Cover Left model: Perlée ear studs in yellow gold set with diamonds; Perlée cuff in pink gold set with diamonds; Perlée ring in yellow gold set with diamonds. Right model: Perlée Clovers hoop earrings in pink gold set with diamonds; Perlée Signature ring in pink gold; Perlée watch in pink gold set with diamonds. (Photo: Courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels)

Modern design meets whimsical fantasy in the form of Van Cleef & Arpels’ beloved Perlée jewellery

One of the perks of being a jewellery editor is getting to take a peek at what goes on behind the scenes. From viewing early sketches straight from an artisan’s workbook to handling raw materials before they’re cut and polished into faultless shapes, the background of the creation of a piece of jewellery is always enchanting and, without doubt, Van Cleef & Arpels’ signature creations are a sight to behold.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Perlée collection is modest when compared to Van Cleef & Arpels’ other jewellery lines. The mechanisms behind the maison’s transformable Quatre Contes de Grimm pieces and its iconic Zip necklace, for example, demonstrate the full grandeur of the work of its Paris-based craftspeople. But this demure line, which has become emblematic of the brand since its launch in 2008, beautifully captures Van Cleef & Arpels’ sense of imagination and romance.

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Engraved with the arabesques of the maison’s calligraphed signature and polished to a mirror finish, each Perlée piece is distinctively modern and easy to wear. In addition to emphasising the delicate beauty of the varied gemstones, which range from diamonds and malachite to turquoise and carnelian, Perlée celebrates the brand’s long history of using glistening gold beading, which was introduced in the early 1920s.

There are plenty of show-stopping pieces in this collection, which is dominated by lashings of yellow, white and rose gold. Van Cleef & Arpels’ rich heritage and distinctive DNA breathes life into what is already an exquisite example of jewellery making and style.

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