Now one can travel into the past by coming across the book revealing the chicest details of balls of the 20th century. Nick Fuolkers, the author of the book, teamed up with Nicolas Bos, Van Cleef & Arpels' creative director, to showcase his book alongside so to say 'visual aids' – tremendous, breathtaking collections of jewelry like those worn on the balls many years ago.
To see this beauty one should have visited Paris during couture fashion week, where Van Cleef & Arpels had a chance to boast awesome pieces of jewelry claimed to represent the realia of aristocracy life. All pieces were showcased on five tables to represent each ball separately: starting with Winter Palace Ball, going through the Ball of the Century, the Black and White Ball, the Oriental Ball and ending up with the Proust Ball. All the pieces are not for sale... yet, and it should be said they're priceless.
The first table is dedicated to the ball of 1903 taking place in Saint-Petersburg. All the pieces are amazing but one of eye-catching is the Loup Diamants décor earrings that definitely reveal the spirit of balls being made in a shape of masks with a number of cultured pearls hangings.
Coming up to the second table (Venetian ball was held in 1951) you will see Eventail décor clip. Encrusted with diamonds and pink sapphires, this is a tiny piece of creativity. Made as fan it can also open and close, just like real fan.
Judging from the name, the Black and White Ball had preferably contrast jewelry pieces: diamonds and onyx. This was the idea of Truman Capote to host such a tremendous ball to mark the climax of the writer's career and his success. Though the idea of black & white sounds too simple, but each of 500 guests tried to represent it in a most luxurious way, take a look at Diamond and Onyx Dancer décor clip.
The Oriental Ball was held three years later in Paris and was much more colorful than the previous one. All pieces are pleasurable and refined, so that it's hard to pick the best one. For instance, there is the Makara ring that embraces so many colors and gems: amethysts, yellow sapphire, turquoise, sapphires, peridots and of course diamonds.
The last ball described in the book was dedicated to Marcel Proust's 100th birthday. The demand for ball was to be dressed as one of Proust's characters and wore a suitable jewelry. The Miss Audrey ring is gorgeous, with white and pink diamonds and big natural pearl. Simply put, it was the most luxurious, dazzling and affluent exhibition ever, if not to take into account all those balls of course.
Photographs courtesy Van Cleef & Arpels