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    Jewellery Impressed by the Life and Legacy of Coco Chanel


    Patrice Leguéreau has designed a various vary of items since he turned the director of Chanel’s Fantastic Jewellery Artistic Studio in 2009, however they at all times begin with the identical inspiration: the designs, life-style and character of the model’s founder, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

    “That is the place to begin, the bottom, the start of every new assortment and new product,” Mr. Leguéreau (pronounced LE-gehr-oh) stated in a telephone interview from his Paris workplace in a Place Vendôme constructing that additionally homes a lately renovated boutique devoted to Chanel’s high quality jewellery and watches.

    “Generally I’m impressed by Gabrielle Chanel herself: her life, her buddies, her flats,” he added, “or generally solely by a really sturdy graphic icon, like camellia or the lion. The inspiration comes from completely different components of the Chanel universe.”

    As its latest couture fashions are being proven, Chanel is presenting Mr. Leguéreau’s newest excessive jewellery assortment in Paris to purchasers and different invited visitors. (Some items from the road had been proven in Taiwan in Could.) Its 71 gadgets vary from a relatively subdued white gold and diamond ring accentuated by a big star (in, sure, extra diamonds) to grander items like a white gold collar adorned with 839 diamonds, together with one stone that’s 5.02 carats.

    Dubbed the 1932 Excessive Jewellery Assortment, the items pay homage to a line Ms. Chanel created 90 years in the past, known as merely Bijoux de Diamants — diamond jewellery. Just like the clothes and fragrance she’d already change into well-known for, it was undeniably luxurious however lacked formality and fuss.

    “She needed to do in jewellery the identical factor that she did in trend, which meant that the items must be very wearable,” stated Fabienne Reybaud, who wrote a quantity on Chanel’s high quality jewellery and watches that’s a part of a three-part compendium on the model printed by Assouline.

    With the gathering, Ms. Chanel primarily opened the door for trend homes to create their very own excessive jewellery strains.

    “She disturbed, and he or she moved, the world of bijou,” Mr. Leguéreau stated.

    One piece from Bijoux de Diamants, he stated, significantly impressed him — an open diamond necklace designed to characterize a comet, punctuated by a big star. “It’s actually a masterpiece,” he stated, including that it’s “jewellery that’s created to suit the physique of the girl.”

    The brand new 1932 assortment is Mr. Leguéreau’s second direct homage to Bijoux de Diamants. In 2012, Chanel marked its eightieth anniversary with an identical assortment. This yr’s iteration consists of one thing new: coloured stones like sapphires and blue opals combined with the copious array of diamonds.

    Additionally, its motifs are devoted to cosmic imagery like moons and stars. The aim, Mr. Leguéreau stated, was “to create a set extra targeted and extra concentrated.”

    Mr. Leguéreau oversees the design of Chanel’s excessive jewellery and likewise its much less rarefied high quality jewellery. Over time, his collections have included extremely recognizable model motifs, together with particulars that counsel the model’s bouclé jackets and the matelassé quilting of its distinctive purses.

    “He creates jewellery the place you’ll be able to know that it’s by Chanel,” Ms. Reybaud stated.

    “It’s sort of like omni-channel advertising and marketing,” stated Christopher Olshan, chief govt of the Luxurious Advertising and marketing Council Worldwide. “You desire a constant model message throughout all channels.”

    Though Chanel doesn’t share gross sales figures, its jewellery enterprise seems to be thriving: there are Chanel boutiques that solely promote high quality jewellery and watches in cities like London, New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

    Mr. Leguéreau stated that he doesn’t work instantly with the designers of Chanel’s different classes, however he felt an affinity with them. “We now have all a pure connection collectively, as a result of the Chanel identify, the Chanel patrimony, the Chanel historical past, is so deep and so apparent, so clear,” he stated.

    Mr. Leguéreau, 51, speaks about his work with enthusiasm. In terms of his private life, he’s guarded.

    Born in Paris and raised between the town and France’s Burgundy area, he gained’t share a lot about his upbringing, besides to say that as a toddler he developed a ardour for drawing that he makes use of in his work at this time, since sketching is an integral a part of the way in which he designs. He additionally acquired a love of sports activities that is still — he has run marathons in Paris and New York, as an example, and enjoys snowboarding and biking.

    As a younger man, he didn’t plan to enter jewellery design — he earned a level in 1991 from École Boulle, a Paris-based school of artwork and utilized artwork. However he turned keen on luxurious and, as he put it, “for me, jewellery is probably the most luxurious exercise.” It led him to earn a graduate diploma in 1998 from the Institut Nationwide de Gemmologie, a few mile northwest of the place he works at this time.

    Earlier than becoming a member of Chanel, he designed jewellery for 17 years at Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. Definitely, heritage is an inherent a part of his previous employers’ jewellery, however Mr. Leguéreau says Chanel’s hyperlink with its previous is exclusive.

    “The heritage is extra a spirit, a philosophy, and that creates for me extra freedom to create very modern and fashionable merchandise,” he stated. “That offers extra space to create. The spirit may be very, very completely different.”

    Mr. Leguéreau’s collections take between two and three years to create, however he’s already planning one thing with a bit extra discover: a set for the one centesimal anniversary of Bijoux de Diamants.

    “I’ve began fascinated by the way in which I might rejoice this assortment in 10 years,” he stated, “to proceed to be completely different, to shock and to create one thing new and fashionable.”

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