Published: September 2009
By Gigi Guerra
With its shimmering glazed-tile walkways, elaborate honeycomb-domed ceilings, and soaring arabesqued archways, it’s easy to see why the Alhambra—that breathtaking monument to Moorish architecture, a onetime sultan’s palace in Granada, Spain—has enchanted artists and scholars for nearly 800 years. Not surprisingly, it has also captivated architects, fashion editors, and designers alike. To wit: the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra jewelry collection, a tribute to its namesake introduced in 1968 and updated over the years. Each necklace, bracelet, pair of earrings, or ring—whether a special-edition Vintage design combining malachite or lapis with textured gold, or the newly released Magic style with carnelian and tigereye—is defined by its quatrefoil motif, the symbol of balance and harmony that recurs throughout the citadel. Surely the sultans would have approved.