From fashion and decor to jewelry, the French house reinvents its enduring emblems
Few luxury brands have as many instantly recognizable motifs as Chanel. The maison’s genius lies in constantly interpreting its symbols — founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s favorite flower, color pairings and more — across categories. Here’s a look at six of her original symbols and how they’re translated from fashion to glamorous jewelry, watches and a stunning boutique backdrop.
A diamond-encrusted flexible feather brooch was part of Mademoiselle Chanel’s first and only high-jewelry collection in 1932. The emblem took wing at the couture house. Today, extravagant feathered confections flutter down its runways while the Plume de Chanel jewelry line beguiles like the original pin.
Pinned in her hair or tucked insouciantly through a belt, Coco Chanel loved the simplicity of her favorite flower. Fashioned out of silk, rendered in enamel or crafted of diamonds and pearls, the camellia quickly became the house icon. A century later, the Camélia jewelry collection blooms, with varieties from abstract to ornate.
From dark suits edged in impeccable white trim (or vice versa) to her famous bicolor slingbacks unveiled in 1957, Mademoiselle loved a contrast. Modern and graphic, the look is timeless. Which is why it works so well in Chanel timepieces like the clean-cut J12 Paradoxe watch.
Chanel’s storied 2.55 shoulder-strap bags, introduced in 1955, featured diamond-stitched quilting said to be inspired by men’s equestrian jackets. The maison’s favorite treatment was extended to clothing, and since 2015 has been reflected in its Coco Crush jewelry line. With crisscross incisions and gently arched edges, this matelassé is major.
Chinese lacquer panels embellished with intricate scenes of flora and fauna. Over the years, her screens have inspired everything from the brand’s high jewelry to a rich amber fragrance. Now, Chanel’s new boutique at the London Jewelers flagship is graced with an exquisite reproduction.
Pretty as presents, Mademoiselle Chanel topped her hats and fascinators with big bows and sometimes trimmed her tweed suits with little ones. It’s easy to tie one on with the Ruban collection, which explores the sinuous theme in precious metals and diamonds.