Haute joail­lerie, a.k.a. bling as only Chanel can do it.

Chanel’s lat­est fine-jew­ellery col­lec­tion was in­spired by Coco’s ob­ses­sion with wheat.

ELLE (Canada) - - Insider - By Ju­lian a Sch ia vin at to

The del­i­cate scent of wheat will for­ever re­mind me of Paris. This sum­mer, Place Vendôme was trans­formed into one of Coco Chanel’s favourite things: a wheat field. Dur­ing Haute Cou­ture Fash­ion Week, the de­signer’s name­sake fash­ion house com­mis­sioned French artist Gad Weil to cre­ate an in­stal­la­tion of a mil­lion painted wheat stalks ar­ranged in lac­quered boxes. It was all in cel­e­bra­tion of the brand’s lat­est high-jew­ellery col­lec­tion, Les Blés de Chanel.

Coco con­sid­ered wheat, a uni­ver­sal sym­bol of pros­per­ity and re­gen­er­a­tion, her lucky charm. She had many wheat-in­spired pieces in her apart­ment at 31, rue Cam­bon, in­clud­ing Sal­vador Dalí’s “Wheat Ear,” which was a gift from the artist. So it’s fit­ting that the 62-piece jew­ellery col­lec­tion was in­spired by the life cy­cle of the grain, from the young stalks of early spring to the fully formed golden sheaves of har­vest sea­son.

The day be­fore the jew­ellery pre­sen­ta­tion, I at­tended the Chanel cou­ture show, where Karl Lager­feld re­cre­ated the real Chanel ate­lier, com­plete with the pe­tites mains (the tal­ented cou­turi­ers who phys­i­cally cre­ate the col­lec­tions) work­ing qui­etly on gar­ments as the mod­els walked past them. Af­ter the show, I chat­ted with ac­tress and model Hari Nef, a trans­gen­der woman who is a muse to many fash­ion de­sign­ers. “The in­dus­try is hun­gry for new ways of see­ing, new ways of be­ing, but I think cou­ture needs to adapt and move to­ward in­clu­siv­ity,” she said. “If I saw any­thing to­day, it’s that ev­ery­one can re­late to beauty.”

Be­fore I left Paris, I walked through Place Vendôme one more time to run my fin­gers across the tops of the el­e­gant wheat stalks. As they stirred in the breeze, I in­haled their mild per­fume and looked across at the Ritz, where Coco used to stay. I imag­ined her look­ing out and smil­ing. n

The re­cre­ation of the real Chanel ate­lier

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