Detail That Shapes

Faithful new additions to the Coco Crush line


It always goes back to Gabrielle.

The notes of a fragrance. The shades of an eyeshadow quad. The way a tweed jacket falls. Look closely enough and you’ll notice how each Chanel creation bears some reference to its founder’s incredible life story, her deliciously witty maxims on style, her trailblazing work. Heritage is sacred at Chanel, and for those in its jewellery atelier, being able to tap into such an extensive library of inspirations has inspired the confidence to not only rework Mademoiselle Chanel’s own jewellery designs but also dream up modern-day icons that still speak to the maison’s history. It’s this spirit that gave life to Coco Crush, a pared-back line of fine jewellery first launched in 2015 that embodies Chanel’s codes of refinement and artisanry – and pays homage to one of her most emblematic handbags.

Chanel’s relationship with jewellery dates back to the 1920s, when its founder first helped make costume jewels chic among high-society women, firmly believing that they should be worn alongside one’s more precious gems to lend them an effortless feel. Then in 1932, upon the invitation of the London Diamond Corporation, Chanel presented ‘Bijoux de Diamants’, which showcased celestial-themed necklaces, bracelets, brooches, rings, headpieces and more, cast in platinum and gold, and adorned with white and yellow diamonds. At the time, it was considered a bold move for a couturier to wade into the rarefied world of fine jewellery – although Chanel was famously never afraid of firsts.

Though Bijoux de Diamants would be the last haute jewellery collection designed by Chanel herself, she continued to showcase her deep respect for the artform by collaborating on costume pieces with jewellers from around the world: Fulco di Verdura in the 1930s, who helped to create those first Maltese Cross enamel cuff bracelets; goldsmith Robert Goossens in the 1950s, who crafted pieces inspired by the Baroque period and ancient civilisations. It was under her successor, Karl Lagerfeld, that fine jewellery was eventually revived in the early 1990s and would become an integral facet of the brand.

Today, it’s Patrice Leguéreau, formerly of Cartier and Van Cleef, who oversees Chanel’s Fine Jewellery Creative Studio at 18 Place Vendôme (the same square that houses Chanel’s old apartment at the Ritz and which is believed to have inspired the Chanel N°5 bottle). Here, an intimate understanding of and reverence for the history of the house has given rise to designs such as the diamond-studded N°5 necklaces and rings inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s beloved camelias, as well as more opulent, lavishly encrusted creations for the maison’s most discerning clients. It’s under Leguéreau’s direction that the first Coco Crush collection was conceived – a youthful edit of streamlined gold pieces that were elevated enough to feel like precious keepsakes but equally laidback enough to form part of an everyday wardrobe. Most notably, they bore a defining criss-cross design that channelled the iconic matelassé 2.55 handbag that Chanel herself had created.

Though minimal in construction, the quilted motif and curved edges lend the Coco Crush its distinct charm. And behind those details is a level of craftsmanship that shapes all things Chanel. (The house prides itself on ‘savoir faire’ and is a fierce protector of its artisan partners.) Each piece is struck from 18-carat gold, before those matelassé-inspired incisions are carefully engraved and, where desired, studded with brilliant-cut diamonds for maximum sparkle. And in keeping with the maison’s utmost attention to detail (Chanel herself was known as an obsessive perfectionist), every piece is finished with hand-polishing.

The Coco Crush blueprint is echoed across rings, necklaces and earrings, but it’s undoubtedly the bracelets that are the highlight of the line. For the latest collection, these are reimagined in ‘miniature’ form for a more delicate effect. At its most simple, the new Coco Crush bracelet arrives in 18-carat beige gold, white gold and yellow gold, gleaming even without added embellishment. At its most dazzling, it comes encrusted with 341 diamonds, or over four carats worth. Each piece also includes the invisible Coco Twist clasp, a patent-pending feature that rotates to open and close, all in a single, satisfyingly smooth movement.

Though every Coco Crush bracelet is a work of exquisite jewellery-making in its own right, it’s when stacked that their magic is truly unlocked. And at Chanel’s suggestion, the old rules need not apply here: layer white gold with yellow and pair pieces of differing weights, with and without diamonds, for day, for night, but always with an air of insouciance. You can be confident it’s the way it would have been worn by Gabrielle herself.


All jewellery COCO CRUSH mini bracelets by CHANEL Fine Jewellery.

Photographed at La Mediterranee