Pajamas were cool in the early ’70s—and not just for nighttime. Spring collections showed evening dress that was a cross between daywear and bedclothes. But how do you make loose knits and kimono shapes suitable for black tie? Add Van Cleef & Arpels. Take this navy ensemble modeled by Beverly Johnson in Vogue in February 1974: The jeweler’s diamond Rose de Noël clip secures her jersey cardigan over her slip dress.
Van Cleef & Arpels created the Rose de Noël in 1968 after the civil unrest that May in France. “Before that, the elegant upper-class French woman was wearing jewelry for lunch, different jewelry for cocktails, different jewelry for dinner, and different jewelry for evening events,” explains Nicholas Luchsinger, Van Cleef’s vice president of North American sales. “Then came May 1968 and nothing was as formal as it used to be. Fashion was relaxed. Flower patterns were popular. And Van Cleef & Arpels had to adapt itself very quickly.”
The result was this clip: Shaped like a Christmas bud popular in France, the Rose de Noël originally was crafted of diamonds and white or pink coral accents. Later years brought Roses de Noël in materials such as chalcedony and onyx and styles like earrings and pendants, plus necklaces made with multiple Roses. They’re still produced today.