Van Cleef & Arpels’ beloved clips

In Paris, the special exhibition “The clip, a stylish and elegant piece” by Van Cleef & Arpels celebrates a jewelry piece embodying the Maison’s vision of femininity


Synonymous of femininity and elegance, the brooches are one of the most original details to adorn a collar, decorate a jabot, or bring sparkle to the hair or a belt, which are currently one of the most fashionable and coveted accessories. Van Cleef & Arpels has always dedicated a special attention to this accessory, creating unique pieces with the impeccable savoir faire, now the Maison is offering us the chance to admire them in the most unusual and fascinating forms with the exhibition "The clip, a stylish and elegant piece" set up in Paris till March 30th in the brand’s Place Vendôme boutique, located in the Galerie du Patrimoine. Fifty-four creations accompanied by documents from the archives, from the 1920s to today, give us the opportunity to remember the styles and forms that characterized different historical periods. Ballerinas and fairies full of charm and grace, lovely animals like foxes and lions, and then the ears of wheat, leaves, chrysanthemums, thistles, feathers and flames, perfect circles, lace bows: these are the protagonists of the precious clips by Van Cleef & Arpels, cleverly adorned with gold, platinum and precious gems. In a real journey suspended between dream and fairy tale, there are so many stories to discover.

  • chrysanthenum clip, 1937

    chrysanthenum clip, 1937

  • vine leaf clip, 1951

    vine leaf clip, 1951

  • lace bow clip, 1949

    lace bow clip, 1949

  • Lion ébouriffé clip, 1967

    Lion ébouriffé clip, 1967

  • Chat Malicieux clip, 2007

    Chat Malicieux clip, 2007

Van Cleef & Arpels’ iconic Ballerina and Fairy clips, for example, were created in New York in the early 1940s - they were considered symbols of joy and hope during the dark days of World War II. The Ballerinas were inspired by Louis Arpels’ passion for the world of dance. Caught in a variety of dance poses, their costumes sparkled with diamonds and were accentuated with rubies and emeralds, mounted in platinum. The Fairy clips were inspired by the cartoons of the same period. One of the first clips was the "Dragonfly" brooch, Barbara Hutton and Sharon Stone are just some of the actress who loved and owned that model. Also the animal clips have a very interesting story. In 1954, Van Cleef & Arpels opened “La Boutique” at 22 Place Vendôme with the aim to offer a younger and more accessible line of jewelry to a broader range of clientele. In that occasion, they introduced cartoon-style animal clips that added a playful note to the Maison’s creations. They were so charming and delightful, even icons such as Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy Onassis couldn’t resist collecting them.

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