Chapter 3 The MUSES

Scroll to explore

3.1 - THE PIECES

The Aigle Cambon cuffs are rich with CHANEL iconography. Cuffs were a favorite jewelry style of Gabrielle Chanel, who often wore one cuff on each wrist. The two-headed eagle motif is inspired by the same eagle that's perched aloft the mirror in Mademoiselle's Rue Cambon apartment. The central stones mimic the octagonal shape of the mirror, as well as Mademoiselle's beloved Place Vendôme.

3.2 - THE STORY

Gabrielle Chanel once declared, "I've never done things by halves," and her passsion for all things Russian was no exception. After her love affair with the Grand Duke Dmitri, Mademoiselle created CUIR DE RUSSIE, a fragrance that evoked their romance and scented the air of the CHANEL boutique on Rue Cambon, where exiled Russian aristocrats became sales associates and models. Lending authenticity to Mademoiselle's Russian-inspired creations, these Slavic beauties became a living embodiment of Chanel's vision of Russia.

“I’ve never done things by halves” Gabrielle Chanel
Isabelle FIEMEYER, CHANEL Intime, Flammarion, 2011, p.149

The aigle cambon cuffs

In this video, the two models are wearing the aigle cambon cuffs

The model wearing the Aigle cambon cuff
Lady Abdy and Gabrielle Chanel
Lady Abdy and Gabrielle Chanel on the lawn of Mademoiselle's townhouse at 29 rue du Faubourg Saint­ Honoré, Paris, 1929.
Abdy

With her imposing height and icy-blond looks, Lady Iya Abdy—who fled her native Russia during the revolution—was the most celebrated Slavic beauty. The press deemed Abdy one of the most beautiful foreigners in all of Paris, and the great photographers of the era were eager to capture her image.

For Gabrielle Chanel, Lady Abdy exemplified the understated elegance that Mademoiselle so prescribed. Lady Abdy became her muse and trusted friend and, as their friendship developed, assumed the role of ambassador of the House, donning Chanel's creations during evenings with Paris society.

Lady Abdy exuded Russian glamour and an allure much embraced by Gabrielle Chanel. The feeling of admiration was mutual, as Lady Abdy remarked of Mademoiselle: "Her charm was incomparable. It was almost magical."*
* Pierre GALANTE, Les Années Chanel, ed. Mercure de France, Paris, 1972, p.124. All rights reserved
Lady Abdy on the cover of L’Officiel de la Mode
Lady Abdy on the cover of L'Officiel wearing a design by Gabrielle Chanel, September 1929.

3.3 - SAVOIR FAIRE

3.3 - SAVOIR FAIRE

Traditional savoir-faire chiseling techniques, an age-old craft created entirely by hand, are used to form Russian-inspired patterns and textures in the 18K yellow gold cuff.