If you've seen The King's Speech you may have spotted the Zip Antique necklace, pictured above, around the Duchess of Windsor's neck. In one week it will be on display at the Cooper-Hewitt, alongside more than 300 other pieces of jewelry, timepieces and fashion accessories designed by Van Cleef & Arpels.
If a company primarily known for jewelry seems like an odd choice for the Cooper-Hewitt, you need only take a closer look at the company in question. As the Times reports,
"[Van Cleef & Arpels] has an amazing history, heritage, and archives. We have incredible creations in terms of design and style but also in terms of stones and technique," said Nicolas Bos, the company's New York-based global creative director and chief executive for the Americas. "This has never really been displayed or explained, and the public has never gotten to see a full overview of what Van Cleef & Arpels is about."
...It is Van Cleef & Arpels's position in the forefront of design that makes the house worthy of such an extensive show, said Sarah D. Coffin, the exhibit curator and the head of product design and decorative arts at the Cooper-Hewitt, a division of the Smithsonian Institution. "Van Cleef focuses on design first. It's the design that dictates what stones will be used and not vice versa," Ms. Coffin said.
"Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels" opens February 18th and will run until June 5th.