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In 1971, Cartier disavowed its classical French roots in favor of NYC-style nuts, bolts and nails in its historic Juste un Clou collection—a raw, edgy line from Italian designer Aldo Cipullo, who designed the iconic Cartier Love bracelet. Last Thursday night, the brand resurrected Juste un Clou with a red-carpeted flurry of champagne and fox fur at Cartier’s Fifth Avenue flagship. The new collection features 12 variations on the original Juste un Clou centerpiece –an 18-karat-gold nail bent into a cuff—including rings in the same design and new versions of the bracelet in rose and white gold, set with pave diamonds.
Upstairs at the Cartier Mansion, guests got an early look at an exhibition commemorating Cartier’s love affair with the gritty, rebellious city that inspired Juste un Clou. “Cartier & Aldo Cipullo, New York City in the ’70s” (open to the public through May 8) displays nearly 40 archival jewelry designs, vintage Vogue spreads, drawings and scrapbooks. While the brand presents itself as playfully rough-edged in the exhibition—next to a photograph of a bejeweled Elizabeth Taylor, witness a close-up of the crossed, hairy arms of a man wearing the entire original collection—there is no undercutting Cartier’s elegance. Even the nails come with diamonds. At 653 Fifth Ave.; rings, from $2,175 and bracelets, from $6,250; justeunclou.cartier.us.