I couldn’t think of a better way to start this week then by sharing the absolutely stunning new high jewelry collection from CHANEL. Premiered on Monday in Paris, the Signature de CHANEL collection was unveiled to the international press ahead of the house’s Haute Couture presentation this week. However, before I start waxing poetic about this latest collection, a wee history lesson.
In 1932, Mademoiselle Chanel created her one and only fine jewelry collection. With the world in the midst of the Great Depression, she wanted to create a collection of pieces that was both riotously optimistic and achingly elegant. Centered around a celestial motif of comets, stars and suns as well as feathers and bows, her desire was, in her own words, to “cover women with constellations.” The collection was revolutionary, it was designed not only by a woman but by one who had previously only designed costume jewelry. And as with anything she did, Mademoiselle Chanel further shook up the rarified design world in which she operated by showcasing the spectacular jewels on wax busts instead of the traditional and rather stayed velvet trays so favored by the other great jewelers of Paris. Unfortunately and rather tragically, there was such a scandal in the world of fine jewelry around her collection that Mademoiselle Chanel was forced to destroy her creations. However, a single piece was found in the later 20th century and is safely tucked away in the house’s archives.
As for the Signature de CHANEL collection of high jewelry, so called because of it being truly exception and rare, it was also influenced by the world of Mademoiselle Chanel. A devotee of horse racing, she was inspired by the quilted jackets the stable boys wore around the racetracks. This quilted motif has become one of the most renowned of the house’s totems and is seen on everything from clothing to the iconic 2.55 bag. The 48 pieces that comprise this latest high jewelry collection pay tribute to this famed motif to create a collection that perfectly captures the brand’s delicate balance between the masculine and the feminine and honors the modernity so loved by Mademoiselle Chanel and also Karl Lagerfeld.
Set in white gold, the collection features breathtaking diamonds, azure blue sapphires, pearls, aquamarines, rock crystal, and mother-of-pearl marquetry in designs that are both fluid and sensual. The Signature de CHANEL collection is a testament to not only Mademoiselle’s enduring vision but also the staggering skill of the house’s artisans who create and craft pieces of jewelry that are nothing short of artistic masterpieces.