Probably one of the finest pieces of jewelry we have seen recently was this totally original and utterly stunning Zip Necklace from Van Cleef’s Collection Une Journée á Paris.
It’s origins are in a celebration of the humble zipper AKA the closure system that was first used on aviator jackets and sailors uniforms in the 1930s. It was from here that in 1939 the Duchess of Windsor suggested to Renée Puissant, the brilliant creative director and daughter of Estelle and Alfred, that someone should make a piece inspired by this clever device. The result was an utterly stunning jewelled necklace that could be worn open as a necklace or closed as bracelet.
More than 50 years after first creating jewellery based on the zipper, Van Cleef & Arpels now offers three new interpretations, all transformable: each Zip is a necklace when the zipper is open and a bracelet when it is closed. Each of the marvelously supple new Zips – a triumph of craftsmanship – requires around 600 hours of work. They are all formed of narrow bands of white gold set with diamonds and bordered by tiny hooks that join together, and each is matched with a ring.
The first Zip forms a dynamic frieze of round, marquise, pear and baguette diamonds enhanced by an oval tab whose slightly curved shape is set with pear-shaped and marquise diamonds. The second suggests the ornamental elements of the Eiffel Tower: a floral frieze in diamonds that contrasts with the sober lines of the tab set with emerald-cut diamonds. The third is inspired by the Eiffel Tower at night: it features three lines of round diamonds and with a matching, wonderfully supple tab.
The price? Don’t ask, it’s alot…..
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