CHANEL haute joaillerie is as mesmerising up close as you 100 per cent expect it to be, as we discovered this week while visiting its Les Bles collection which is on temporary display at the brand's flagship London atelier this week.
Designed around stands of wheat - a visual element found in all Chanel collections, including ready-to-wear and couture - the 62-piece collection is a stunning celebration of one of Gabrielle Chanel's favourite symbols that charted back to her childhood and which she found to represent eternal renewal, abundance, luck, and prosperity.
Alastair NicolInside Coco Chanel's Apartment
Inside Coco Chanel's Apartment
For those who are unable to make the brand's big reveals in Paris, Chanel always recreates the experience with minute attention to detail in London, which in this case resulted in a field's worth of wheat being installed in the boutique; moving graphics that appeared to make the crop gently sway in the breeze; and a soundtrack that instantly transported us to stormy summers in the fields of Provence. Understandably, sensory doesn't really begin to explain it, but that being said this is jewellery that doesn't require bells and whistles to heighten its impact.
Delightfully whimsical - in, of course, the most luxurious of ways - each piece in the Les Bles collection exudes the energy of a living, breathing crop: diamond-encrusted 18-karat gold earcuffs that follow the line of a bowed strand of wheat making nature's imperfections perfect; white gold diamond rings that are reminiscent of a refined cluster of seeds; and the Fête des Moissons 18-karat white and yellow gold masterpiece necklace - irregular, asymmetric and naturally flawless complete with 932 brilliant-cut yellow diamonds - are just three standout pieces.
The colours used in the collection also take on the characteristics of the crop, indicative of the grain's lifespan - peridots and tourmalines are used to represent the first stages of growth, while yellow diamonds and yellow sapphires point to being ripe for harvest.
This is detail on the most exquisite of levels - see for yourself through the house's beautiful imagery below.