Meet The Man Behind Chanel’s Whopping 55.55-Carat Diamond Necklace

In 1921, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel commissioned perfumer Ernest Beaux to create a signature scent. The couturier thought of the quantity 5 to be fortunate and, because the story goes, she consequently selected the fifth pattern of the perfume, deciding to call it No 5. A decade later, Mademoiselle (as she’s typically recognized) launched her first and solely official jewelry assortment, named Bijoux de Diamants, at her residence on Paris’s Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Set with diamonds and sculpted utilizing platinum that was forged to form capturing stars and bows, many of the items had been later disassembled. A surviving brooch was finally recovered by Chanel, and it’s now a part of the home’s heritage assortment.
To have a good time No 5’s one centesimal anniversary, Patrice Leguéreau, director of Chanel’s positive jewelry creation studio, has introduced these two worlds along with Collection No 5, the primary excessive jewelry line to pay homage to a perfume. The 123-piece tribute assortment is impressed by No 5’s iconic bottle and, most notably, incorporates a magnificent necklace that showcases an unlimited, 55.55-carat diamond.
Carved from a 170-carat tough stone to Leguéreau’s specs, the gem is a D Flawless, Type IIa diamond, which suggests it’s as pure as potential—lower than two per cent of gem-quality diamonds are Type IIa. Mined in Lesotho, in Africa, the jewel took over a 12 months to form and polish earlier than it was mounted onto a custom-made bezel setting of 104 round- and 42 baguette-cut diamonds. Chanel plans to maintain the necklace at its newly renovated flagship boutique on Place Vendôme, which is the place Leguéreau video calls me from.
“The design course of was very pure,” he says in regards to the necklace earlier than exhibiting me his preliminary sketches, dated greater than three years in the past. “I needed the gathering to have a masterpiece that may be set with a spectacular stone.”
The necklace was Leguéreau’s concluding No 5 design. “I knew precisely what I needed,” he says. “It needed to have figuring out parts of the No 5 fragrance, together with the stopper and bottle. It additionally wanted to evoke the perfume’s richness.” The emblematic scent is delivered to life utilizing pear-cut, amber- and powder-coloured stones together with citrine and imperial topaz.
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Leguéreau is easy—clearly, and immaculately turned-out. An hour into speaking to him, I can’t assist however proceed to note as a lot. When requested what qualities he shares with Chanel’s founder, he replies: “Her perfectionism”. He sits beside a marble desk plagued by tracing paper and pencils. “It’s all the time a problem to invent new territory on the planet of jewelry,” he says. Since becoming a member of Chanel in 2009, the creator has elevated his division’s use of the home’s signature motifs, together with its suns, ribbons and camellias. Last 12 months, designers labored on his Tweed de Chanel assortment, for which varied cuts of gems had been labored into treasured steel to mimic tweed’s irregular weave.
Taking inspiration from Chanel’s best-known fragrance was simple, says Leguéreau, however reworking it into jewelry was an unprecedented problem. “No 5 is greater than only a material; it’s an icon. I wasn’t very assured at first.”
The fragrance has been a world bestseller for many years and sits on thousands and thousands of dressing tables world wide. “The thought was so sturdy and new; so large and spectacular.” Leguéreau says he felt a whole lot of strain. “I don’t know tips on how to describe it. It made me form of shy. When I first began engaged on this assortment, I saved it very quiet.”
One particular person he did speak in confidence to was Olivier Polge, Chanel’s perfumer, with whom Leguéreau could be very shut. During the jasmine harvest final August, Leguéreau travelled to Grasse to study extra about how Chanel’s traditional scent is produced. “I wanted to know what No 5 is as we speak.” Strong and reassuring, a spritz of this well-known fragrance is strictly what we’d like in these unsettling occasions. And a 55.55-carat diamond necklace doesn’t harm, both.
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About the Author: Jessica