In a beautiful collaboration with French artist Charlotte Gastaut, Van Cleef & Arpels has imagined a world of fantasy gardens and mythical creatures to showcase its most precious high-jewellery collections. We take an enchanted look.
Since 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has built itself an imaginary world in which its jewellery pieces can reside, an infinite cosmos of enchanted gardens, mythical creatures and beautiful fairies. This was indeed the world we were introduced to when we stepped through the worn stone steps of the Pedder Building and into Van Cleef & Arpel’s Enchanting Garden, a poetic paradise created by French artist Charlotte Gastaut for the maison to showcase its high-jewellery creations and timepieces last month.
If it feels as if you’ve stepped straight into the pages of a beautifully illustrated children’s book, in a way you have, because that’s Gastaut’s speciality. The artist has illustrated more than 80 children’s books and has had a working relationship with Van Cleef & Arpels since 2018, when she created a graphic universe to illustrate the Quatre contes de Grimms high-jewellery collection.
Gastaut’s distinctive style is characterised by her love for bold splashes of colours, whimsical patterns and exotic birds and animals. In this latest collaboration, Gastaut is given the freedom to create a wholly new universe for Van Cleef & Arpels around nature, and to magnify its precious high-jewellery collections. “Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the only maisons that enables me to imagine the decor without restriction. I can go wild: colours, patterns, reptitions. Nature is in the spotlight,” says the artist.
Bathed in the mysterious glow of moonlight, the enchanting garden is inhabited by an abundance of flora and fauna, both familiar and peculiar. As we wander through the forest grounds, nocturnal birdsong echoes
in the air, adding to this new universe’s mystery. There’s plenty to see on your light garden stroll – the maison’s most treasured high-jewellery collections are displayed in little kiosks throughout, every corner you turn revealing
a new surprise.
On a different floor, Gastaut has brought us her vision of the enchanting garden during the daytime – this is where we mingle on the opening night. As models sashay down the aisle between our dinner courses, their necks and limbs adorned with sparkling jewels, we can’t help but think: Van Cleef & Arpels might have imagined all this, but we wouldn’t mind staying in this dream state a good while longer.
Photography Ruby Law
Styling Gennady Oreshkin
Hair and Make-up provided by Van Cleef & Arpels
Models Anna P and Aleksandra S at Primo