The term Café Society in the 1920s was coined by the journalist, Lucius Beebe. That’s how he denoted an influential community of international upper crust, where Gabrielle Chanel was a fully legitimate participant. Taking the memories of this difficult but beautiful period, the jewelers of CHANEL created eighty-seven Haute Joaillerie pieces that can be divided into two parts. The first is devoted to the preferences of the Great Mademoiselle’s friends, eager for beauty, freedom and entertainment. Here you can see playful Charleston earrings, as well as luxurious Tuxedo necklaces. The second one is about four cosmopolitan cities, captured at different times of the year.
Four seasons of Chanel
For example, Autumn, shown in the Shanghai ring and a necklace, follow the patterns of the famous Chinese screens at Mademoiselle’s apartment. Jewelers embodied them in white and yellow gold with red lacquer, diamonds and garnets.
Cocktail rings with an elongated octagonal table are reminiscent of the shape of the Place Vendome with a bird’s-eye view. It is not surprising that the word ‘Vendôme’ appears in the title of each of them. For example, the one painted with blue enamel in the technique of “grisaille” and crowned with a three-carat sapphire is called Vendôme Camelia. Another one, with the motive of wheat and emerald, is Ble Vendôme. At the same time two rings among them stand out from the crowd— a carved rock crystal and Burmese ruby named San Marco Vendôme, and a model with a gold coinage in the form of a lion called Lion Ciselure Vendôme. They are both dedicated to Venice, where Mademoiselle was looking for consolation after the tragic death of Boy Capel.
The journey to Moscow
For the first time the “Café Society” was presented in the summer of 2014 during the July Haute Couture week. Then it was shown to the public in the framework of the Paris Biennale des Antiquaires. Two years later, fifty of the eighty-seven pieces arrived in Moscow. On the eve of the New Year holidays the MARGO RAFFAELLI team visited the capital CHANEL boutique on Petrovka, to touch the beautiful works and to assure themselves of the excellence of the House’s jewelers. After all, for the manufacture of jewelry, for every stage and every detail the minimum ten quality controls take place, from the sketch and modeling to finishing, soldering, engraving, and stone setting. No wonder the result is always superior to even the most optimistic of expectations!