Chanel was at the Biennale des Antiquaires to present the '1932' collection of jewels that celebrate the 80th anniversary of Gabrielle Chanel's Bijoux de Diamants of 1932 in Paris. For the event, Chanel has created 80 diamond jewels that echo the themes of the original collection. The motifs dear to Madame Chanel and present throughout her work include stars, comets, suns, fringes, ribbons and feathers as well as Leo, the lion, her star sign. Chanel loved to wear her jewellery with as much liberty as her clothes and often wore several pieces stacked-up and was known to mix real gems with costume jewels. Always experimenting, her 1932 diamond collection could be worn in the hair or draped across a shoulder and 'open' rings made diamonds float over the finger as if by magic. Read more about the 1932 exhibition by clicking here.
Like Chanel's original 1932 jewels, these re-interpretations are easy to wear with no clasps or fastenings and move with the same ease as her couture creations. Take the feather brooch that almost looks as if it is going to flutter with the slightest breeze and is so well articulated that it falls on the skin allowing it to be worn as a bandana, a brooch or pinned to the hip.
The star of the show is the Comète necklace that swoops around the neck and displays an impressive 15 carat white diamond set into the heart of the shooting star but there is plenty more.
An original Pathé film reel in black and white covers the original opening and best captures the audacity and admiration that exhibition commanded. Here is a transcript of the sound track that brings to the 1932 exhibition to life and puts these jewels into context.
"In her famous apartment on Fauburg Saint Honoré Chanel launches her new diamond creations. Wax busts protected behind glass rest on their plinths like antique torsos with ravishing eyes, curled lashes and genuine hair untouched by any perm, lily and rose is their complexion. Only a woman can scatter precious stones so gracefully through hair with jewels cascading like gossamer ribbon. Irregular stars on invisible thread echo the shape of the tiara. The Big Dipper becomes a pendant. There are inimitable bows and glittering suns of yellow diamonds set in gold. A comet coils gently around a neck without enclosing it completely. A bracelet - just a simple twist. Open rings display stones which sit magically between fingers. Chanel brings diamonds back into vogue by marrying art with apparent casualness."