Bijoux de Diamants

the charm of stars in the jewelry by Coco Chanel

Ritratto di Coco Chanel

Stars, celestial bodies and elements were sources of extraordinary ispiration for Gabrielle Chanel. In Bijoux de Diamants, the first high jewelry collection signed by Mademoiselle, we find those elements which are, even today, the unique signature of the Maison.

 “I wanted to cover women with constellations” said Gabrielle Chanel in 1932. “Stars! Stars of all sizes…” Coco started being fascinated by celestial elements during her chilhood, spent at the orphanage in Aubazine. It was here that Gabrielle learnt how to sew and where she took her first inspirations for her artistic vision, including her love for stars and moons, which together with other symbols decorated the walls of the apparently austere abbey. And precisely these elements were the inspiration for Mademoiselle’s first and only high jewelry collection, presented in Paris, in her private residence at 29 Faubourg Saint Honoré, in the revolutionary  Bijoux de Diamants exhibition.

If until that moment Coco Chanel had preferred bijouterie, stating that jewels were made not “to give women an aura of wealth, but to make them beautiful”, that year she amazed with wonderful creations in platinum and diamonds, presented on wax female busts, characterized by long lashes and eccentricity. Precious bracelets, necklaces, brooches and tiaras, decorated with stars, moons, sun rays and comets, shone with an extraordinary light: they did not only represent a beautiful tribute to the women of the time, but also an admirable support to the Parisian goldsmiths and jewelers, in difficulty due to the severe economic crisis of those years. The creations were characterized by elegance, simplicity, versatility and finally transformability. This last feature, in particular, made the jewels unique and anticipated future fashion: once again, Coco’s visionary spirit amazed the world. “Do you see this necklace? You can immediately transform it into three bracelets and one brooch.”

In 2012, on the occasion of 80th anniversary of the Bijoux de Diamants exhibition, Maison Chanel created a new collection with diamonds, pink sapphires and pearls, with the aim of celebrating Gabrielle’s passion for stars and celestial elements. A love which still today represents the unmistakable signature of the Maison.“ Like a shower of stars”, the creations of the Comète collection, in yellow and white gold, celebrate today the splendor and the contemporaneity of the marvelous jewels studded with diamonds. The iconic Comète necklace, in the shape of a comet, whose refined trail gently enveloped and embellished, was reinterpreted in a modern key, maintaining the distinctive whimsy and femminity.

“You see the dark, I prefer to contemplate the stars. Everyone has their own way of looking at the night” wrote the French poet Victor Hugo. Coco Chanel has always chosen to be inspired by the sparkle, the charm, the mystery behind each star. And by observing the Parisian night sky, she gave women the light to celebrate their beauty and elegance. “I believe in stars”, said Gabrielle. Even today, the symbolic comets leave with their bright trails a feeling of hope and just as it happens whenever we are surprised by a shooting start that lights up the darkest nights, so Chanel jewelry amazes spectators every time as if it were the first.