Gabrielle Chanel is undoubtedly one of the most iconic fashion designers of her time. And she continues to inspire through her stories, and stories she’s immortalised via her fashion creations. It’s no secret that Chanel’s personal life greatly influenced her fashions, but how many of you are aware that the Russians played a huge role in that?
For their latest high jewellery collection, the French House looked to Chanel’s past inspirations in the 1920s—the era of flapper dresses, bobbed hairstyles and cloche hats—namely, the influx of Russians (aristocrats and starving artists alike) in Paris who fled the Russian Revolution, and their lifestyles.
A notable mention goes out to the Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich, cousin of Tsar Nicholas II, with whom the French designer had a passionate albeit short-lived affair. He was responsible for introducing Chanel to Russian motifs and designs, and for emblazing her passion for the theme. His influence on the House’s design is being paid homage to in their new Le Paris Russe De Chanel High Jewellery collection, entitled Russian Splendour. The collection speaks to the space between power and refinement and is inspired by symbols of the sun and the double-headed eagle atop Chanel’s octagonal mirror in the entrance of her rue Cambon apartment.
The second part of the collection is aptly named Russian Folklore. Which are contemporary high jewellery interpretations of Chanel’s use of embroideries and traditional fabrics—inspired by Russia and the people who fled it—in her couture from the 1920s onwards. The collection features gloriously rich colours and motifs, including the embroidery of roubachkas—traditional Russian garments which Chanel modelled after as long tunics, smokes, fur lined cloaks, and large belted blouses in the early 1920s.
Each piece of high jewellery in this collection carries with it a piece of Chanel’s experience as a young woman—be it as a couturier, a woman in love or an artist—inspired by the colourful world in which she lived in. Any self-proclaimed art-loving fashion connoisseur would walk away happy with any piece of jewellery from the luxury French label’s Le Paris Russe De Chanel high jewellery collection.
Here’s a peek at some of our favourite pieces:
For more information on the collection, visit www.chanel.com.