Most women wrestle with zipper through their lives. Those zippers are on dresses, slacks or jeans. I found this zipper while I was doing the required reading of what was going on in the world and I stumbled upon a zipper that I would not mind having to struggle. The well known fashion writer for the Washington Post and the New York times gave us this sparkling news about a zipper from Van Cleef & Arpels.
“The white gold teeth clench and then slide open — the zipper reveals throat and then breastbone, as a diamond tassel quivers in the cleavage.
Van Cleef & Arpels’s zipper necklace
The zipper necklace, set as a cluster of geometric gem stones, is a marvel of workmanship. And its history at Van Cleef & Arpels goes way back — to when a special client in 1939 asked the Paris jeweler for a diamond-encrusted working zipper.
This feat of technology for a madcap jewel was not achieved until 1951. By then, the client, Wallis Simpson, had become the duchess of Windsor, and she never did have a diamond zipper to close the back of her little black dress, as Elsa Schiaparelli, the surrealist designer, had suggested to her.
The sartorial link between dressmaker’s zipper and couture clothing is not a coincidence. The Van Cleef archives are rich with lace “collars” and gem-set cords that have linked the jeweler to fashion. “The zipper shows jewelry’s capacity for transformation — in its function and its ability to make the ephemeral eternal,” said Stanislas de Quercize, the chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels. ”
This is an except from an article entitled Jewelry: Unzip the Bling By SUZY MENKES,Published: January 31, 2011 in the New York Times and a version of this article appeared in print on February 1, 2011, in The International Herald Tribune.