The Making of an Artfully Articulated Chanel Necklace

Capturing one incredible piece in the middle of its creation. This month: a tweed inspired triple threat by Chanel.

Article by Victoria Pearson

Rough Draft_Chanel TweedThe Tweed Royal plastron necklace, the latest instalment of Chanel’s high jewellery collection, turns the utilitarian into the covetable. Chanel artisans craft each articulation to ensure the heavy metal evokes the softness of cloth, a feat made all the more challenging by the hidden jewels that lie within. Courtesy of Chanel.

An elemental component of the late designer Gabrielle Chanel’s personal wardrobe and creative vocabulary, tweed has become synonymous with her label’s ready-to-wear, couture, accessories and — in recent years — high jewellery categories. In 2020, the company’s fine jewellery creation studio director, 

Patrice Leguéreau, debuted a collection of 45 pieces inspired by the handwoven Scottish woollen cloth. This year, Leguéreau will revisit the motif with an expansive 64-piece range dedicated to the warp and weft that captured the heart of the maison’s namesake almost a century ago.

The collection’s crown jewel, the Tweed Royal necklace, is an intricately crafted expression of the house motif, set in yellow gold with a chain bordering the interior neckline. Its creation begins with a resin mould, constructed to make sure the plastron necklace takes the correct shape. Pavé diamonds are positioned alongside 37 shimmering rubies, then polished, before Chanel artisans assess and adjust each articulation, ensuring the piece evokes the characteristic texture of twilled cloth. 

Once assembled, a dazzling (and removable) diamond-studded lion’s head is affixed to the centre of the necklace. The piece can be detached and worn as a brooch, just as the 10.17-carat pear-cut diamond that hangs from its mane can be separated and styled as a ring. 

A version of this article appears in print in our thirteenth edition, Page 53 of T Australia with the headline: “Rough Draft”

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