Simply titled 1932, the collection features 81 exquisite pieces, each one inspired by an original element found within the Bijoux de Diamants collection
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In November 1932, Gabrielle (‘Coco’) Chanel debuted an assemblage of high jewelry pieces at her private townhouse at 29 Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris.
Rich with symbolism including feathers, fringe, ribbon, the sun and the stars, it was titled Bijoux de Diamants.
The collection would be her only high jewelry release for the fashion house, yet one that has served as inspiration for many of the French luxury brand’s collections ever since.
“What is absolutely inspiring is to think that, in 1932, with the creation of the Bijoux de Diamants, the first and only high jewelry collection created by Mademoiselle Chanel, she has designed the essence of Chanel High Jewelry today,” Patrice Leguéreau, director of the Chanel Jewelry Creation Studio, says of the founder’s indelible impact. “It remains an endless source of inspiration for me.”
In 2012, Leguéreau looked to honour the Bijoux de Diamants collection, creating a special release that served as a nod to its 80th anniversary. This month, Chanel will unveil another extraordinary high jewelry collection honouring the very same release — this time to mark its 90th.
Simply titled 1932, the collection features 81 exquisite pieces, each one inspired by an original element found within the Bijoux de Diamants collection.
“This time, I wanted to create a different vision of this legacy, by focusing on the three celestial elements — the comet, the moon and the sun — and putting them in motion,” Leguéreau explains.
At the heart of the new 1932 High Jewelry Collection is the Allure Céleste necklace, which was initially unveiled in February. The design “masterpiece” features a custom-cut 55.55-carat sapphire along with transformable elements. The necklace was rumoured to have taken nearly 4,000 hours of work to create.
It may come as no surprise then, given the necklace’s many exemplary elements, that it would be earmarked as Leguéreau’s personal favourite within the release.
“The Allure Céleste necklace is the centrepiece of the 1932 collection,” Leguéreau says. “Because it features the three heavenly bodies and brings together, in a single piece, all the specific features of the collection. In terms of design, transformability, flexibility, savoir-faire and the stones used, it forms an outstanding introduction to the year in which we celebrate the 90th anniversary of Bijoux de Diamants.”
Throughout the collection, the celestial inspiration comes to life with sprays of diamonds and gemstones arranged in a way that gives movement to the high jewelry designs.
“To do this, I have given figurative expression to the shimmer of the comet, the halo of the moon, and the radiance of the sun,” Leguéreau says. “These graphic motifs, often detachable, amplify the brilliance of the jewels.”
In addition to colourless diamonds, gemstones chosen to “represent the celestial universe,” including blue and yellow diamonds, sapphires, opal and rubies, can be found throughout. The precious stones used in the 1932 collection were chosen — and the settings created — with animation in mind, according to Leguéreau.
“By sprinkling showers of diamonds over their décolleté, putting scintillating comets around their wrists, and presenting them with celestial shapes — illuminating women’s own radiance,” Leguéreau explains of the ambition.
The versatility and movement of the pieces, Leguéreau says, are nods to both the evolving demands of modern high jewelry customers, as well as an homage to Mademoiselle Chanel’s early emphasis on “movement, freedom and flexibility.” With this in mind, necklace pendants can be detached and worn as brooches, and central stones can be converted for use on earrings or rings.
The unique elements are in keeping with Chanel’s original vision — and are therefore ones she would likely approve of.
“The principles of transformability, of jewels with a perfect fit on the body, of suppleness were so dear to her,” Leguéreau says. “At Chanel, we are reinventing the key themes from the Bijoux de Diamants collection to honour and celebrate the vision that Mademoiselle Chanel set out to bring to the world of High Jewelry in 1932.
“ ‘I wanted to cover women in constellations,’ she would say. I hope that this is what we have achieved.”
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