Chez Coco Chanel
The new high jewelry collection by Chanel inspired by her beloved Coromandel lacquered screens
Although many books have been written about her, and she herself never held back in the extraordinary anecdotes she told about her life, we still only know what she wanted us to know, creating an aura of mystery that continues to envelop this extraordinary woman: Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, but everyone called her Coco. If you want to enter her intimate universe, you must do so surreptitiously. A visit to her apartment, on rue Cambon 31, could lead us towards a better understanding. Something that is both furtive and fascinating, a glimpse into the secrets of an incredible life. Between rigor and exuberance, among hues of beige and black, but not quite so dark, these are her beloved Coromandel lacquered screens. The coast of Cholamandal on the Eastern side of India is where these Chinese screens originated, reaching the most diverse destinations. Antique, from the 17th and 18th centuries, they are just as impressive as they are light, becoming makeshift walls, or used to hide doors, creating intrinsic labyrinths but, above all, a way to close off intimate nooks, where you can relax, read, think, or take refuge. A chinoiserie of the moment, in vogue, with an exotic flavor, destined for a happy few. If she hadn’t chosen fashion as her destiny, Coco could have become a meticulous, innovative interior designer, with her constant search for a balance between minimalism and opulence. Coco’s two lives, before and after her success. A succession of contrasts that was familiar to her. She probably owned 21 or perhaps 32 of these precious objects. Mawkish, yet, infinitely beautiful in their artistry. Thin layers of lacquer and silk, incisions, gilding, landscapes, hummingbirds taking flight, flowers. If she would leave them, it was reluctantly, or else she’d take them along. A sort of home away from home. She received her first screen from Boy Capel, the English lad who had believed in her and who helped her become an impresario. A true love… and it is to this passion of Coco’s that the new Chanel high jewelry collection was dedicated: Coromandel. 24 out of 59 pieces are unprecedented. The select stones, their designs, the workmanship of the jewels, all created in the laboratories in Place Vendôme, recall these celebrated screens. Yellow diamonds, emeralds, tourmalines, red spinels, and mother-of-pearl create intense effects. Coco would be proud of it all and would wear these important creations with the naturalness that was her penchant, a petit rien, so simple, leaving the limelight to them.
Mademoiselle Chanel’s apartment, 31 rue Cambon, Paris
Chanel, Coromandel , Alta Gioielleria
“… Il m’arrive de me perdre , par example dans le dédale de ma légende.”
“ J’ adorais le beau, d’instinct, je détestai le jolie “
“Boy Capel et moi habitions avenue Gabriel , un appartement ravvissant. La première foi que je vis un paravent de Coromadel Je n’écriant . Comme c’est beau! Je n’avais jamais dit cela d’aucun objet.”