Champagne + gorgeous baubles pretty much equal the perfect day in my book! So you can imagine how thrilled I was to get the opportunity to privately view some of Van Cleef & Arpels most iconic and exquisite pieces at the Maison’s new international exhibit, “A Quest for Beauty: The Art of Van Cleef & Arpels” at the Bowers Museum. And the collection was stunning! It included never before seen pieces from Princess Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Hutton. There were also some famous awards show stunners on display, worn by starlets such as Jennifer Garner and Eva Mendes.
“We show the world how it should be, not how it is,” Alain Bernard, the President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels Americas mentioned to me. He continued, “It’s a world of imagination, a world of poetry, with fairies and butterflies….And our designs are timeless.” That they are.
For example, the famed Zip Necklace (which can also be worn as a bracelet) was originally a piece designed for the Duchess of Windsor in the 1930′s, but it still a very popular piece for Van Cleef today. And now, there are several variations of the original creation.
And the famed jewelry brand kicked off the festivities with a celebrity-filled cocktail party, attended by some of Hollywood’s most fashionable including Camilla Belle, Krysten Ritter and AnnaLynne McCord. Belle mentioned that she was excited to see some of the key Van Cleef & Arpels items from Elizabeth Taylor’s personal collection. She mentioned her fascination with Taylor as a strong woman in Hollywood and someone who she looks up to in terms of her beauty and talent in her films. While McCord doted on Angelina Jolie, saying that she was a triple threat as an actress and an activist and as “voice for the voiceless.” Always looking to style, AnnaLynne paired priceless Van Cleef & Arpels jewels with a $20 Jill Stuart dress that she found at a vintage store. She commented that she wanted to make her look more about her “darling jewelry.” I like her thinking!
The exhibit is open to the general public at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, CA. now through February 15, 2013. Go see it!