To mark the 90th anniversary of ‘Bijoux de Diamants’, Chanel pays tribute to the one and only High Jewelry collection created by Mademoiselle Chanel in 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.
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.
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.
Discover how Gabrielle Chanel revolutionized the world of jewelry, presenting a collection dedicated exclusively to diamonds and applying to jewelry the founding principle of all her creations: liberating women’s bodies while also adorning them.