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by Amanda Applebyinfo@amandaappleby.com

Chanel

Welcome to the next blog in our ''Designer'' series - thoughts and facts about some of my favourite jewellers and brands, past and present!

Established by Gabrielle ''Coco'' Chanel in the early 20th century, the House of Chanel remains one of the world's most prestigious purveyors of haute couture clothing and accessories. Even the most fashionably challenged among us will instantly recognise the iconic interlocking double C's that have come to symbolise the brand's commitment to luxury high fashion.

Coco Chanel began her illustrious career as a designer in her little millinery shop in Paris. Shunning the stiff corseted look of the era, she became the first to use jersey material, previously reserved for men's underwear, to create loose fitting, comfortable belted coats and dresses.

In 1924, the House of Chanel extended its brand beyond haute couture clothing and launched its first jewellery collection to much acclaim.

In contrast to her paired down approach to clothing, Chanel's jewellery designs were bold and extravagant, incorporating faux pearls, gold link chains and motifs such as camellias, scissors, hats and the number 5. It is said that Coco Chanel was deeply superstitious and incorporated the four leafed clover lucky charm into her designs to signify faith, hope, love and luck.

Perhaps the most famous of Chanel's vintage jewellery collections is the ''Bijoux de Diamants'' collection, which was exhibited in 1932. Previously known for her love of costume jewellery, this was Chanel's first foray into fine jewellery design. The exquisite pieces on display at the exhibition were lavishly set with authentic diamonds.

Inspired by a celestial theme, the ''Bijoux de Diamants'' jewellery featured comets, stars and suns. The iconic Comète necklace was Chanel's pièce de rèsistance. This piece had no clasps or fasteners and was simply draped around the neck in a dazzling trail of diamonds that culminated in a large diamond-encrusted star nestled against the collar bone.

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the ''Exhibition de Bijoux de Diamants'', Chanel created a diamond collection that paid homage to the original creations. These one-off pieces re-imagine the celestial motif and star designs feature prominently.

Vintage Chanel jewellery is prized by collectors and fashion-enthusiasts alike. These pieces attest to timeless elegance and reflect the evolution of Coco Chanel's creative genius.

View products in the following categories:

Costume | Diamond | Faux Pearl
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