Gabrielle Chanel drew inspiration from the people, places, and even beloved items that populated her world. Her designs were imbued with these references and they continue to influence the House of CHANEL to this day. For the latest high jewelry collection, Patrice Leguéreau, director of the House’s jewelry creation studio, looked to Venice- La Sérénissime. The CHANEL ESCALE À VENISE High Jewelry collection is a love letter to this great city wrought in platinum and gold and set with glittering gems.
Gabrielle Chanel fell under the spell of Venice from her first visit there in 1920 following the death of Boy Capel, the great love of her life. She was captivated by the beauty of the city and it proved to be one of her greatest sources of inspiration. Chanel was particularly taken with the city’s symbol, the lion, since it was also her star sign.
The CHANEL ESCALE À VENISE High Jewelry collection is composed of 70 spectacular pieces that are contemporary interpretation of the symbols, codes, and colours of Venice that inspired Gabrielle Chanel. Set in white, yellow, and pink gold as well as platinum, the pieces are an incredible example of the mastery of the CHANEL jewelry workshop. Where prior collections have focused mostly on diamonds, the CHANEL ESCALE À VENISE High Jewelry collection also features cultured pearls, lapis lazuli, red and black lacquer, pink, yellow, and blue sapphires, jade, onyx, rubies, emeralds, tsavorite garnet, carnelian, and rock crystal. The pieces of ESCALE À VENISE are a testament to the staggering talent and creativity of the CHANEL workshop. Not only that, they show off the incredible design and setting skills of its artisans. CHANEL Fine and High Jewelry has been a standout in the jewelry world since the House started creating these types of pieces. However, I find with this collection, as well as the LE PARIS RUSSE DE CHANEL and TWEED DE CHANEL collections, that CHANEL has truly distinguished itself as one of the leaders in the fine and high jewelry world.
The CHANEL ESCALE À VENISE High Jewelry collection has four main themes, and within them, individual collections. They are:
La Sérénissime celebrates the architectural wealth of Venice that ranges from the Byzantine to the Baroque. The Eblouissante set is a stunning interpretation of the facades and floors of the palaces and churches of Venice while the Sérénissime set references the Byzantine mosaics found within Venice’s grand cathedral, Saint Mark’s Basilica.
The four sets of the Gran Canale collection are directly inspired by Venice’s maritime reputation and the elegance of the nautical world that is so intertwined with the city. The Volute Vénitienne is inspired but the mooring poles found throughout the city and used by gondolas. Volute Marine is also a glittering nod to this otherwise utilitarian item but with the addition of the image of the sun setting on the lagoon. In red and white, the mooring poles lend their diagonal striping to Volute Croisière and the twisted shape of the mooring lines of gondolas are reimagined as a spectacular sautoir necklace. Finally, Ruban Canotier is a whimsical nod the traditional hats donned by Venice’s gondoliers.
Isole della Laguna
The Isole della Laguna collection is made up of three sets that pay homage to Gabrielle Chanel’s ubiquitous Camelia flower. Camélia Byzantin celebrates the ancient mosaics present on the island of Torcello with a breath-taking necklace made of hard stones while Camélia Vénitien references the famous glassworks of the Ventian island of Murano. Finally, Camélia Baroque features some of the most spectacular diamonds in the entirety of a truly spectacular collection. Both the CAMELIA BAROQUE necklace and CAMELIA BAROQUE ring feature exceptional rare diamonds over 10 carats.
Spirito di Venezia
The final collection of CHANEL ESCALE À VENISE, Spirito di Venezia, is dedicated to the spirit of Venice. Both the symbol of Venice and Gabrielle Chanel’s astrological sign, the Lion is one of the key symbols of the House of CHANEL. Lion Secret and Lion Emblématique, are a celebration of this important house codes and feature decidedly baroque inspired pieces. Constellation Astrale is not only my favourite set in the Spirito di Venezia collection, but also in all of the CHANEL ESCALE À VENISE High Jewelry collection. Diamonds and yellow sapphires sparkle across a spectacular lapis lazuli backdrop and echo the shining night sky over the Venetian lagoon.