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Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Chanel High Jewellery High Jewellery

Escale à Venise – Chanel

Venice, the dreamy Italian lagoon city which Gabrielle Chanel felt like home is the driving inspiration for Chanel's latest high jewellery collection.

For this new high jewellery collection, Chanel stops in Venice. The Italian city is the enchanting background to jewels that interpret Gabrielle Chanel’s symbols through one of her favourite destinations.

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

Escale à Venise – the inspiration

Same as Mademoiselle Chanel, Patrice Leguéreau, Director of Chanel Design Studio, is in love with Venice, too.

While strolling around the lagoon city – a true open-air museum – he enjoys sketching and composing evocative watercolours. Mr Leguéreau’s visual impression goes on paper the same as Mademoiselle would express hers through her clothes and accessories.

Venice was important for Gabrielle Chanel. The city has important symbols that had a powerful hold on her.

Chanel Escale à Venise
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Inspiration drawings of Patrice Leguéreau for the collection

Born under the Leo sign, Coco Chanel felt a strong connection to Venice, dominated and protected by St Mark’s Leo – the city’s symbol.

The lion, Venice’s emblem, the city’s views of the Canal Grande with its gondolas, of its little islands, all find their voice in the new high jewellery collection, Escale à Venise.

The collection

This collection presents 70 high jewellery creations, 22 of which are one-of-a-kind pieces. There are also 4 brooches in a limited edition of five pieces each and 5 high jewellery watches.

To express Venice’s colours and the city’s happiness, Chanel used various gems: white diamonds, yellow diamonds, and coloured precious stones. These include blue and yellow sapphires, emeralds and rubies.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Spirito di Venezia. Lion Secret Ring. White gold, white diamonds, one cushion-cut sapphire weighing 30.92 carats.

The collection is an incredible feast for the eyes, thanks to the display of fine and hard stones, too, like red spinels, fire opals, cornelian, lapis-lazuli, chrysoprase, tsavoritàe garnets, mandarins, nephrite jade, and more!

The themes

The Escale à Venise collection is divided into four main chapters, all dealing with a specific theme, as it is traditional for Chanel.

The symbols in the collection are varied. For example, the Lion stands for Venice’s courage and strength. Venice was a powerful and independent maritime republic from the 5th century to the mid-1800s, when it was annexed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Being the city’s emblem, the lion is everywhere in Venice. Moreover, the lion is Gabrielle Chanel’s zodiac sign, as she was born on 19th August 1883. So the lion serves as a very personal link between Mademoiselle Chanel and the city itself.

It is the day of my birth, August 19th. I was born under the Leo sign. For I am a lion and, like him, I put my claws out to prevent anyone from hurting me. But, believe me, I suffer more from scratching than from being scratched.

Gabrielle Chanel in Pierre Galante, Les Années Chanel, Mercure de France, 1972, p. 322

Escale à Venise: the chapters

La Sérénissime

This group of jewels, the Eblouissante set, recalls Venice’s dreamy architecture through its geometric lines and compositions.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel, Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Eblouissante transformable necklace and earrings in pink gold, platinum and diamonds. One asscher-cut diamond 10.41 carats, D FL (type IIa); two asscher-cut diamonds for a total of 10.52 carats, D IF.

White diamonds and pink sapphires render the white and rose of the marble façades. The gems are set in rose gold and platinum, also replicating the colour schemes outlines by the precious stones.

Furthermore, there are different diamond cuts, such as the round, the baguette and the Asscher cuts, which reflect the variety of Venice’s building lines.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Eblouissante Bracelet. Rose gold, white diamonds, pink spinels and pearls.

In a mix of Baroque and Byzantine styles, the Eblouissante jewellery is set to transport us among aristocratic residences and the golden mosaics in St Mark basilica. The design references to the Greek cross are quite powerful, too.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Eblouissante Long Earrings. Rose gold, white diamonds, pink spinels and pearls.

Gran Canale

This chapter is all about the Canal Grande, the gondolas and their gondoliers.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Inspiration drawing of Patrice Leguéreau for the collection.

The jewels recall the gondoliers’ typical hats, the spiralling white and red of the gondolas’ mooring posts and their black keels, the blue of the water and the yellow of the cords.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Gran Canale – Volute Croisiere Ring. White and yellow gold, white diamonds, rubies and one cushion-cut emerald.

These jewels are about the maritime world in all its glory!

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Gran Canale – Ruban Canotier Necklace. The central motif looks like a gondolier’s hat seen from above with its red ribbon flowing in the wind.
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Gran Canale – Volute Crosiere Earrings. White diamonds, rubies, onyx.
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Gran Canale – Volute Marine Bracelet. White and yellow gold, white diamonds, lapis-lazuli. The pear-cut diamond weighs 2.13 carats.
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Gran Canale – Volute Venitienne Necklace. Yellow and white gold, white diamonds, pearls and lapis-lazuli.

Isole della Laguna

This set of jewels is the celebration of the great savoir-faire at Chanel. This chapter is divided into three sections unified by one keyword: camelia.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery collection. Isole della Laguna, Camelia Baroque. Camelia Baroque Ring. Rose and white gold, white diamonds, onyx and one emerald.

The camelia is Chanel’s flowery symbol, an ever-present motif across the collections, from fashion to accessories to make-up and jewellery.

So it is not surprising to find the camelia – which has its own dedicated fine jewellery collection – also here in the Escale à Venise high jewellery presentation.

The camelia is interpreted following three inspiration moods: the baroque, the Byzantine and the Venetian ones.

Camelia Baroque

And so the ‘Camelia Baroque’ goes with the opulence – of materials and design. The jewels in this set stun with their amount of white diamonds, contrasted by the black onyx, which profiles the designs with refined accents.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Isole della Laguna, Camelia Baroque Necklace.
White gold, white diamonds and black lacquer. One pear-cut white diamond weighing 10.64 carats, D colour FL (Type IIa).

Camelia Byzantin

The ‘Camelia Byzantin’ set brings back the rich and colourful hues of the mosaics in St Mark’s basilica and on the island of Torcello – red, deep red, green, gold.

The setting of the gems immediately a mosaic composition made of the most precious tesserae.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Isole della Laguna. Camelia Byzantin Necklace. Yellow gold, yellow diamonds, white diamonds, yellow sapphires, carnelian, opals, tsavorite garnets, nephrite jade and onyx. One radiant-cut yellow diamond weighing 10.07 carats, FY VS1.

Camelia Venitien

Finally, the ‘Camelia Venitien’ draws its inspiration from the Venetian mirrors that Gabrielle Chanel had in her apartment to recreate the city’s baroque atmosphere.

With their antiqued gold and flowery decorations, these mirrors transfer their grace into jewels that tell a story of opulent refinement.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Venice. © PHILIPPE GALOWICH
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Camelia Venitien Necklace. Yellow gold, white diamonds and rock crystal. At the very centre of its flower there is one round-cut diamond weighing 1.5 carats.

This is why these jewels are in yellow gold, the protagonist here, punctuated with diamonds and beautiful flowers made of rock crystal. These bejewelled flowers are a touching homage to Murano’s worldwide famous glassworks.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Camelia Venitien Ring. Yellow gold, white diamonds and rock crystal.
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Camelia Venitien Bracelet. Yellow gold, white diamonds and rock crystal.

The Spirit of Venice

Last but not the least, the ‘spirit of Venice’ cannot but be the lion himself.

We know that the Maison dedicated a high jewellery collection to Gabrielle Chanel’s zodiac sign, L’esprit du lion, and a fine jewellery collection, Sous le Signe du Lion.

So, we are not surprised that this emblem is a recurrent motif in Chanel’s creative process, as it was so important and so personal to Mademoiselle.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery – © PHILIPPE GALOWICH

Moreover, being the symbol of Venice, the presence and importance of the lion become more powerful, vivid and suggestive.

Constellation Astrale

If arriving from the sea, one looks at the lion of Venice appearing at the top of the column in St Mark’s piazza, one’s gaze will immediately be captured by the sky and the fabulous decorations on St Mark Basilica’s façade.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery – © PHILIPPE GALOWICH

The blue and the gold of these decorations guided the hands of Chanel’s designers to compose the Constellation Astrale set.

In fact, in this set, the deep blue of the sky translates into a mosaic of lapis-lazuli sprinkled by a cloud of golden dust. And, to brighten this precious sky up, the set is embellished by golden stars and white diamonds.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Constellation Astrale Necklace. White gold, yellow gold, diamonds, yellow sapphires and lapis lazuli.
Lion Emblématique and Lion Secret

These last two sets have the lion as their main protagonist.

In fact, in the ‘Lion Emblématique’ set, the lion head appears, in full gold, in all its majesty, accented by the intensity of the yellow sapphires.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Lion Emblématique Necklace. Yellow gold, platinum, white diamonds and yellow sapphires
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Lion Emblématique Ring. Yellow gold and platinum, white diamonds and yellow sapphires.

The ‘Lion Secret’ set, on the other hand, let the lion shine through the light of the purest diamonds, its necklace being one of the most sumptuous and regal pieces in this collection. It slightly reminds us of Chanel’s Le Paris Russe de Chanel high jewellery collection.

Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Lion Secret Necklace. White gold and diamonds, with one pear-cut diamond weighing 15.55 carats (D FL type IIa)
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery
Chanel Escale à Venise high jewellery. Lion Secret Bracelet. White gold and diamonds.

With this final set, the symbol which reigns supreme over Venice, the lion, which belonged so personally to Gabrielle Chanel, sets its kingly gaze on the Escale à Venise high jewellery collection.

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