Fashion News

How Chanel reinvents its famous symbols in jewelry, fashion

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.

The feather

A feathered look from Chanel’s spring 2021 show by creative director Virginie Viard calls to mind a Plume de Chanel 18-k white-gold bracelet with diamonds, $12,900. All jewelry available at London Jewelers.
A feathered look from Chanel’s spring 2021 show by creative director Virginie Viard calls to mind a Plume de Chanel 18-k white-gold bracelet with diamonds, $12,900. All jewelry available at London Jewelers.

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.


The camellia

Claudia Schiffer’s twin camellias (worn in a 1994 show, right) mirror Chanel Extrait de Camelia 18-k pink-gold earrings with diamonds, $5,050.
Claudia Schiffer’s twin camellias (worn in a 1994 show, right) mirror Chanel Extrait de Camelia 18-k pink-gold earrings with diamonds, $5,050.

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. 


Two-tone

Juxtapose this black-and-white look from the spring 2021 collection (right) with Chanel's J12 Paradoxe watch (left) in ceramic and steel, $9,100.
Juxtapose this black-and-white look from the spring 2021 collection (right) with Chanel‘s J12 Paradoxe watch (left) in ceramic and steel, $9,100. 

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.


Quilting

The needlework on a pink quilted bag from the Chanel spring 2021 collection is echoed in the label's Coco Crush 18-k yellow gold ring with diamonds, $7,750.
The needlework on a pink quilted bag from the Chanel spring 2021 collection is echoed in the label’s Coco Crush 18-k yellow gold ring with diamonds, $7,750. 

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.


Coromandal screen

In a 1959 photo taken in her rue Cambon apartment, Mademoiselle (right) is surrounded by her Coromandel screens. A reproduction of one is the perfect backdrop for Chanel’s new jewelry and watch salon (left) at London Jewelers’ flagship in Manhasset.
In a 1959 photo taken in her rue Cambon apartment, Mademoiselle (right) is surrounded by her Coromandel screens. A reproduction of one is the perfect backdrop for Chanel’s new jewelry and watch salon (left) at London Jewelers’ flagship in Manhasset. 

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.


The ribbon

Mademoiselle’s trademark bow, seen here in a 1944 portrait (left), matches Chanel’s Ruban 18-k white-gold ring with diamonds (far left), $6,600.
Mademoiselle’s trademark bow, seen here in a 1944 portrait (right), matches Chanel’s Ruban 18-k white-gold ring with diamonds (left), $6,600.
Chanel

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.