From a Scottish river famous for its salmon to a sparkling river of diamonds in just a single step as Chanel launches this glistening high-end jewellery collection.
We all know that Chanel likes to do things in its own unique way, which is why the Parisian brand has recently unveiled a high-end jewellery collection featuring 45 exceptional pieces dedicated entirely to tweed. Diamonds, pearls and sapphires are incorporated in various guises, creating incredibly rich textured effects in necklaces, rings and bracelets. The minimalist design of each piece accentuates the graphical power of these extraordinary and entirely handwoven fabrics. How do you make gold and diamonds as soft as this handwoven Scottish woollen fabric? What threads do you need to pull to give a fabric made of metal and stones a sense of both depth and purity?
In order to answer these questions, Chanel's high-end jewellery workshop had to develop new gold enamelling techniques to convey the irregular appearance of tweed of which Gabrielle Chanel was so fond. The entire collection has been designed to express the distinctive characteristics of tweed, the thickness of the fabric embodied by the alternation of precious materials and its softness and comfort represented in the very structure of the pieces, which are enamelled and worked one by one, front and back, just like a tweed weave. Each setting has been polished to the extreme in order to reduce the coarseness of the grain and create a sense of softness.
From the male wardrobe to the female
This high-end jewellery collection sees Chanel write a new chapter in the history of tweed! Derived from the Scottish word ‘tweel’, the name literally means ‘crossed fabric’ - more than likely influenced by the River Tweed, a coastal river that flows between England and Scotland. Miss Chanel is believed to have had a long-standing preference for a wool that was only lightly washed in order to maintain its full softness. She even boasted that she could recognise a tweed rinsed specifically with water from the River Tweed. Gabrielle Chanel confirmed her taste for these woollen fabrics during her affair with the Duke of Westminster, who she met in the mid-1920s. In fact, they formed an essential part of her wardrobe, and she was the first fashion designer to borrow tweed from the male wardrobe and adapt it to the ladies’ garments she designed for women just like her - women who travelled, drove and played sports. Tweed would leave a lasting mark on her stylistic choices since it possessed all the qualities she considered necessary, carded wool being soft, spongey and comfortable whilst uncombed wool retained its irregularities and natural appearance.
From the Scottish borders to the workshops of Place Vendôme, Chanel invites us on a journey of discovery with a glistening collection devoted entirely to this fabric. Adorned with stones and diamonds, tweed is portrayed here as a precious material that represents the strength, creativity and expertise of Chanel High Jewellery to their full potential.
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