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W hen the daughter of a precious gem dealer met the son of a stone cutter, it was love at first sight. Estelle Arpels married Alfred Van Cleef in 1895, and they founded Van Cleef & Arpels in 1906, across from the Hotel Ritz in Paris, at 22 Place Vendôme. More than a century later, Dallas is feeling the love, too. The first freestanding Van Cleef & Arpels boutique in our city opens Thursday, September 23, in Highland Park Village, in a 2,600 square-foot Art Deco-inspired two-story building with interiors designed in gold, onyx, and dove gray hues and intricately paneled walls decorated in gold leaf. As a backdrop for one of the most storied jewelry maisons in the world, the second story has a private salon and private dining room. The Dallas maison showcases the complete collections, both iconic and new, as well as high jewelry and timepieces collected and coveted by some of the house's most storied customers — the Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, the Aga Khan, and Marlene Dietrich, among them. The jeweler was charged with creating the crown of Empress Farah Pahlavi for her 1967 coronation, which took 11 months to complete, and tiaras have been fashioned for Princess Grace of Monaco and Barbara Hutton. Some say it's the proprietary Mystery Set technique employed in the high jewelry that sets Van Cleef apart. Or it might be the transformable Zip necklace or the enchanting brooches, necklaces, and rings inspired by nature, culture, and the imaginary world, with only a select few created each year. A labor of love, indeed. Van Cleef & Arpels, Highland Park Village, FROM PARIS WITH LOVE Marlene Dietrich wearing a bold Van Cleef & Arpels ruby-and-diamond bracelet, 1937, sold at Sotheby's in 1992. Historical photo from the book Van Cleef & Arpels, Place Vendôme, 1906 Galaxie Secrete High Jewelry watch with eight-carat sapphire, colored sapphires, and diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels Nuée d'émeraudes necklace, with 62 carats of emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds; from the 2021 high jewelry collection The Duchess of Windsor in Van Cleef & Arpels, Venice 1956 56

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