Feb 3rd, 2013
The House of Chanel salutes Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel with this 3rd installment in the “Inside Chanel” series of videos. Videos and stills have been found in the Pathé-Gaumont archives and were brought together in a short film to showcase the 1932 collection, shown last September by Chanel at the Biennale des Antiquaires jewelry show in Paris.
In 1933, designer Paul Iribe collaborated with Chanel in the creation of extravagant jewelry pieces commissioned by the International Guild of Diamond Merchants. The collection, executed exclusively in diamonds and platinum, was exhibited for public viewing and drew a large audience; some three thousand attendees were recorded in a one-month period.
As an antidote for vrais bijoux en toc, the obsession with costly, fine jewels, Chanel turned unenviable costume jewelry into a coveted accessory—especially when worn in excess displays, as did Chanel herself. Originally inspired by the opulent, costly jewels and pearls gifted to her by her aristocratic lovers, Chanel raided her own jewel vault and partnered with Duke Fulco di Verdura to launch a House of Chanel jewelry line. A white enameled cuff featuring a jeweled Maltese cross was Chanel’s personal favorite and has become an iconic piece representative of the Verdura Chanel collaboration.
The fashionable and wealthy loved the creations and made it wildly successful. Ever the oracle for the modern, society elite, Chanel put forth her own disingenuous PR statement delivered in the inevitable dictatorial manner: “It’s disgusting to walk around with millions around the neck because one happens to be rich. I only like fake jewelry…because it’s provocative.”
This unique collection of diamond jewelry has left its mark on the face of contemporary jewelry, something to which Chanel pays homage in its latest Inside Chanel video, with a multimedia moodboard of images that tells the story of Gabrielle Chanel and her diamond jewelry.
Vintage pictures and notes on the economic context of the time are mixed with quotes from the designer herself and details of the inspiration behind her pieces, as viewers gain a grasp on the unique genius that continues to influence Chanel Joaillerie.