Chanel

15 Gorgeous Wedding Gowns From the Fall 2022 Haute Couture Shows

15 Gorgeous Wedding Gowns From the Fall 2022 Haute Couture Shows

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. If you’re currently planning your big day, there’s no way you haven’t already started thinking about all the special elements that will make your wedding day look one to remember. If you’re struggling with zeroing on the perfect bridal gown, however, a great place to look for some inspiration is on the runways of this season’s haute couture showcases.
The Fall 2022 shows had Alexis Mabille, Chanel and Dior making a case for pared-down bridal wear via pastel folk-style embroidery, universally flattering cuts (think mermaid silhouettes, high-low summer-ready hems, and sweet A-line pieces), and easy fabrics. While the strapless wedding-ready maxi at Chanel was topped off with a matching stole and ivory bow on the head, Dior’s models styled their romantic ensembles with barely-there makeup and soft low ponytails.
For the bride who’s up for a sartorial experiment, there was no missing Antonio Grimaldi’s sculpted silhouettes, which brought together unconventional necklines, cut-out detailing, and for accessories, jewels that ran from the top of the head down to the chin for that extra dose of drama. The not-so-basic bridal trend also found itself spotlighted on Rome’s Spanish Steps, where Pierpaolo Piccioli sent out a slinky white gown, complete with thigh-high slit, hidden metallic bustier, and black bows at the Valentino show. Over at Giambattista Valli, another conversation-starter piece was a feather-trimmed, semi-sheer bodycon number that enveloped the model’s shoulders in a larger-than-life snowy white bow.
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the fact that the one bridal trend that never seems to fade away is the more-is-more gown—and Fall 2022’s haute couture shows serve as proof. At Zuhair Murad’s presentation, a sparkling strapless gown doused in stars closed the show, while Rami Al Ali added a little color to the mix with a blush pink sequined number trimmed with pleated ruffles. Elie Saab’s bride walked the runway in a gold gown complete with matching veil and embellished bouquet, Balenciaga presented an equally dramatic bejeweled gown in shades of ivory and silver, and Dolce & Gabbana replaced traditional veils with a headpiece that’s not for the faint-hearted.
Below, scroll through the most interesting wedding gowns from the Fall 2022 haute couture shows.
Elie Saab. Photo: Gorunway.com
Alexis Mabille. Photo: Gorunway.com
Antonio Grimaldi. Photo: Gorunway.com
Balenciaga. Photo: Gorunway.com
Chanel. Photo: Gorunway.com
Dior. Photo: Gorunway.com
Dolce & Gabbana. Photo: Gorunway.com
Elie Saab. Photo: Gorunway.com
Zuhair Murad. Photo: Gorunway.com
Giambattista Valli. Photo: Gorunway.com
Balenciaga. Photo: Gorunway.com
Rami Al Ali. Photo: Gorunway.com
Valentino. Photo: Gorunway.com
Alexis Mabille. Photo: Gorunway.com
Zuhair Murad. Photo: Gorunway.com

Jennifer Lopez Wore a Little Red Dress With Statement Boots for Date Night

Jennifer Lopez Wore a Little Red Dress With Statement Boots for Date Night

Photo: Getty
Jennifer Lopez has mastered many a dress code, but when it comes to dressing for date night, the pop superstar has it down to a fine art. As a newly-engaged woman who’s deeply in love – every outfit now includes that impressive pale green diamond ring – why wouldn’t she?
Spotted at celebrity favorite restaurant Craig’s in West Hollywood, the 52-year-old singer served up a head-turning look that was as sultry as it was glamorous. The ensemble comprised a bright red figure-hugging wool mini-dress by Saint Laurent, and a striking pair of black over-the-knee high-heeled Christian Louboutin boots. Lopez topped it all off in the chicest way, with a dainty black and white minaudière bag from Chanel’s Métiers d’Art 2018 collection.
For date night, it’s sometimes better to keep things simple. Pair a seductive minidress with towering boots to channel J Lo, throw on a classic shoulder bag and you’re good to go.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk
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Tara Emad Embraces Low-Key Red Carpet Style in a Colorful Chanel Dress at the Suits Premiere

Tara Emad Embraces Low-Key Red Carpet Style in a Colorful Chanel Dress at the Suits Premiere

Tara Emad with Mony Helal. Photo: Instagram.com
Stars of the Arabic remake of Suits came together in Dubai last night to celebrate the highly-anticipated show’s premiere. Walking down the red carpet were Asser Yassin, Ahmed Dawoud, and Mohamed Shahin dressed in dapper suits, while female actors Reem Moustafa, and Tara Emad opted for distinct dresses channeling their personal style.
Egyptian-Montenegrin star Emad’s look, in particular, stood out with its splash of color and the ultra-feminine aesthetic she is known to often embrace for her public appearances. The floaty dress was picked from Chanel‘s Spring/Summer 2022 collection and featured a sleeveless black bodice with a collar, and a silk chiffon skirt printed with pastel pink, yellow, and blue patterns. A friend of the French fashion house, Emad also picked a chain logo belt to adorn her waist and a black clutch as her arm candy for the evening. Her long hair was worn down in her signature glossy waves, while her makeup complemented the low-key look with glowy skin and nude lips.

Set to release this year during Ramadan on OSN, Suits Arabia will see Emad take on the role of Rachel Zane famously played by Meghan Markle in the hit US series. Although absent at the premiere, Jordanian actor Saba Mubarak is also part of the ensemble cast and will play the role of Jessica. The 30-episode series will be based on the original’s first two seasons and will premiere on April 2.
Read Next: Let Tara Emad’s Brand New Hairstyle Inspire You To Give Your Locks a Beach-Ready Update

Discover the Chanel High Jewelry Celebrating the Brand’s Iconic N°5 Perfume

Discover the Chanel High Jewelry Celebrating the Brand’s Iconic N°5 Perfume

Chanel celebrates the 100th year of a legend – Chanel N°5 perfume – with an exquisite high jewelry collection. Comprising 123 pieces, the collection expresses the different facets of this most iconic of fragrances.
Ylang Ylang necklace in yellow gold, platinum, diamonds, and yellow sapphires, Chanel High Jewelry; Chanel N°5. March 2022, Vogue Arabia. Photo: Mous Lamrabat
Chanel is celebrating the 100th year of its most iconic perfume, Chanel N°5, a scent that transcends historical moments in the fashion industry, and was made by Coco Chanel in 1921 to revolutionize the mainstream line of fashion. Looking back at the past, perfumer Ernest Beaux developed a total of 80 perfume essences for the designer, and Chanel chose the fifth concoction, naming it after her lucky number, five. Throughout the years of influence in the fashion era, Chanel became the first designer that lent her name to a fragrance, and the rest is history. 
Chanel N°5. March 2022, Vogue Arabia. Photo: Mous Lamrabat
Lucky N 5 earrings in pink gold and diamonds, Chanel High Jewelry. March 2022, Vogue Arabia. Photo: Mous Lamrabat
The director of Chanel’s fine jewelry creation studio, Patrice Leguéreau, has now reimagined the iconic N°5 fragrance. The Collection N°5, with 123 high-jewelry pieces, offers an audacious combination of designs that express everything from the fragrance bottle to its floral notes. “I wanted to rediscover that creative gesture with this collection, which has been conceived like a journey through the meanderings of the N°5 perfume’s soul, from the architecture of the bottle to the olfactive explosion of the fragrance,” says Leguéreau. 
Chanel N°5. March 2022, Vogue Arabia. Photo: Mous Lamrabat
Diamond Sillage earrings in white gold and diamonds, Chanel High Jewelry. March 2022, Vogue Arabia. Photo: Mous Lamrabat
A fragrance that meets high jewelry for the very first time, crafted with rock crystal or set with diamonds, onyx, pearls, and yellow sapphires, the precious octagon is at the heart of the elegant and sophisticated graphic jewelry sets. “I didn’t just wish to translate the fragrance, but to write the No.5 story in high jewelry, imbuing the fabled number throughout the collection in form, but also in spirit,” says Leguéreau. On other gold rings, Chanel exalts the beauty of symbolic gemstones such as a 5.21-carat diamond. Rendered even more feminine with a ribbon of diamonds, the stopper symbolizes the start of an imaginary world of the N°5 perfume.
Chanel N°5. March 2022, Vogue Arabia. Photo: Mous Lamrabat
Read Next: 5 Things to Know About Chanel’s Tweed-Tastic FW22 Show
Style: Chantal BroccaHair and makeup: Michel Kiwarkis at MMGProduction: Rudy Bahri at Colorwave StudioStyle assistant: Sneha Maria SibyProduction assistant: Rama NaserModels: Randa Zaza at Art Factory Studio, Aziza Zerdouk

5 Things to Know About Chanel’s Tweed-Tastic FW22 Show

5 Things to Know About Chanel’s Tweed-Tastic FW22 Show

Vogue’s fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen breaks down the five key takeaways from Chanel’s fall/winter 2022 collection at Paris Fashion Week.
Chanel has halted trade in Russia
Photo: GoRunway.com
“I read the news today, oh boy,” John Lennon sang on the soundtrack as Chanel opened the final day of shows, captioning a season where our vast majority of time has been spent on phones scrolling through news pages, never letting the escapism of fashion eclipse the atrocities unfolding in Ukraine. Last week, Chanel joined the industry’s other industry leaders in halting all trade in Russia where it has seventeen stores. “Given our increasing concerns about the current situation, the growing uncertainty and the complexity to operate, Chanel decided to temporarily pause its business in Russia,” the company said in a statement. “We will no longer deliver into Russia, we will close our boutiques and we already suspended our e-commerce. The safety of our employees is our priority, and we remain closely connected to our local teams whom we will continue to support.”
Virginie Viard devoted her collection to tweed
Photo: GoRunway.com
Before the war broke out, Virginie Viard had already designed her collection. As a result, like nearly every other designer proposal this season, it was founded in an entirely unrelated premise: a devotion to tweed, the signature fabric of Chanel and a timeless part of its heritage. “Devoting the entire collection to tweed is a tribute,” Virginie Viard said in a statement. “We followed the footsteps of Gabrielle Chanel along the River Tweed, to imagine tweeds in the colors of this landscape.” Her invitation arrived in a large box covered in tweed with matching press material inside. Inside her venue – the Grand Palais Éphémère on Place Joffre, which is standing in as Chanel’s show venue while the real deal is refurbished in time for the Olympics in 2024 – Viard followed suit, swathing walls and chairs in the founder’s trademark material.
It was partly a boyfriend wardrobe
Photo: GoRunway.com
Viard flexed her tweedy muscle in every garment and accessory type under the Scottish sun, imagining a runway version of what Gabrielle Chanel might have worn on “her walks through the Scottish countryside [where] she would gather ferns and bouquets of flowers to inspire the local artisans for the tones [of tweed] she wanted.” With all those fabric fibres covering every inch of the Chanel surroundings, you’d be tempted to call it a woolly affair, but there was no doubting Viard’s intentions. Oversized coats, magnified shooting jackets, and voluminous tailored trousers evoked a borrowed men’s wardrobe she attributed to Gabrielle Chanel’s relationship with the Duke of Westminster. “There’s nothing sexier than wearing the clothes of the person you love,” Viard said.
It travelled through the 1920s, ‘60s and ‘80s
Photo: GoRunway.com
Eventually, the collection relocated from the Scottish Highlands in the 1920s to London in the 1960s, and the Great British youth culture’s appropriation of those heritage codes. Viard interpreted that moment in a wardrobe fairly true to the decade’s codes and styling, generating a strong sense of retro seen through a contemporary lens. It materialized in little skirt suits in tweed, figure-hugging ladylike jackets and knee-length coats styled with opaque hosiery and wool-on-wool knitted accessories. Linking to her Beatles soundtrack, Viard said she was thinking of “very colorful record covers” from the period. Often, the collection seemed to have a tweed-covered foot in the 1980s as well, where voluminous blousons, harem-cut track pants, and knee-length skirt suits felt at home.
Bags came in tweed, too
Photo: GoRunway.com
Viard gave her accessories the tweed treatment (tweedment?), too, styling outfits tonally with tweed bags matching fabric elements of the models’ outfits. It was echoed in small bags – a recurring fascination on runways at the moment – which manifested in tiny heart shapes and slightly larger round clutches. Leather bags picked up the vibrant colors from which Viard had woven her tweeds, breaking up with the wool of it all with bright pink and turquoise numbers that will soon get the waiting lists going chez Chanel.
Read Next: Salma Hayek Was the Coolest Mom at Paris Fashion Week
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

At 47, Penélope Cruz Proves You’re Never Too Old For A Princess Dress

At 47, Penélope Cruz Proves You’re Never Too Old For A Princess Dress

Penélope Cruz in her dreamy couture paired, of course, with Chanel fine jewellery. Photo: Shutterstock
Penélope Cruz’s love affair with Chanel is well documented, but the Spanish actor seems to have fallen particularly hard for the brand’s couture. While on the promo trail for Parallel Mothers, the latest wildly emotional export from her partnership with Pedro Almodóvar, she has frequently been dipping into the spring/summer 2021 collection. Proving that wearing new-season looks is not always essential, even when you’re a house ambassador, Cruz has been a vision of double C-ed tulle, polka dots and posies.
The star’s complete red carpet look. Photo: Shutterstock
Who can blame her? The haute edit, dedicated to the familial bonds at the heart of a couture maison, treated each look as if it was wedding guest attire and the show itself was a celebration of love. For her turn on the Goya Awards red carpet, Cruz selected a pearlescent lilac ballgown as sweet as the sugared almonds served as favors. Embroidered with micro beads which shone in the spotlight, the archetypal prom dress silhouette evoked nostalgia while still looking fresh.
Romance was in the air at the Goya Awards, as Javier and Penélope posed for the cameras. Photo: Shutterstock

Standing alongside her husband Javier Bardem, the picture-perfect double act were not the real romance of the night (in our books). Watching Penélope hug – really hug – fellow actor Cate Blanchett, who glittered in gun-metal tasseled Armani Privé, was proof that you are never too old to wear a princess dress. It’s what fashion fairytales are made of.
Blanchett, 52, and Cruz, 47, embracing in couture. Photo: Shutterstock
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk

Bella Hadid Kicks Off New York Fashion Week in a Look Worthy of a 21st-Century Jo Stockton

Bella Hadid Kicks Off New York Fashion Week in a Look Worthy of a 21st-Century Jo Stockton

And we’re off. New York Fashion Week finally got underway on February 11, with Proenza Schouler kickstarting proceedings in the light-filled exhibition space of the Brand Foundation in the East Village. There to model designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s latest elegant creations? Bella Hadid, making her way down the runway in a hooded peplum turtleneck. With a large gold brooch adorning her chest, the look felt distinctly Jo Stockton, but make it 2022.
That sense of downtown cool carried through the rest of the event, which featured a violin quintet performing an original composition by Eartheater, while attendees were gifted a story by novelist Ottessa Moshfegh titled, ‘Where Will We Go Next?’
If Bella embodied the Parsons grads’ vision fully on the catwalk, she reverted to her own distinctive style post-show. To exit the venue, the 25-year-old threw on a white T-shirt and oversized leather jacket, adding a splash of color with a vintage Chanel bag.
Photo: Getty
The graffiti-covered canvas style dates from the French house’s spring/summer 2015 collection, which saw Karl Lagerfeld send an army of models down Boulevard Chanel toting feminist placards. “I don’t see why every human being is not on the same level,” he told Vogue of the collection at the time. “They’re all pieces everyone can play with. No ’60s, no ’70s… More mode de vie than mode.”

In addition to flower-power Chanel buttons, the shoulder bag also features the phrase, “Make fashion, not war.” Given the news out of the Kremlin this weekend, it’s a statement that could hardly feel more timely.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk

5 Things to Know About Chanel’s Art-Infused Spring/Summer 2022 Couture Show

5 Things to Know About Chanel’s Art-Infused Spring/Summer 2022 Couture Show

Photo: GoRunway.com
Chanel’s spring/summer 2022 haute couture show swept social media thanks to the efforts of Charlotte Casiraghi – muse to the late Karl Lagerfeld – who opened the presentation at the Grand Palais Éphémère on horseback. Vogue fashion critic, Anders Christian Madsen, was in the audience.

A horse opened the show
Photo: Dominique Charriau
By now, it’s the stuff of social media legend: a horse opened the Chanel haute couture show. It was ridden by Charlotte Casiraghi, the show jumper and brand ambassador, who – as the daughter of Princess Caroline of Hanover and granddaughter of Grace Kelly – held a very special place in the heart of Karl Lagerfeld. Casiraghi wore a Chanel riding jacket in black tweed and sequins, heralding a collection founded in unexpected dialogues between materials, spaces and occasions. “The idea for the show’s décor came from a longstanding desire to work with Xavier Veilhan. His references to constructivism remind me of those of Karl Lagerfeld,” Virginie Viard said, referring to the artist best known for his graphic sculpture work. “Xavier wanted to work with Charlotte Casiraghi. His artistic universe is full of horses, and Charlotte is a skilled rider.”
It was a collaborative effort
Photo: Dominique Charriau
The set imagined a surreal show jumping course erected inside the Grand Palais Éphémère, the construction by the Eiffel Tower currently filling in for the Grand Palais while it’s under refurbishment, which will also serve as a venue for the Paris Olympics in 2024. Within it, Veilhan created supersized objects, from stable elements to enormous instruments played by the musician Sébastian Tellier, who has worked with Chanel in the past. “Xavier and Sébastien are friends. Along with Charlotte, they form the kind of Chanel family that I like to surround myself with,” Viard said. She described the set design as a place that made her feel free, and you could see that in the collection. There was an ease and confidence in the way she matched and clashed textures and codes in the same looks, creating a dynamic and liberal wardrobe that literally turned heads.
The collection played with clashes and constructivism
Photo: Dominique Charriau
“Virginie plays with the construction of dresses and how to bring embroideries into them. There is such a big number of people working on these dresses, it makes them quite special. In couture, your imagination can allow you to do these kinds of pieces,” said Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s president of fashion. Viard worked with each of Chanel’s specialist embroiderers on the collection, underlining the collaborative premise of the show. The embroideries materialized in geometric shapes mixed and matched across eveningwear. A graphic black and white pattern of a cape collar crowned a floor-length filtrage dress in silver and grey lace. An iridescent sequin-embroidered brassiere descended into a sheer bustier that waterfalled into a transparent tiered skirt with hems that looked like tie-dye. And a translucent dress with a skirt that ballooned over itself was structured from constructivist intarsia shapes.
The daywear game was strong
Photo: Dominique Charriau
In a time when haute couture is often associated with ballgowns and banquets, and more houses are launching or relaunching haute couture collections, hoping to elevate their brand value and get a piece of this highly exclusive cake, Chanel’s attention to daywear stood out. “In the day of Coco Chanel, haute couture was for everyday. It wasn’t just for cocktails and red carpets. I think this is quite important,” Pavlovsky said. “At Chanel, we have two ateliers that focus on tailoring – which is the opposite of flou – and a new generation in training to be able to offer this daywear. The customer can pick pieces for any time of the day. It’s not just incredible dresses. In this collection, we have some daywear silhouettes which are amazing, if I may say so.” He wasn’t just tooting the Chanel horn. Viard’s check tweed skirt suits slit open at the front, with broderie anglaise bursting out from within, and her handsomely sculpted jackets with voluminous trousers were fitting examples of what haute couture can do to daywear.
Chanel is happy with other houses launching haute couture
Photo: Dominique Charriau
Pavlovsky, however, is excited about the current enthusiasm for haute couture. “The more of us there are, the better it is. Haute couture is about Paris, and the more strong designers we can have, the better it is for all of us. To see more and more designers wanting to develop haute couture is the best signal we can have,” he said. “Couture… I don’t want to say it’s ‘no limits’, because it’s not about limits, but it’s the best of today. Virginie offers a collection, which is, for her, the best of what she wants to do. Here, we don’t need to think about how to manufacture, etc. We have one hundred people working in the atelier. We have the Metiers d’Art. It’s a small business with very high-quality customers. We don’t need to explain to everyone that haute couture isn’t the same as ready-to-wear. Ready-to-wear is a business from the ’70s, but Chanel has been doing haute couture since the beginning,” Pavlovsky said.
Read Next: The Best Street Style from the Spring 2022 Couture Shows
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

Stripe It Up: The New Spring/Summer 2022 Trend That Has Everyone’s Attention

Stripe It Up: The New Spring/Summer 2022 Trend That Has Everyone’s Attention

Brandon Maxwell. Photo: Vogue Runway
Rebellious and emblematic, stripes come with a lot of connotations, but that has never stopped designers from using the classic print. Well known for his explicit and humorous designs, Jean Paul Gautier was one of the first designers to work with the famous blue and white Breton stripes in his sailor-inspired collection during back in the ’90s, and there’s been no looking back since.
This season, fashion decided to shake things up with stripes once again, proving that you can never have too much of a good thing. Scrolling through the spring/summer 2022 collections, we noticed that the famed print was dominating the runway once again. Stripes were the main attraction for several designers, and they didn’t hold back, playing with different colors, textures, and sizes for maximum impact.
Caroline Herrera. Photo: Vogue Runway
Instead of the trademark blue and white, Brandon Maxwell sent thick green and orange stripes out on his runway, while Carolina Herrera switched things up by rendering the lines vertically, keeping her gown simple, yet impactful in a palette of black and white. Likewise, we spotted Balmain nailing the same theme by draping an oversized piece as a summer-ready dress. On the other hand, Saint Laurent decided to go extremely traditional with a basic buttoned-up shirt with front pockets on both sides.
Balmain. Photo: Vogue Runway
This season, Armani also had its go at stripes with a maxi dress in red and blue. Other brands such as Chanel, Christian Siriano and Chloe chose unexpected effects to experiment with the pattern. While Chanel shook basic stripes up and went with zig-zags instead, Chloe presented a fringed multicolored dress and Christian Siriano varied the stripes between horizontal and vertical.
Chanel. Photo: Vogue Runway
There is no limit to what one can do with a striped pattern, and these designers, without a doubt, proved it on the runway. Take a look at some of their coolest renditions from the season.
Chloe. Photo: Vogue Runway

Emporio Armani. Photo: Vogue Runway
Saint Laurent. Photo: Vogue Runway
Christian Siriano. Photo: Vogue Runway

Chanel Unveils a Celestial Masterpiece to Celebrate 90 Years Since Coco’s First (and Only) High Jewelry Collection

Chanel Unveils a Celestial Masterpiece to Celebrate 90 Years Since Coco’s First (and Only) High Jewelry Collection

Coco Chanel. Photo: Getty
Today, Chanel unveils a glimpse of its new high jewelry collection for 2022, and it’s one that quite literally reaches for the stars. The centrepiece of the 1932 collection, which celebrates 90 years since Bijoux De Diamants, its founder’s historic and one and only high jewelry collection, is the Allure Céleste. This magnificently modern sapphire and diamond necklace was inspired by the same celestial theme that spurred Gabrielle Chanel’s own creations. “I wanted to cover women in constellations,” said the designer when her collection was unveiled at her private apartment at 29 rue du Faubourg de Saint-Honoré, on November 5, 1932.
The Allure Céleste is the starry centrepiece of the 1932 collection. It can be worn in a number of ways including as a short necklace, three brooches and as a bracelet.
Patrice Leguéreau, director of the Chanel jewelry creation studio today, says he wanted 1932, which will launch fully in May, to pay homage to the audacity and wearability of Coco’s Bijoux de Diamants – which eschewed clasps and fuss in favor of bold, transformable pieces in a palette of diamonds and platinum – and at the same time move the conversation forward. “I wanted to create a different vision of this legacy, by setting these celestial elements in motion,” he explains.
In the Allure Céleste, the movement and light that emanates from the night sky is captured in shimmering halos of diamonds that radiate out from each motif. A crescent moon cradles a 55.55 carat (naturellement, five being Coco’s favorite number), intense blue sapphire, while a comet centres on an 8.02 carat pear-shaped diamond, its fiery tail coming alive in gradated lines of diamonds in assorted cuts.
Coco Chanel pictured here in 1937. Photo: Getty
Coco herself was as renowned for her contradictions as she was for her style and her sharp wit. She once proclaimed she favored costume jewelry over fine jewelry, because she found it “disgraceful to walk around with millions of dollars around your neck, just because you are rich”. Under her direction in the 1920s, costume jewelry became no longer a mere imitation of the “real thing”. She helped establish it as an art form in its own right, whether in commissioning the magnificently opulent Maltese cross cuffs from her friend Duke Fulco di Verdura, or in her elegant tumbles of long pearl necklaces layered over a little black dress.
A shooting star necklace from Chanel’s 1932 Bijoux de Diamants collection.
She was prompted by the Great Depression however to revisit her thoughts around precious jewels. The Wall Street crash of 1929 had a calamitous effect on the entire world, as people and businesses found themselves in ruin. In typically bombastic style, her dislike of ostentation and high-value gems was turned on its head. “This aspect fades in times of financial crisis, when an instinctive need for authenticity in all matters returns, reducing an amusing bauble to its actual worth,” she said in the press kit for the Bijoux de Diamants collection. “If I have chosen diamonds, it is because they represent the greatest value in the smallest volume.”
The cover of Vogue Paris, January 1933, in which the collection was reviewed.
The collection was financed by the London Diamond Corporation, who hoped that Chanel’s creative talents might kickstart renewed energy in the market following several years in the doldrums. Their gamble paid off. Following the two-week exhibition, which was visited by the great and good of the Parisian creative scene, including Pablo Picasso, Gloria Swanson, Condé Nast and star dancers from the Ballets Russes, shares in the company rose and a new buzz around diamonds and precious jewelry was achieved. As Coco herself said, “Nothing could be better for forgetting the crisis than feasting one’s eyes on beautiful new things, which the skills of our craftsmen and women never cease to unveil.”
In customary fearless style, Chanel chose to display her creations on wax busts rather than on jewelers’ trays. With the help of friends including artist Paul Iribe, who designed the jewelry, the poet Jean Cocteau who wrote the collection manifesto, and Robert Bresson (later a celebrated film director), who photographed it, she created a unique collection that above all was focused on the female body and how jewelry should work to enhance it, not hinder it. “In a world that was deeply masculine, Gabrielle Chanel was a woman who designed for women. In her view jewelry should be an idea, not a status symbol of the men who bought it for the women in their lives,” says Marianne Etchebarne, Chanel’s global head of watches and fine jewelry product marketing, clients, and communication.
Robert Bresson’s images of the Bijoux de Diamants exhibition appeared in Vogue Paris, January 1933.
Just as she created fashion that offered women new freedom and flexibility in their clothes, a star brooch could be worn in the hair or on a lapel. A comet caressed the neck, its tail of diamonds flattering the wearer’s décolletage. She focused on the motifs that made up her world, from supple couture ribbons of diamonds to the mosaic floors of the Aubazine abbey where she was raised that detailed the sun, the moon and five-point stars.  “It caused a sensation at the time and still today it remains the cornerstone of our jewelry designs,” says Etchebarne.
“My stars! How could anything be more becoming or more eternally modern?” Gabrielle Chanel.
But the collection was not without controversy. Paris’s traditional jewelry houses were outraged that a mere couturière — a dressmaker —  and a woman to boot, had been tasked with creating a high jewelry collection in the hope of reinvigorating the diamond market, and they demanded that the corporation close the project down. The corporation persisted but its plans to bring Bijoux de Diamants to London never materialized, and most of the pieces were broken up, never to be seen again. Little did those Parisian jewelers know that the collection’s legacy – and Coco’s vision – would live on, and still be inspiring the world today.
Read Next: 9 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel Quotes to Live By
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

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