A love of jewelry is in the genes....

This next item takes the term "disposable income" to an insane level. Van Cleef & Arpels, the French jewelry house established in 1896, has collaborated with Earnest Sewn on a limited edition line of jeans. The two styles of jeans feature buttons and chains in the jeweler's signature Alhambra design and should sell for between $10,000 and $12,000. My first thought (apart from who would spend that much money on a, rather tacky, pair of jeans) is what you're supposed to do with the button and chain once the jeans wear out, as they inevitably will? Do you spend more money to get the button re-worked into a ring? Or do the jeans just end up in a pile at the bottom of a closet (as my denim cast-offs seem to)?

If you're curious and want to see this, what I hope was originally considered as ironic, marriage of expensive jewelry and closet staple they will be on view at the Earnest Sewn store in New York before being sold at Christie's auction house.


Post a Comment 3 comments:

  • WendyB said...
    6:26 PM
    Definitely not the best jewelry look.
  • Anonymous said...
    3:53 AM
    The Cartier ambassador, who shares secrets and stories with the maharajas and maharanis and who is always asked to take a look at their precious jewels, is unimpressed when people fuss over him. ( www.olafvancleef.org)

    "I feel like Cinderella, and am scared I will promptly turn into a pumpkin the moment I get back home," says Olaf Van Cleef.

    In Chennai for an exhibition of his paintings, "A Thousand Fireflies: A Discovery of India," it's the more personal impressions of Olaf as an artist that will be up on display at Artworld-Sarla's Art Centre. At the first glance, his watercolours resemble plenty of precious stones scattered in multicoloured abundance. On closer inspection, you realise the little circles of colour, and each of the thousand little white dots have been carefully placed, as a jeweller might set his gems.

    It's a snowfall with each flake unique, a mosaic with each chip in a different hue of green. But the happy circus of colour and cultures is also the view outside the dark room, or at times vandalised by the Dutch artist's personal trials.

    Love for India

    A black streak defacing the canvas here, or a castrated self there, the kaleidoscopic arrangement of geometric shapes and colours are tinged with an intimate impression of the artist. And when they are happy they can be most exultant particularly if the inspiration is India. Why do so many Indian painters choose to work with such dark colours is a mystery to Olaf. "May be because there is so much sunlight that they prefer standing in the shade. I live in a place where winter is seven months long, I thirst for those brilliant colours that India offers," he says

    Visiting India is an old Van Cleef tradition. Olaf's great grandfather always made a pit stop at Bombay on his trips from Amsterdam to Java. His grandmother was a regular guest at the Taj, and quite an "original one", according to Olaf. "She would buy birds from the Crawford market and on the day she was leaving, she'd set them all free from her terrace." Famous enough for the staff to ask him decades later if he wasn't the son of Madame Van Cleef.

    His first visit at the age of eight or nine might be a slightly faded memory. "But India was real for me even before that. You see I grew with Kipling's "Jungle Book", with Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera and Sher Khan." He returned at the age of 25 and did the touristy circuits, the Goa and Pondicherry holidays, and like his grandmom fell in love with the country.

    There is the rich tradition, spirituality and all the other goodies that the world's oldest and wisest civilisation has to offer. But for Olaf Van Cleef, it's the freedom. "It's a country where `Less is more' as says Sri Aurobindo. You can be anonymous in India, you can live the life of another man, free from the baggage your family name carries," he says.

    Well the story of the Van Cleef family is not just about dazzling stones that infatuates most people, but also of Auschwitz, where more than 160 Van Cleefs died. "I am the first Van Cleef grandson to be Catholic," he tells you. Olaf lost his biological mother when he was 18 months old. (It's from his adopted mother Alice Giraud that he has learnt painting). Raised by his grandmom, jewels are among his earliest memories. "I was the height of her rings, there was always that huge diamond, its dazzle in my eye, its cold hard surface against my fingers." It's captured in a portrait of little Olaf, dwarfed by his grandma with her big coiffure and crocodile leather handbag.
  • 12:28 AM
    Definitely begs the question of what happens once the jeans wear out... though, I'd suspect the trend would wear out before the jeans do anyway! Cute idea though...

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