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Chanel "Signature de Chanel"

The High Jewelry collection “Signature de Chanel” revisits the timeless elegance of the quilted motif.

The timeless designs of Gabrielle Chanel have stood the test of time, traversing the decades unscathed and constantly enriched by new interpretations imagined by the Parisian fashion house in ways that complement the vision of its founder while staying faithfully close to her principles.

This season, Chanel has revisited another icon in the design lexicon of Mademoiselle Chanel, the quilted pattern, also known as the “matelassé,” in its new “Signature de Chanel” collection.  Unveiled during Couture Week in Chanel’s private salons that face the newly renovated Colonne Vendôme, the new High Jewelry collection pays homage to the classic quilted motif associated with one of Chanel’s most iconic handbag lines.
“This is Chanel’s first high jewelry collection entirely dedicated to the quilted pattern,” explained the Maison Chanel.  Last spring, the fashion house had integrated the same pattern in its Coco Crush capsule collection, a limited-edition line of gold rings and cuffs.  This season, Chanel’s in-house fine jewelry creative studio has extended the theme to its Haute Joaillerie collection of 48 pieces that includes both jewelry and watches, all of which feature a variation on the staple motif derived from the Chanel 2.55 handbag.  

According to the Maison Chanel, the quilted pattern was inspired by the equestrian world dear to Gabrielle Chanel, and in particular, by the jackets worn by stable boys around racetracks.  Legend surrounding Mademoiselle Chanel has it that the pattern actually evoked the stained-glass windows of the Cistercian monastery that housed the orphanage where she was raised.   Whatever the source, the iconic quilted pattern was introduced by Gabrielle Chanel during her lifetime as a diamond-shaped, herringbone pattern traced by a running stitch on the exterior of a leather handbag first shown on February 2, 1955, hence its name, the 2.55.

The new Signature de Chanel includes 11 mini collections, among them two secret watches that complement Les Éternelles de Chanel collection, a line of high jewelry watches introduced last year at Baselworld.  The two new secret watches presented in Paris last week will be featured in Chanel’s Baselworld 2016 novelties lineup.  
“The two watches from Les Éternelles series were included in the Signature collection given their matelassé motif,” said the Maison Chanel.  “Their design has moved toward greater abstraction this year, as compared to the more figurative watches shown last year.”

The Signature Diamond Secret Watch is a jeweled white gold cuff with an elongated quilted design, subtly suggesting Gabrielle Chanel’s favored “marinière” stripes on a matelassé base.  A centered 5.26-carat briolette diamond sits atop a hidden round dial contoured with round diamonds on a perfectly supple bracelet that feels like a lamé.

The Signature Morganite Secret Watch also features a supple cuff in white gold with a 43.66-carat pink morganite cabochon in the center of a quilted bracelet composed of rounded squares set with sparkling diamonds. In both models, a concealed mechanism enables the wearer to lift the center stone to reveal the watch dial.

Variations on the same quilted motif are featured in two white gold diamond-set watches both with a quartz movement.  The "Signature de Saphir" watch combines 28 square-cut diamonds (3.1 carats) with 858 brilliant-cut diamonds (22 carats) and 12 baguette-cut diamonds, creating what the house called a “coherent disorder” that results in a luminous play of light.  
“The idea was to create a different rhythm with the setting of the stones,” the Maison Chanel said.  “The metal setting disappears so the quilted motif can emerge with the interplay of different cuts of stones catching the light.”

The “Signature Duo” watch, set with 668 brilliant-cut diamonds (13.5 carats) is completely articulated, a technical prowess that allows the bracelet to hug the wrist softly like a strand of silk ribbon.
“The Signature Duo watch was inspired by a 1932 bracelet that was mounted on a spiral spring and wrapped around like a ribbon,” the Maison Chanel explained.   “There is no clasp here, the piece is mounted on spring, because the philosophy of Gabrielle Chanel was that jewels mustn’t confine the woman.”

Beyond pure geometry, the color palette of the collection limited to white, blue and grey from diamonds, pearls, mother of pearl and Sri Lankan sapphires, contributes to its graphic impact and identity.

“We rarely show our clocks because they are quickly acquired by collectors,” said the Maison. Still, this year, the presentation included the "Signature de Nacre" clock in white gold set with 789 brilliant-cut diamonds (38.5 carats) and carved mother-of-pearl on a pivoting dial.
“Grey mother-of-pearl is rarely seen in our collections,” added the Maison.  “There are probably two artisans left in all of France who are able to carve mother-of-pearl to give it a matelassé effect that is harmonious both in color and shape.”

Finally, the "Signature White Tie" watch in white gold set with 301 brilliant-cut diamonds (7.7 carats) and carved mother-of-pearl completes the collection of watches.
"Elegance is in the line," Mademoiselle Chanel was quoted as saying, suggesting that the simple line is what gives allure to a woman’s silhouette.  Here, the lines are shaped in curves and volumes, adding precious sensuality to a geometric elegance.

Aerticle is prepared by NAZANIN LANKARANI. For more information visit: