In the world of luxury fashion and jewelry, the term “icon” gets bandied about quite often these days to describe must-haves of the moment. But the list of truly iconic pieces deserving of that status belongs to a rarefied group, beloved by generations, that earned its credibility through its rich history.
THE CARTIER CULTURE OF DESIGN SHOWROOM
When it comes to such storied pieces, French Maison Cartier has minted bona fide icons in spades — from its adored Love collection to the edgy Juste un Clou lineup, classic Tank timepieces and many illustrious others. And now, at South Coast Plaza from May 3rd to 28th, guests can experience the exquisite craftsmanship behind these sought-after icons for themselves through a unique try-on experience at The Cartier Culture of Design Showroom, located at Jewel Court.
For horologists, and those who simply love haute design, the maison will showcase both the newly reimagined Santos de Cartier and Tank Française timepieces. With its signature eight screws around the bezel, The Santos de Cartier made its debut in 1904 modernizing watch-wearing from an era of pocket watches to wrist watches. Louis Cartier designed it for his friend, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who needed to be able to track the time during flight without pulling a watch from his pocket. It has long been a favorite among collectors for its design, ergonomics and technical prowess. And its newly reimagined lineup ups the ante with exciting additions, including interchangeable straps and adjustable links made possible by Cartier’s proprietary systems, increased anti-magnetic and water-resistant technologies and more.
The Tank Française, which joined the elegant Tank family in 1996, has garnered legions of fans with its timeless appeal, rectangular shape and integrated monobloc metal bracelet. And it was a game-changer and massive success for the Tank lineup. Its latest iteration has imbued the line with a more sinuous curvature, advances in ergonomics and a paired-down design which serves to highlight the signature features that have made the Tank Française an iconic piece.
The Cartier Culture of Design Showroom will, of course, feature two of the Maison’s most sought-after collections created by Italian designer Aldo Cipullo in New York back in the seventies — the storied Love and Juste un Clou collections. The Love bracelet, with its miniature screw motif and binding closure representing an unbreakable bond, can only be opened with the accompanying screwdriver specifically created for the bracelet. The daring design won the hearts of romantics and became an instant success poised for icon status when it was famously reported to have been gifted to legendary couples. It has since been worn by many bold-faced names, from princesses to actors on the silver screen.
But the true significance of The Cartier Culture of Design Showroom lies not simply in the individual design of these fabulous pieces, but rather in how the emergence of these iconic pieces heralded a shift in how we wear jewelry and timepieces. The free-spirited seventies ushered in a sartorial shift that upended staid ways of dressing and precious special-occasion jewelry and welcomed instead the idea of bolder luxury jewelry for everyday wear. So, that luxe arm stack that you have been either carefully curating or eyeing for years? Well, you can thank Cartier — and the daring and brilliant Aldo Cipullo — for that.
Better than that, go visit The Cartier Culture of Design Showroom and experience it for yourself. The Showroom will feature creations from the Icons collections, which include LOVE, Juste un Clou, Trinity, Tank, Ballon Bleu, Santos, and Panthère, as well as select pieces from the Clash de Cartier collection. Pieces from these collections and additional offerings by Cartier will be available for purchase in the Cartier boutique located on level 1 between Jewel and Carousel Courts.