Quilty as Charged
Chanel’s famous matelassé motif gets its most luxurious interpretation yet, writes Charlene Co
s seen on its highly coveted leather bags and couture jackets, Chanel’s iconic quilted pattern— which uses the matelassé technique to make it appear raised or padded—has found its way into the French maison’s latest high jewellery collection. In a low-key, almost clandestine event held at the Maritime Museum in late February, the brand invited select media to a preview arranged for VIP clients. Hong Kong was the first destination after the collection’s grand debut at Paris Couture Week in January, kick-starting a global tour that will make stops in Chanel’s key markets over the next few months.
The Signature de Chanel collection comprises 48 pieces, all of which feature the iconic quilted pattern. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel loved the equestrian world and for this humble pattern, which mimics the style of hand-stitched quilts crafted in Marseilles, she was inspired by the jackets the stable boys wore at the track. Aesthetics aside, Coco found the pattern to be functional because it always held its shape when stitched; this gave her more freedom in design, allowing her to use softer materials such as silk, jersey and lambskin.
In adapting this pattern for the Signature de Chanel collection, the designers at the Chanel Fine Jewellery Creative Studio display graceful curves and fluid lines using white