlée Perfection

Van Cleef & Arpels’ seasonal campaign puts the spotlight on Perlée, with new and playful additions that highlight the maison’s gold-beading technique.

Perlée, in English, simply means beaded, and once indicated a technique that was integral to Van Cleef & Arpels, in which precious-metal beads are shaped into varying sizes using the lost wax casting technique, then hand-worked by craftsmen to give each bead a luscious roundness and gleam. These spherical golden beads have found their way into many of the maison’s creations. As early as the 1920s, perlée was used to emphasise designs, outlining gemstones and watch dials to give the jewellery pieces a unique textural dimension. Later, perlée featured heavily in pieces like Couscous and Bagatelle in 1948, as well as the Twist in the ’60s, where gold is braided with coral, turquoise and cultured pearls in a playful and completely distinct design.

Model wears rings and cuff bracelet from the collection

The popular “la boutique” menagerie that’s populated Van Cleef & Arpels’ history since the 1950s sees the delightful animals outlined in golden beads. And, of course, ever since the unveiling of the Alhambra collection in 1968, the spheres of gold has become a vital design element in the four-leaf clover motif. 

The Perlée wasn’t born as a design motif, but that’s what it eventually became when Van Cleef & Arpels elevated the savoir-faire into a whole new collection in 2008. The motif was quickly embraced and today has become a favourite collection within the maison’s portfolio. 

Simple as they are, the golden beads come together in unexpected ways to give the collection life. Distinct designs include the Perlée pavé cocktail rings in rose gold and white gold that show the beaded outline extended to the precious metal band, and Perlée couleurs rings inspired by an archival design from 1968, that show the perlée beads in rows of five, in rose gold and yellow gold, with streaks of round rubies, round emeralds or round sapphires featured in the centre. 

This year, new additions to the ever-growing family include the Perlée secret pendant watch, which is worn around the neck as a long sautoir necklace. Joyfully feminine and delightfully functional, the discreet jewellery timepiece hides a Swiss quartz-powered watch dial behind an ingenious perlée beaded cover in gold and beads of round rubies, emeralds or sapphires.

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Last but not least, who says transformable jewellery is confined to the realms of high jewellery? The Perlée couleurs transformable long necklace in yellow gold comes with interchangeable pendant pieces in coral, onyx and turquoise. 

Source: Prestige Online

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