Van Cleef & Arpels Unveils Bridal Collection
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
French jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels recently unveiled its new bridal collection ``French Kiss,'' with a romantic fashion show featuring the wedding gowns of French haute couture designer Eymeric Francois.
Models wore Francois' exquisite wedding gowns, along with pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels' bridal collection like stunning diamond solitaire rings, intricate diamond-studded necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
The company described the ``French Kiss'' collection as a celebration of love. Elegant engagement rings featured sparkling diamond solitaires, emerald-cut diamonds and even heart-shaped diamonds. One necklace had a lace-like pattern, while another had clusters of diamonds creating flower patterns.
Francois' ultra-feminine, sensual but tasteful wedding gowns were the perfect foil for Van Cleef & Arpels' jewels.
One model wore a figure-hugging lace gown that revealed more than it covered, while another model wore a gown with gold zippers creating a corset-like shape. Particularly interesting was a Japanese kimono-inspired wedding gown, with butterfly sleeves and a sash.
In January, the French jewelry house participated in his fashion show during Paris Fashion Week. Francois, considered a rising star in the haute couture world, received a scholarship from LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton to present his collection.
Van Cleef & Arpels has a long history with the world of fashion and haute couture. The jewelry house has always looked at couture for inspiration, and has supported fashion designers. Its jewelry design is also recognized in the art world, with many of its jewels shown in top museums around the world.
The jewelry house itself was born from a love story between Alfred Van Cleef and Estelle Arpels. The couple married in 1898, and the first Van Cleef & Arpels shop was opened at no. 22 Place Vendome in Paris in 1906, where it remains as its flagship store until today.
Throughout the years, Van Cleef & Arpels jewels have played significant roles in the love stories of royalty like Monaco's Prince Rainer III and Princess Grace Kelly.
Van Cleef & Arpels also asked Paris-based paper crafts artist Frederic Saint-Aubin to create unique paper dolls for the ``French Kiss'' exhibition at its stores. The exquisite paper dolls wearing wedding gowns provide the background for the jewelry collection.
The collection can be viewed at the Van Cleef & Arpels boutiques at Shinsegae Main Store, Myeong-dong through July 3; and Galleria Luxury Hall, Apgujeong from July 4 to 11.