HEAD IN THE CLOUDS
What does Chanel have in common with a yacht
All aboard Chanel's Flying Cloud
Chanel’s latest high jewellery collection is named Flying Cloud. It sounds like an allusion to something whimsical but is in fact the name of a four-masted yacht that belonged to Hugh Grosvenor, the second Duke of Westminster. He was one of brand founder Gabrielle Chanel’s many lovers—albeit one of the most important—in her life.
The yacht, a place where lunches and parties were held, and the luxurious seafaring lifestyle form the central inspiration for the collection, which is split into two chapters. The first focuses on the basic elements seen out at sea—think life buoys, ropes, anchors, sails and tattoos— while the second zooms into the summer wardrobe, taking creative references from marine uniforms, sailors’ jackets and nautical-inspired garb.
It’s interesting to see how the designers and craftsmen at the maison breathe life into cold, raw materials like gold and gemstones and transform them into jewellery design like knotted ropes, braids and sails—things that are soft and fluidlike in reality. This is testament to the creativity and the high level of savoir faire at the haute joaillerie department in Chanel.
That the designers also came up with playful creations like life-buoy earrings with pearls and diamonds dangling from them and white gold bracelets with sailors’ uniform buttons as motifs deserve applause. The maison has clearly given the creative team a blank canvas to work on. The result is a high jewellery collection that is luxurious, fashionable and Riviera-chic at the same time. With the whimsical and unconventional pieces, the collection also boasts a novelty factor, which eliminates the stuffy propriety typically built into a high jewellery collection.
At a time where consumers constantly crave for fresh, interesting content, Chanel has given them what they want with the collection. Our advice? All aboard the Flying Cloud!
While the Flying Cloud collection is very much nautical-inspired, Chanel has looked for ideas from atypical sources.