All wheat and no chaff at Chanel. The symbolic ‘Les Blés de Chanel’ High Jewellery collection crops up in London, featuring one-of-a-kind diamond and gemstone creations
This week, the top floor of the Chanel flagship boutique on New Bond Street has been transformed into a mesmerising, immersive installation to showcase the Chanel Les Blés High Jewellery collection for client presentations and private appointments.
Bedazzling fine jewellery is displayed on plinths and mannequins, beneath sheaves of bristling wheat. Digital projections of harvest fields at night provide the backdrop for the beguiling display, complete with an intermittent thunderstorm.
Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel grew up in the countryside and had a strong affiliation with nature. Drawing on the fields of her childhood, wheat became one of her lucky charms and a reoccurring motif throughout her life, synonymous with abundance, prosperity and resurging creativity. Her Parisian apartment was furnished with wheat in varying forms, from a brass bouquet by her sitting-room fireplace to gilded sheaves for a table leg. Salvador Dalí famously painted Ear of Wheat for Chanel in 1947, comprising of a single sheath.
Les Blés de Chanel reimagines a summer harvest in glowing yellow sapphires, majestic emeralds and blinding, brilliant-cut diamonds
The Les Blés de Chanel collection debuted last summer, when the Place Vendôme in Paris was transformed into a golden field to honour 62 new pieces, inspired by the humble stem. Each Chanel High Jewellery collection takes a year to create, traditionally unveiled during the haute couture shows in Paris each January and July. The collection then travels the world, revealed only to a privileged few.
The dazzling array of fine jewellery reimagines a summer harvest in glowing yellow sapphires, majestic emeralds and blinding, brilliant-cut diamonds. This golden field tells the cycle of the wheat, from a tender stalk in vivid peridot (an unusual choice of stone for Chanel), to a bundle made up of hundreds of diamonds and sun-kissed beaded sapphires, with a stunning, oval-cut sapphire centrepiece. There is a requisite pearl bracelet, featuring 32 glimmering Japanese pearls and a delicate L’Épi brooch brooch in platinum and yellow gold, resplendent with colourful gemstones.
Wheat wraps around the wrist, hugs the finger and dramatically hangs down the neck, gently swinging like a glorious field, blowing in the breeze.