Chanel Tour Part III
"If I chose the diamond, it is because it represents the highest value in the most compressed form. I used my love of everything which glitters in an attempt to combine finery, elegance, and fashion" (Chanel 1932)
As a fan of anything that shimmers, glimmers and sparkles, it is wonderful to know that I shared this love of the iridescent with Coco Chanel. Before the Chanel trip my only knowledge of Chanel jewelry was Verdura cuffs and pearls. Chanel did diamonds in a very big way. Verdura Cuffs might have been her best friend, but she had an incredible lust for the carbon.
She showed her first fine jewelry collection on November 1st 1932(All Saints Day) in her townhouse on 29, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore in Paris. The collection featured "the best,the most expensive and the rarest diamonds".
There were necklaces,brooches and tiaras. The settings "were elegant with the mounts and clasps invisible" to the eye.
There were three themes, the bow, the star, and the feather. "Each item of jewelry was an innovation in that it could be worn in one of three ways". Chokers could double as tiaras and necklaces could be separated into brooches and bracelets. "It was the first time that a parure had been presented as a convertible set".
"Gemstones had never been subjected to such casual treatment".
"I want to women to wear jewels on their fingers like ribbons. My ribbons are flexible and detachable. On grand occasions, the whole composition is worn. On lesser occasions,the main part and the large pieces can be dispensed with. The parure can be disassembled and used to decorate hats or furs. This means that a parure is no longer something immutable. It has been changed by life and subjected to its needs". (Chanel)
Jewelry should be viewed with innocence, just as we enjoy the sight of an apple tree in blossom at the side of the road as we speed past in a car". (Chanel)
The staff at Chanel Joaillerie presented trays of that first collection. Seth at Cool Hunting put the 1932 Fringes tiara on his head.
It was very fetching.
The staff was surprisingly comfortable with the blogger gang handling priceless jewelry and original scrapbooks from the launch of the collection. This book held the original press clippings promoting the event from newspapers as far as the United States.
It was an incredible tour in the midst of Chanel customers purchasing Chanel baubles.
I could have spent all day digging through the trays and modeling gemstones.
Photos: Blogdorf Goodman and quotes from Chanel Fine Jewelry by Francis Baudot.
Disclosure: This Paris trip was made possible by Chanel.