Van Cleef & Arpels’ universe is one which deeply moves with its poetry, dreamy creations and sense of marvel. An enchantment which expresses itself through twelve elegant princesses, dancing to the music of a dream, and photographed by Sonia Sieff.
This year, Van Cleef & Arpels’ high jewellery collection goes to the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales. The Quatre Contes de Grimm takes us to a world of beauty and magic, where fantastic characters inhabit a luxuriant nature.
Enchanted castles take us to sumptuous balls, where dancing princesses, a Maison’s signature creation, show all their grace. Opulent dresses as delicate as lace, and sparkling shoes dancing away with the music – these princesses take us back to our cherished childhood memories.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses is the tale which inspired these sweet dancing figurines, taken to our contemporary world by Sonia Sieff’s photographic project.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Van Cleef & Arpels have been designing fairies and princesses since the 1940s, a tradition that continues to these days.
The Princesses’ names are inspired by the divinities of day and night, and they are ready in their amazing dance dresses for the most amazing ball.
Princess Danica seems to be waiting for her Prince, in her dress of polished gold, its star-shaped motifs encrusted with diamonds and yellow sapphires.
Princess Éos seems to courtesy in her openwork dress, whose gentle tones combine diamonds with pink and mauve sapphires.
Finally, Princess Héméra coquettishly hides her face behind her fan, wearing a costume that layers a fabric of blue and mauve sapphires over the diamond and emerald pleats.
The details and decorations are representative of the Maison’s highest artisanal savoir-faire: precious shoes, a diadem, a necklace or a fan.
With their pose and attitude, they represent one of the twelve princesses from the Grimms’ tale.
Sonia Sieff & Van Cleef & Arpels
A photographic idyll which started with her personal take on the Alhambra Collection’s on the iconic jewel’s fiftieth’s anniversary, Sonia Sieff embraced the Maison’s magic once again, to transpose it in an utterly feminine and contemporary setting.
Sonia Sieff is the daughter of Jean-Loup Sieff and of Barbara Rix, but she was able to make a name for herself by imposing her personal style and becoming a talented photographer and a successful fashion movie director.
Sonia loves the light, she carefully studies it, and she is obsessed by one’s personality, the body, a nude figure, endeavouring to glorify the bodies through plays of black and white or through pure light – like in her book from 2007, Les Françaises, published by Rizzoli, which collects 155 of feminine naked bodies.
Her attention to volumes, to perspective lines, and to light highlighting the subject are paramount and are those distinctive traits which make this latest project for Van Cleef & Arpels so interesting and able to merge the Maison’s “Time of Dream” with fashion photography’s sharp and crisp communication style. CC