“If I have chosen the diamond, it is because it represents, in its density, the greatest value in the smallest volume.”
~ Gabrielle Chanel ~
I have always been a Chanel fan. I have my crushes, but in the end, if given a choice, I will always choose Chanel because the style is timeless and trendsetting. It started with a handbag, the black caviar leather handbag with the gold chain straps to be exact, a gift from my now ex husband. I opened the bag several times the first few days to look at it, too afraid to touch it because I could not believe I actually owned a Chanel. Through the years I have had the privilege of owning several Chanel accessories, but I wasn’t that interested in the clothing until I had the opportunity to see Chanel clothing up close. It was then that I began to see how easily I could make it work with my style.
I was admiring Burberry’s new handbag “The Blaze” online at Vogue UK, when I came across a snippet about a short film called “Chanel and the Diamond”, which was about Coco Chanel’s legendary fine jewelry exhibit the “Bijoux de Diamants” in 1932. The film was the third installment from a series titled Inside Chanel, which highlights pivotal innovations from the House of Chanel.
Coco, a.k.a. Gabrielle had a tendency to think outside the box and make her own rules. When she was commissioned by diamond merchants to rejuvenate a weakened diamond industry, she created a lavish diamond and platinum jewelry collection, and when I say created, I mean she performed a complete overhaul that revolutionized the way jewelry was made and worn forever.
Apparently, reinventing the wheel was not what the male dominated world of diamond merchandising had in mind when they hired the talented fashion and jewelry designer, and they were even less impressed that the “Bijoux de Diamants” was shown in her Paris apartment on mannequins, instead of cradled in velvet and encased behind glass domes in a boutique. Perhaps they should have been more specific.
The “Bijoux de Diamants” was Coco’s one and only fine jewelry show, and her audacity was talked about for some time. Chanel recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of the exhibit with a stunning fine jewelry collection, “The 1932 Collection” that is inspired by the original collection. The invitation only festivities took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where Chanel decked guests enjoyed dinner and a viewing of both collections.
It’s amazing that 80 years later, Coco’s classic style, whether it be clothing or accessories, is still relevant, inspirational, and on trend.
For more insight on the timeless magic of Chanel, watch the other installments of Inside CHANEL series.
- Who Was Coco Chanel? (vintagejewelrydesign.wordpress.com)
- Watch: Gisele Bundchen in the new Chanel Les Beiges film (fashion.telegraph.co.uk)
- Chanel (onewaystyle.wordpress.com)
- Fashion History Lesson Time: The Iconic Chanel Jacket, Explained (fashionologie.com)