Designed to commemorate the world’s first high jewelry collection – 90 years after Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel dazzled the world with “Bijoux de Diamants” – Chanel has released images of the first piece from the “1932” high jewelry collection of the house, the Allure Céleste necklace. And we are still out of breath.
The year 1932 was a pretty miserable time to live. It had been three years since life had been suspended, when Black Thursday of 1929 plunged the world into the dark years of the Great Depression, and when the exuberant growth of the 1920s faded into vague feelings of nostalgia. These were dark times, overshadowed by economic recession and inflation, combined with collapsing consumer demand and soaring unemployment.
But there was hope. “Nothing better to forget the crisis than to feast on beautiful novelties, which the know-how of our craftsmen continues to reveal”, declared Gabrielle Chanel.
And so, 1932 became the perfect time to innovate and make room for hope and renewal. From the beginning of this year, a series of great events had unfolded, throwing a positive light on a period of crisis. Elwyn Dirats and Jacques Auxenfants launched the Hot Club de France, spreading the swing sound of jazz to the rest of the world. The gilded stuccoes of the Opéra Garnier saw the birth of Un Jardin sur l’Oronte under the direction of Philippe Gaubert. A crowd of 200,000 attended the long-awaited launch of the SS Normandie ocean liner. And in November of the same year, the London Diamond Corporation revealed an inspiring idea to restore the diamond market to its former glory.
The London Diamond Corporation turned to a woman, a visionary accessories designer, who applied the same modern design principles to clothing. A woman with a brilliant mind, whose costume jewelry had recently been praised by the international press. She was a woman of power, at the head of a multi-faceted empire that grew day by day, and a friend of the arts and artists – the beating heart of her time. The woman they chose to breathe new life into the diamonds was Gabrielle Chanel.
Tired of misfortune and gloom, she chose the possibility of dreams and the vitality of beauty. Mademoiselle Chanel created “Bijoux de Diamants”, the first high jewelry collection in history. He sent Diamond Corporation shares soaring in two days, transformed an entire industry and revitalized an era.
It is said that Coco Chanel nourished her determined search for rigor and purity from her childhood in Aubazine. The Cistercian abbey bathed in the light of the Corrèze sky would be for her an inexhaustible source of energy and eternal inspiration. For example, the sunlit hallway paved with mosaics of the sun, crescent moons and five-pointed stars, which had been trampled on for centuries.
“Bijoux de Diamants” was the expression of a very personal style vocabulary and innovative ideas, an application of the principles of haute couture to fine jewelry. Designed around the units of theme, time and place, it was quite unlike anything jewelers were doing at the time.
“I look for the patterns that best highlight the brilliance of the diamonds – the star, the cross, the fall of the graduated stones and the large sunray cabochons”, said Mademoiselle Chanel at the time.
Much more than its name suggests, “Bijoux de Diamants” was a dazzling and opulent collection, made up of around fifty pieces of white and yellow diamonds set in platinum and yellow gold. Together they draw a map of the sky, covered in comets, stars, the moon and the sun, while other inspirations were also found in the floppy ribbon bows, dancing fringes, airy feathers and the graphic purity of spirals, circles. , squares and crosses.
The jewels are presented from November 7 to 19, 1932 in an exhibition of a kind never seen before, preceded by a two-day opening attended by the international press and high society. And the timing – at a time when everyone was looking for the perfect holiday gift – was perfectly calculated.
November 5 – a symbolic number for Gabrielle Chanel, who always presented her haute couture collections on February 5 and August 5, and used it in the name of her perfume created in 1921 and her handbag in February 1955 – the opening s opened in his private mansion at 29 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. There, at 18andsalons of the Hôtel Rohan-Montbazon – his home for nearly 10 years – the worlds of the arts, the press and high society converged. Beneath the high ceilings and the golden paneling polished like the sun, between the gigantic mirrors, the crystal lamps and the Coromandel screens, Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso and Gloria Swanson mingle.
And today, 90 years after the creation of the first high jewelry collection, Chanel’s Jewelry Design Studio is inspired by the modernity of “Diamond Jewelry” to create a new story. The “1932” collection is a journey beyond space and time, to contemplate the rotation of the planets and the movement of the stars. From the mythical original collection, Patrice Leguéreau, Director of Chanel’s Jewelry Design Studio, retained the celestial theme, the purity of the lines and the freedom of the body, declaring: “I wanted to return to the essence of 1932 and harmonize the message around three symbols: the comet, the moon and the sun. Each celestial body shines with its own light.
Featured in a collection of 81 spectacular creations (including 15 that can be transformed) – the first images of which have been published by Chanel – the Allure Céleste necklace is a journey to the heart of light; the light that emanates from the stars and connects them in the vastness of the heavens. Among the round-cut diamonds, a deep and intense blue oval sapphire of exceptional weight of 55.55 carats and a pear-shaped Type IIa DFL diamond of 8.05 carats radiate extraordinary brilliance. The halos of this transformable piece break off to become brooches, just as the central row of diamonds becomes a bracelet, transforming the necklace into a short version and paying homage to the pieces created in 1932 by Mademoiselle Chanel, who wanted to cover women with constellations .
By revisiting the past, Chanel not only pays homage to the woman whose eponymous house became legendary, but also marks an important stage in the development of fine jewelry. We can’t wait for the rest of the “1932” collection to be unveiled…
To learn more, visit chanel.com.