Chanel’s Russian Paris: jewelry variations in the land of the slavs

Chanel Collier Roubachka issu de la dernière collection Chanel Haute Joaillerie, présenté lors de la Fashion Week 2019

CHANEL‘s High Jewelry collection is played out in the theater of a fantasy Russia with rich baroque influences. The theme is a tribute to these highly colorful figures who were so inspiring to Gabrielle. Journey to the heart of a fantasy Russia, with its intoxicating rhythm of traditional music.

Author By Marie-Caroline Selmer

Created by Patrice Leguéreau, the director of CHANEL’s design studio, the new High Jewelry collection projects us into 1920s Paris, when the city of lights became a haven for refugees of the revolution. Whether they were artists, musicians, penniless aristocrats, or ordinary anonymous people, they all participated in the opening of the Parisian society of Russian decorative arts.

In this slowly emerging Russian Paris, two figures occupied a special place in Gabrielle’s heart. Her friend Misia Sert, pianist and patron, and Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovitch, cousin of Czar Nicholas II, with whom the designer had a brief but intense affair. She was fascinated by this community because it was forced to create a new destiny for itself, following the example of the Russian princesses who reinvented themselves as outstanding embroiderers. Their brightly colored embroidery, their traditional velvet and pearl headdresses, and the vivid prints on their scarves enriched Gabrielle’s vocabulary. She did not hesitate to introduce them into her collections.

Gabrielle’s passion inspired Patrice Leguéreau to create this collection; a collection that pays tribute to the former splendor of imperial Russia, a country that Gabrielle never set foot in.

The collection consists of 69 pieces of jewelry presented in a rustic setting, where ears of wheat are the central theme. The ear of wheat, CHANEL’s iconic motif, is a reference to Russia’s long agricultural tradition, as well as to the bouquets of wheat Gabrielle’s models brought back to her as a souvenir of a parade held in Moscow’s Red Square in 1967. It appears on several pieces of the collection, such as the Blé Gabrielle bracelet, which features ears of wheat made of white and yellow gold, and adorned with diamonds.

Chanel - Bracelet "Blé Gabrielle"
Chanel – “Blé Gabrielle” Bracelet

Chanel – Bracelet “Blé Gabrielle”The double-headed eagle of Imperial Russia is also one of the signature designs of the collection, reminiscent of Gabrielle’s famous mirror with a sculpted frame depicting a double-headed eagle. The animal is prominently displayed in this pair of Aigle Cambon cuffs, in yellow gold and white gold versions, set with quartz and diamonds.

The necklace can be worn as a solar medal inspired by Russian army uniforms, as a bib necklace embellished with yellow and white diamonds, as a long beaded chain, or loose like a carelessly knotted scarf.

Alongside these dazzling chromatic pieces of jewelry, we find a contrast of very brightly-colored pieces, such as the Folklore earrings, whose red enamel accentuates the sapphires, pearls, tsavorites, and mandarin garnets that cover it. A flurry of colored stones that bids us to celebrate the moment.

Chanel - Chanel - "Aigle Cambon" Cuff Aigle Cambon issu de la nouvelle collection, présenté lors de la fashion week 2019 à Paris
Chanel – “Aigle Cambon” Cuff
Chanel - Collier Médaille Solaire
Chanel – “Médaille Solaire” necklace
Chanel - "Folklore" earrings
Chanel – “Folklore” earrings
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