NEW YORK, last Week I was fortunate to visit The Jewel Box pop up showcasing the new Coco Crush jewelry by the luxury French atelier CHANEL. The showcase featured exquisite pieces of Chanel Fine Jewelry in a luxurious and unexpected residential space. The space transformed into an 18th century apartment in Paris, with modern decor incorporated in splashes.
Following on from Chanel’s successful brand experiences of ‘The Little Black Jacket’ and ‘The Chanel Prive’ Exhibition at The Saatchi. The Jewel Box pop up extends the brand experience by giving the consumer yet another explorative sensory touchpoint to the brand.
I have gained thorough insight through these brand experiences- that everything that happened in Gabriel Cocos life she used as symbolism to create her collections. She used all her experiences bad or good as a backbone to her brand and her story. She created an extraordinary USP in pursuit of her passions.
Gabrielle Coco was brought up in an orphanage, she had no parentage. So anything positive that happened throughout her life would not have happened without the negative. This was the narrative to her brand. She captured this in her creativity and applied it to her designs and ideas. I believe this is why Chanel is so powerful till this day. It has an intriguing story behind it – a woman who fought and hustled throughout her life and turned the tables.
Such as the wheat – the gold of the wheat on her way to the orphanage was a beige and represented the yellow gold that she would then use in her jewelry pieces. The symbolism of the black and the white was the uniform that the nuns used to wear in the orphanage where she learned how to sew. The camellias that are used throughout her branding, were her favorite flowers that her lover Boy Capel would send her. The Jewel Box captured Chanel’s finest gold captured through bracelets, rings, diamonds and jewels in an incredible artistic art form.
My first watch was a Chanel J12 and I think anyone that first comes into contact with the Chanel brand feels an emotive story and connection to Chanel. I believe this is down to her superstitions and the way that she linked everything. These connections never leave you- because they never left her.
The location set was a lounge sitting room area based on Coco Chanel’s apartment. Embodying the feel of an 18th century Parisian apartment with modern décor elements.
The Jewel Box embodies the experience of CHANEL Fine Jewelry as a whole, as you would find in Chanel’s private home.
The coffee table was made of a gold ribbon ruching incased in a lucite coffee top casing. Used as a centre piece for the exhibition, infront of a brocade white fireplace. Various pieces of jewelry were displayed in vintage gold cases and several Chanel signature black padded Jewllery boxes filled with jewelry adorned the living area.
Birdcages were used to display bracelets and watches. Bowls of camellias filled the room whilst waiters in black tails coats hovered around the room serving refreshments and Hors d’oeuvres.
My particular favorite pieces were the newly launched ‘Boy.friend Watch’ named after Boy Capel. Arthur “Boy” Capel was the great love of Gabrielle Chanel. Boy was also the main financer for the start of the Chanel brand and engineered her career as an independent woman. This was at a time when only men dared to enter the world of business.
The watch comes in six models; Available in two sizes (Large and XLarge) set with or without diamonds in a case that is made of white or beige gold. All watches feature alligator straps in either Navy, Black or Red.
My personal favorite was the red strap against the Beige Gold bezel. Chanel have actually made them own rose gold by blending yellow gold with rose gold to create their own colour that is called – Beige Gold.
The pieces is so elegant timepiece that has absolutely perfect balance and harmony.
All of the pieces are displayed in an intimate environment whereby visitors are encouraged try on the pieces and style the collections in their own unique way. Set against a backdrop of neutral walls with traditional Parisian moldings, richly appointed bookcases and modern furnishings, CHANEL Fine Jewelry is beautifully celebrated in its purest form.
With a strong connection to the heritage of the House and its founder, CHANEL Fine Jewelry draws on the motifs that rendered Gabrielle Chanel’s style so inimitable. Camellias, comets, lions, stars and feathers.
Unbeknown, chanel was an extremely superstitious woman. Stars are heavily used within her costume jewelry. The reasoning behind this is that a comet -also known as a shooting star has a history of wishing on it and making your wish come true.
An infinitely modern symbol, the comet leaves behind a trail of the most elaborate dreams of happiness and freedom. As always, it is powerfully associated with diamonds, which were the inspiration behind the first jewellery collection designed by Coco Chanel in 1932.
Familiar symbols use throughout are intimately tied to Mademoiselle Chanel and form the stylistic vocabulary for CHANEL Fine Jewelry.
I believe the magic of Chanel never leaves you. It’s iconic symbolism stays with you throughout your lifetime.