Florae is an exhibition organized by Van Cleef & Arpels in Paris. It takes place from the 10th of September to the 14th of November 2021. The brand invited the famous Japanese photographer and film director Mika Ninagawa for a carte blanche that would relate the brand’s famous floral jewelry with her saturated and colorful imagery. Ninagawa’s work is full with colors, natural patterns and, of course, floral settings: the world of Van Cleef & Arpels is transformed into this girly pop universe, shedding a new light on its key pieces. The exhibition is structured into three parts, each one presenting a different approach of the craft of jewelry: naturalist aesthetics, bouquets, and stylized aesthetic.
The scenography of the exhibition was designed by Japanese architect Tsuyoshi Tane, founder of the studio ATTA in Paris. He conceived an immersive setting based on light and mirrors: for example, some panels displaying Ninagawa’s photographs would suddenly fade and the image vanish to turn into the reflexive glass of a mirror. This dream-like labyrinth makes the visitor feel like Alice in Wonderland. Besides, the exhibition takes place in the Hôtel d’Évreux, a former mansion house in the center of Paris: the Hôtel is a treasure of classical architecture, which identifies Van Cleef & Arpels as a luxury brand.
No wonder that Kessler from Production Type was chosen for the exhibition logo. Even though Kessler is inspired by stone-carving and inscriptional typefaces, its thin upstrokes and serifs, the unusual proportion of its capital R and its very much recognizable A also evoke typefaces and publications from the Ashendene Press and more widely, from the Arts & Crafts movement, and their margins saturated with floral patterns. Accompanying text on poster, invitation and other items is set in Gotham.