Hay fever with Les Blés de Chanel
“Coco Chanel associated wheat with good fortune," according to Benjamin Comar, the international director of Chanel Fine Jewellery. The symbol of prosperity and fertility ingrained into European culture was a recurring design for French designer, springing up in paintings, fireplace mantels and furniture in her Rue Cambon apartment in Paris. And so, in the tradition of the French fashion house selecting a Coco-appropriate theme for its high-jewellery collections, this year is the year of the Chanel wheat – Les Blés de Chanel.
The 62-piece haute joaillerie collection consists of one-of-a-kind diamond and gemstone earrings, necklaces, rings, watches and bracelets, each of which gracefully incorporate subtle and overt images of the grain in gold, diamond and gemstones. The collection is divided into several ‘seasons’: Fête des Moissons (Harvest Festival) showcases the wheat at its richest and ripest in diamonds against gold, in tribute of good harvests to come, including the astounding Moisson d’Or necklace in 18-carat white and yellow gold with a 16.8-carat yellow sapphire, diamonds, yellow sapphires and yellow sapphire bead.
Épi d’Été (Husk of Summer) zooms in on the form of the marquise-cut grain itself, using the seed as a canvas for stunning jewellery, like the L’Épi brooch n platinum and 18-carat yellow gold set with baguette-cut, marquise-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds, coloured stones and coloured paving, bursting with sunshowers of gold and colours. Brins de Printemps (Stalks of Spring) is the wheat as a tender young shoot in iridescent shades of green, particularly radiant in the Brins de Printemps ring in18-carat white gold with peridot, diamond, aquamarine and tourmaline.
And finally, Champ de Blé (Field of Wheat) captures the sublime image of a field of rich stalks in varying shades of golden sheen rustling in unison in the wind, particularly radiant in the Champ de Blé bracelet in 18-carat gold.
All the pieces were showcased at Place Vendôme during the recent Paris Couture Week in an installation by artist Gad Weil of a field planted with golden wheat, a idyllic slice of the countryside in the centre of chic Paris.
Prices per piece range from US$40,700 to US$3,732,300.