We know a lot about Chanel’s eponymous founder and eternal muse Gabrielle Chanel — such as her revolutionary take on women’s fashion and how she rebelliously mixed costume jewellery with fine jewellery — yet, there are still new things to discover each time Chanel launches a high jewellery collection.
Last year, it was about how the wheat (or, le bles in French), a symbol of hope, fortune and abundance, was integral to her life; the year before that, her superstitious reliance on talismans. This year, Chanel’s new high jewellery collection, Flying Cloud, unveils its founder’s love for the deep blue and the insouciant lifestyle of the French Riviera.
Just like the rich who berth their super yachts at the harbours along the coast, Gabrielle spent many warm days and nights onboard the Flying Cloud, a four-mast, black-hulled, white-decked yacht with a 40-member crew, which belonged to Hugh Grosvenor, the second Duke of Westminster. Her lover and companion for a decade, he introduced tweed to her (it remains a staple in the brand’s creations) and inducted her into the lifestyle of the English aristocracy. Considering how the Duke was one of the most influential figures in Gabrielle’s life, it seemed only natural that a collection that references the sea and resort lifestyle would carry his memory.
Scroll through the gallery to discover the highlights.