The French jewelry maison pairs modern Perlée-inspired designs with heritage classics
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
At Van Cleef & Arpels’ newly redesigned Beverly Hills flagship, there are, quite literally, a number of balls in the air. The historical corner building, home to the maison’s West Coast outpost for the past 50 years, now includes modernized salons awash in gravity-defying pastel-hued totems riffing on its circular Perlée designs.
The installations — commissioned from French sculptor Arthur Hoffner — artfully balance brass spheres evoking the Perlée collection’s sparkling gold hand-polished beads with marble blocks and aluminum tubes, much as the new 6,000-square-foot space elegantly juxtaposes recently launched pink-hued Brume de saphir earrings, vintage Alhambra designs, and art deco classics with bridal solitaires.
Inside the boutique, designed to evoke a Parisian apartment, rooms are divided into intimate salons. The first floor houses bridal high jewelry and also Salon 1906, named for the maison’s founding year and comprised of curated 20th-century pieces and archival documents. Baubles from the house have a long history of silver screen appearances, and Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly draped themselves in Alhambra talismans while off duty, too.
Pieces in the Art Deco salon are precursors to the 1946 Machine-style bracelet Cate Blanchett memorably donned during the first scene of the film Carol. “The West Coast has a historical and creative connection to the maison, ever since the doors of the Beverly Hills location first opened in 1969,” says Helen King, president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels Americas. Indeed, hand-painted wallpaper depicting verdant coastal gardens surrounding the new first-floor juice bar evoke elements of Southern California’s unique ecosystems.
Nearby, playful Flora and Fauna collections of geometric butterfly between-the-finger rings and airy heart-shaped petal Frivole earrings plus new Perlée watches set with lapis lazuli and malachite hiding functional dials reside in additional salons. Upstairs, the expanded second floor includes a dining room — an elegant perch from which to toast such current and future classics.
300 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-276-1161.
Feature image: Midcentury-inspired raffia furniture and hand-painted wallpaper bedeck the new juice bar on the first floor of VAN CLEEF & ARPELS’ Beverly Hills boutique.
This story originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of C Magazine.
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