Chanel 80th anniversary jewels
Chanelcelebrate the 80th anniversary of Gabrielle
Chanel's1932 Exhibition de Bijoux en Diamants. Previously Chanel
had designed only costume jewellery that was in her own words:
"refreshingly free of arrogance." Uncannily in touch with changing
times, Chanel did an about turn and in the midst of an economic
gloom, much like our current financial climate, launched an opulent
collection of diamond jewellery.
At the time the diamond jewels were displayed on wax mannequins
in a mirrored room on the rue Faubourg St Honoré guarded by a
strong security contingency that drew gasps from the crowds who
came to view them. The themes of the jewels previewed in Paris at
Couture week hark back to this exhibition with pieces called Cosmos
and Etoile, based on the original themes of the 1932 jewels.
"During the economic recession, when, in every sphere of life,
there emerged an instinctive desire for authenticity, and amusing
trinkets were once again put into their proper perspective," wrote
Chanel in 1932. Words we could heed today and a wisdom that has
endured and once again sparkling in the jewelsthat Chanel has
recreated to remember this bold move of Mademoiselle Chanel. The
80th anniversary collection of one off pieces that is
set to tour the world, pays homage to the audacious 1932 exhibition
with a collection of one-off pieces of high jewellery.
A highlight is the Comet Necklace with a 15 carat diamond set in
the heart of the star. With no clasps of fastenings, like the
original 1932 version, the question mark-shaped necklace in white
gold drapes around the body, with the large star nestled on the
décolleté followed by a trail of shining diamonds that sweep around
the neck. Another interesting piece is the Etoile Filante necklace
like the Comet, drapes around the neck but then cascades into a
flow of diamonds that end in a star brooch that can be pinned to
create the desired fall of diamonds. And this collection also
presents Chanel's very first tiara.