Paris and Van Cleef

Just having returned from Paris, I'm still in awe of all the beauty and culture this fantastic city has to offer. I lived in Paris while I studied French Culture at La Sorbonne, and fell in love with the city as many people do.  Since then I return almost annually, and yet I always find new things to do and visit.  This year I was lucky enough to check out the Musee Des Art Decoratifs' exhibit of one of my favorite jewelry houses, the legendary Van Cleef and Arpels.

Even though I was super excited to see these amazing jewels, I was also thrilled when I saw the exhibit itself.  It was breathtaking to say the least.  I had never seen jewelry displayed in such an original and unique way. The museum itself is very traditional, so I was pleasantly surprised that they went for a futuristic look when it came to the jewelry cases.  Just leave to Van Cleef and the French to take a simple concept and make it out of this world. 

The exhibit itself was a retrospective of all their work since its inception.  With four hundred fabulous jewels on display, and archives and other materials revealing the secret jewelry design inventions passed on from generation to generation, this dreamlike journey was one of my favorite things during my stay. 

Even though the exhibit displays were exceptional, they paled in comparison to the fabulous jewels that they housed. I saw so many pieces, some I had seen before, and some I had only seen before in books.  All that beautiful jewelry in one place made my head dizzy with excitement. Even though I was so overwhelmed but such beauty and talent, I did take my time to go over the pictures and documents. Here are my favorite pieces, in no particular order.

Ludo bracelet, Paris, 1939

Décor Ègyptien bracelet, Paris 1924

Clip Chrysanthème, Paris, 1937
Zip necklace-bracelet, Paris, 1951
Pivoine clip, Paris, 1937

Seeing this exhibit was very inspiring, and reminded me why I keep on returning to Paris. Yes it is the City of Lights, and yes it is very romantic, but to me it symbolizes a creative rebirth that makes me return home full of new ideas.  

The exhibit will be open up until February 10th of next year.  If you happen to be in Paris, I highly recommend it, even if you are not that into jewelry.  The history of the museum and the feeling you get when you are there makes the trip worth it.  Really, don't miss it.  I'm so happy I was there, at the right place, at the right time.

Love Always
Dani K

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