The dazzling glare of snowflakes in the frosty winter sun, the honey-sweet blossom of summer meadows, the colorful, expressive embroidery of a loose-fitting shirt. This is probably not how you see Russia today: on the news, in the whirlpool of political intrigues. But this is how you will see her if you look into the classic literature of the past centuries: glorified by poets and romanticized by writers.
Tatiana (being Russian
at heart, herself not knowing why)
loved, in all its cold beauty,
a Russian winter:
rime in the sun upon a frosty day,
and sleighs, and, at late dawn,
the radiance of the rosy snows,
and gloam of Twelfthtide eves.
Eugene Onegin. A Novel in Verse by Aleksandr Pushkin
The new High Jewelry Collection ‘Le Paris Russe de Chanel’, presented to the art and jewelry aficionados in summer 2019, is a tribute to Coco Chanel’s love for Russia and Russians.
Coco Chanel was many things. She had been rising from the ashes like a phoenix and reinventing herself and the story of her life so many times that sometimes it was hard to tell the truth from the flight of her imagination. But what she was for sure is a woman who loved: intensely and passionately. It is an open secret that Coco Chanel had an affair with a genius and scandalous Russian-born composer and pianist Igor Stravinsky and an alluring Russian Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich, who later introduced her to the Russian culture and the aristocrats fleeing the country, torn by revolutions and uncertainty. Thus started Chanel’s romance with Russia and the ‘Russian period’ in her creations. The motifs and cuts of traditional shirts roubachkas, the imaginative ornamentation of traditional headdresses kokoshniks, the vibrant colors of sarafan dresses—all found their way into her Russia-inspired collection.
Decades have passed, and the style was rediscovered by Patrice Leguéreau, director of the Chanel jewelry studio. And thus, from the amalgamation of folklore and imperial symbols—the two otherwise polar opposite dimensions,—a new transplendent collection was born. The motifs, running like a golden thread through the entire collection, are easily recognizable: the cuts, the shapes, the two-headed eagles, the headpieces, the colors and ornaments. Yet, the pieces have been adapted to fit the modern context: by preserving the Russian flavor and sentiment, grandeur and sumptuousness but mixing in a touch of extranational mood. The jewels and the beauty of ‘Le Paris Russe’ transcend the borders of countries and nations and rise above the worldly life with its dramas and conspiracies.
Among the 69 unique pieces, our favorite are the Aigle Cambon ring in white gold and diamonds, the Blé Maria brooch in white and yellow gold with a yellow sapphire, pink spinels, Mandarin garnets, colored tourmalines and diamonds, and the Roubachka necklace in yellow gold and platinum with yellow and white diamonds.
They—and all other artworks in this exquisite collection—are nowhere near subtle and modest. They say: rich, blinding, beautiful, majestic. And thus they will look coupled with the Little Black Dress—the iconic creation of la Grande Mademoiselle.
THE JEWELRY ICON