Luck Be a Lady: Why Van Cleef & Arpels Is Revisiting the Swinging ‘60s

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The proven staying power of a design is found in its constant desirability – a desirability that spans seasonal trends, flash-in-the-pan fads, and decades of ever-evolving styles. Back in 1968 – when beehives towered above fringed bangs, mod sheath dresses were worn with opaque tights and flats à la Twiggy, and The Beatles were causing a ruckus across the pond – it was the ‘Alhambra’ collection by Van Cleef & Arpels that pointed to the ultimate in luxury sensibilities.

Worn by the mods of the swinging ‘60s and the fabulous jet set alike, the long necklace decorated with charms reminiscent of the four-leaf clover made for the definitive mix-and-match fine jewelry of the day. Stylish women, like Princess Grace and Romy Schneider, looped them around their necks multiple times for a layered effect, wore multiple strands at different lengths, or opted for a single elegant strand. 

It was Jacques Arpels who inspired the whole thing. “To be lucky, you have to believe in luck,” he used to say, and he famously fathered four-leaf clovers from around the garden of his house in Germigny-l’Évêque as gifts to the staff. Forever memorialized in the legendary ‘Alhambra’ collection, the symbol of luck, good fortune, and harmony endures to this day.

In  2018, Van Cleef & Arpels saw fit to add to the already stellar line-up of ‘Alhambra’ jewelry with new combinations of material that include the lapis lazuli and diamonds encased in yellow gold, as well as rock crystals and pink gold.

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