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Van Cleef & Arpels : The magic of fine jewellery makes the Donkeyskin fairytale come true

Bague émeraude et diamants Van Cleef & ArpelsClip Robe couleur du temps de Van Cleef & ArpelsEver since its birth in 1896, the French jewellery House Van Cleef & Arpels is renowned for the poetry and dreaminess of its designs, mainly inspired by nature, fantasy and mythology. Its latest High Jewellery collection is based on Charles Perrault’s magical fairy tale “ Peau d'Âne” (Donkey Skin). Originally published in 1694, the story was brought to life in 1970 by Jacques Demy, starring Catherine Deneuve as the princess.

In 2012, Van Cleef & Arpels learned that the film was being restored and decided to express its vision of the story with its own brand-new interpretation, entitled “Peau d’Âne raconté par Van Cleef & Arpels”.
Van Cleef & Arpels clip couleur luneClip Van Cleef & Arpels Robe couleur soleilWith a little more than 100 pieces, this enchanting collection captures every element of the original story, from the princess’ childhood and her exile in the forest to her marriage to the prince.
Each jewel is unique and has been created by « Mains d'Or », the master jewellers from Van Cleef & Arpels' famous workshops, located on Place Vendôme in Paris. No detail has been left to chance; even the king’s otherworldly castle represented by a clip in white gold with a captivating Brazilian emerald weighing over 39 carats surrounded by diamonds, pink, blue and purple sapphires.

To fight off the advances of her father, Peau d'Âne asks him for the most impossible and extravagant dresses representing the weather, the moon and the sun. Van Cleef & Arpels re-imagined the dresses as outstanding brooches seemingly painted with precious gemstones: turquoise, Paraiba tourmalines and pale green garnets for the weather, tanzanites and sapphires for the moon, spessartite garnets, yellow diamonds, tourmalines and sapphires for the sun.

Collier biches de Van Cleef & Arpelsbroche château de Van Cleef & ArpelsThe “Biches” necklace, made up of 188 emerald balls from Afghanistan weighing a total of 555.37 carats, symbolizes the forest where Peau d'Âne hides. On the clasp, a touching scene is depicted with diamonds, turquoise and sapphires. Such refinement - pushed to its limits - is one of the hallmarks of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Finally, love is in the air with the « Gâteau d’amour » (Love Cake) ring, in reference to a key episode in the story where the princess drops her ring in the cake mix which ultimately helps the prince find her and marry her. The ring is made up of white gold and yellow gold with gradation of yellow to brown diamonds and one emerald-cut Zambian emerald of 4.48 carats.

The collection was launched at the emblematic and majestic Château de Chambord, the location of Jacques Demy’s film. This enchanting evening, which brought together over 200 selected guests, recreated some of the elements from the movie including the procession of fantastical animals: elephants, unicorns and greyhounds roaming to the sounds of horns and fireworks. The collection will be presented at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, in September. Timeless, astonishing and elegant, the jewels are as magical as the story they represent.