HIGH JEWELRY SIGNATURE COLLECTION

HIGH JEWELRY SIGNATURE COLLECTION 1932

It was 1932, and Europe was in the midst of the Great Depression. Gabrielle Chanel, having become famous in the 1920s for her forward-thinking designs, was approached by the Union of Diamond Merchants to publicize their jewels during this economic slump. With these borrowed diamonds, Mademoiselle created her first and only High Jewelry collection — Bijoux de Diamants.

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Inspired by the fringe made popular in the Roaring Twenties, and embodying one of the original High Jewelry codes of Gabrielle Chanel, this necklace gleams with the light from more than 35 baguette-cut diamonds and 535 brilliant-cut diamonds, while its supple construction and multiple layers create a thoroughly modern effect.

The radical designs, which Gabrielle Chanel chose to exhibit in her private townhouse at 29 Faubourg Saint-Honoré, were comprised of five timeless themes chosen to represent Mademoiselle’s lucky number: the feathers, fringe, ribbon, sun and stars — a mysterious constellation to mirror the mosaics on the floor of the orphanage at Aubazine, where Mademoiselle spent her youth.

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This High Jewelry bracelet is comprised of diamonds and 18K white gold*, and is a tribute to the comet of the 1932 collection. Encircling the wrist with a twist, and mirroring the original design of Mademoiselle, a heavenly star houses a 3.07-carat round-cut diamond, surrounded by a shimmering cosmos of about 900 brilliant-cut diamonds, comprising more than 26 carats.
*White gold plated with thin layer of Rhodium for color.

The jewels were displayed on eerily lifelike wax figures, no doubt inspired by her surrealist friends, with dazzling diamonds reflected against a backdrop of mirrors. True to the ingenious nature of Gabrielle Chanel, the more elaborate pieces were transformable — jewels of an emancipated woman, where nothing should impede her freedom.

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A graphic and supple sautoir, this High Jewelry necklace appears as though fashioned from a ribbon, an original code from Mademoiselle’s 1932 collection. Handcrafted in 18K white gold*, the ribbon breaks in rhythm, with geometric baguette-cut diamonds juxtaposing close-set round diamonds, while a perfect pear-cut diamond completes the modern bow.
*White gold plated with thin layer of Rhodium for color.

The jewels were displayed on eerily lifelike wax figures, no doubt inspired by her surrealist friends, with dazzling diamonds reflected against a backdrop of mirrors. True to the ingenious nature of Gabrielle Chanel, the more elaborate pieces were transformable — jewels of an emancipated woman, where nothing should impede her freedom.

BOLDNESS, FEMININITY, FREEDOM — IN DIAMONDS, OF COURSE, AS INDESTRUCTIBLE AS THE SPIRIT OF MADEMOISELLE CHANEL.
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A feather plucked from another time, this brooch is the exact replica of the piece created by Gabrielle Chanel for the 1932 exhibition Bijoux de Diamants, Mademoiselle’s first and only High Jewelry collection. With a flexible structure, the diamond and 18K white gold* brooch can be worn classically or bent whimsically upon the shoulder.
*White gold plated with thin layer of Rhodium for color.

“IF I HAVE CHOSEN DIAMONDS, IT IS BECAUSE THEY REPRESENT THE GREATEST VALUE IN THE SMALLEST VOLUME.”

— Gabrielle Chanel

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“I believe in the stars,” Gabrielle Chanel said. This ring takes inspiration from the High Jewelry codes of the 1932 collection, and to wear it, in luminous 18K white gold* and diamonds, feels as though you have a magical star from Mademoiselle’s universe, preserved perfectly on your hand.
*White gold plated with thin layer of Rhodium for color.

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The original 1932 invitation to the Bijoux de Diamants exhibition.

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A photograph of the Comète necklace, one of five images included in the original 1932 press kit.

The 1932 promotional film, highlighting not only the High Jewelry collection, but the radical way the jewels were displayed.