Cover Allure Céleste necklace from the 1932 collection. Polishing the moon motif of the Allure Celeste necklace (Photo: Courtesy of Chanel)

Chanel’s latest high jewellery collection, 1932, pays tribute to the brand’s revolutionary past

The year 1932 was one of significant change. Despite the turmoil of the Great Depression, there was a marked determination among creatives. The year saw the launch of the prestigious ocean liner SS Normandie; music-promoting organisation Hot Club de France embarked on dreams of spreading the gospel of jazz on a global scale; and in the world of wearable art, an emerging designer was tasked by the London Diamond Corporation to reignite the diamond trade. That woman was Gabrielle Chanel, and the resulting collection, Bijoux de Diamants, was the world’s first high jewellery collection.

“She made her jewellery part of her global vision for her Maison, imbuing it with her flair for pared-back elegance, her love of monochrome designs and her instinctive desire for the authenticity of the materials she used—in this case platinum and diamonds, the most precious of all,” explains Marianne Etchebarne, global head of watches and fine jewellery product marketing at Chanel.

“With her contemporaries—the artist Paul Iribe for the design of the jewellery, the poet Jean Cocteau for the collection manifesto, and Robert Bresson (later a celebrated film director) for photographs of the pieces—Gabrielle Chanel created a collection that was unique. It caused a sensation at the time and still today it remains the cornerstone of our jewellery designs,” says Etchebarne. Ninety years on, the Chanel Jewellery Creation Studio is commemorating this pinnacle moment in the brand’s history with its latest high jewellery collection, 1932, due for release later this year. Conceptualised around the theme of time and place, the collection is the first of its kind in more ways than one.

1932’s signature piece, The Allure Céleste necklace, features a 55.55-carat oval sapphire centrepiece and Type IIa DFL 8.05-carat pear-cut diamond, and marks a return to Chanel’s original celestial inspiration.

Drawing upon the brand’s archives to reinterpret a futuristic collection is a uniquely complex task. “The theme of these celestial bodies remains highly symbolic as they are found on the paved floors of the convent at Aubazine, where Gabrielle Chanel spent part of her childhood,” says Etchebarne. A sense of free movement and flexibility is imbued throughout the collection, channelling the aura established in Chanel’s Bijoux de Diamants collection. 

Diamonds are used to depict constellations, meteor showers and celestial bodies in the new, 81-piece collection, while the moon motif is expanded upon in the new collection. Originally depicted as a small crescent in the Bijoux de Diamants collection, in 1932, it is transformed into a spherical full moon.

Chanel was known to say: “I wanted to cover women in constellations.” It is precisely this ambition Chanel seeks to continue, and the new designs certainly give women ample opportunity to shine.

Discover more about Chanel’s high jewellery here

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