Van Cleef & Arpels unveils its new Legends of Diamonds collection

Mastering seemingly simple gestures often requires prodigious technique. 20th century fashion designer Germaine Krebs, better known as Madame Grès, knew as much. Her most recognizable work, sculptural goddess dresses that seemed destined for Mount Olympus, had an effortless allure that belied the intricate draping, hand pleating and hundreds of hours of work they could entail.

It is the work of Krebs from the 1950s that Van Cleef & Arpels turned to, alongside his own archival creations from the 1990s, as a starting point for the clip Draperie Mystérieuse, one of 25 pieces from the legend of diamonds high jewelry collection. A collage of diamonds, gemstones and white gold mimics the shape of a cascading fabric, culminating in a graduated fringe of three pear-shaped diamonds. Part of the cache cut in Lesotho Legend, a 910 carat rough, the trio of stones are free of inclusions and exhibit remarkable brilliance.

Rows of emeralds and sapphires are placed using the mystery setting technique, which sets the stones side by side without claws or other visible support, a Van Cleef signature patented by the house in 1933. In this case, its execution is made more difficult because the lengths of these jewels adhere to a twist and twist plane rather than a flat plane. Precious folds? Please.

This story originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE

Sarah C. Figueiredo