A Blazing, Bejewelled Comet Re-Enters Chanel’s Orbit

Coco Chanel’s first — and only — high jewellery collection informs the house’s latest bijouterie.

Article by Lindsay Talbot

CHANEL HIGH JEWELLERY_1Chanel High Jewelry Pluie de Comètes open ring in 18-karat white gold and diamonds, POA. Still life by Fujio Emura.

In November 1932, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel presented her first and only high jewellery collection, Bijoux de Diamants, in her 18th-century townhouse at 29 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. Among the roughly 50 pieces, which were inspired by the celestial floor mosaics at Aubazine Abbey (she’d lived at the Cistercian monastery’s orphanage as a child), were bracelets that coiled around the wrist like comet tails, a brooch shaped like a shimmering crescent and necklaces with diamonds arrayed to evoke the Big Dipper. “I wanted to cover women with constellations. With stars! Stars of all sizes,” said Chanel, whose bijouterie, like her pioneering clothing designs, was defined by an elegant yet restrained simplicity: Diamonds were cut and faceted using traditional techniques, and each stone’s setting was rendered to appear completely invisible.

Now, 90 years later, the fashion house revisits the couturier’s iconic debut collection with its 1932 High Jewellry line. With interstellar symbols such as the sun and the moon, the 77 pieces celebrate lightness, transformation and the vast beauty of the cosmos. Nearly half the creations feature iterations of the comet seen in Chanel’s archival necklace, among them the bedazzling new Pluie de Comètes open ring. Set in 18-karat white gold and with a radiant trio of five-pointed diamond stars, it encircles the finger like the cascade of a blazing meteor — a fitting reinterpretation of her truly out-of-this-world original.