By Avril Groom

Chanel’s new high jewellery collection just launched in Paris, Coco Avant Chanel, takes its name from Mademoiselle Chanel’s early days as a milliner and designer, before she became a grand couturière. Pieces are named after her friends from that time and show not just the delicate style of that time but also the attention to fine craft and detail reminiscent of that era, and a gentle colour-scheme based on soft grey, pink and white. The star necklace has over one thousand diamonds including one weighing more than 10 carats, while other masterpieces incorporate peachy Padparascha sapphires, rich pink sapphires, grey moonstones and myriad strings of tiny seed pearls. A big camellia brooch has little gem-set camellias within it, some items recall lace or bows and there is even an exquisite fan made of inlaid mother-of-pearl with diamonds and a delicately fretted white gold back. Beautiful pieces reminiscent of a time when craftwork was revered by all.

 

Gabrielle Chanel necklace in 18k white gold set with a pear-cut diamond for a total weight of 10,02 carats, 2 round-cit diamonds for a total weight of 0,71 carat and brilliant cut diamonds for a total weight of 51,22 carats

Bijou de tête Jeanne. “Jeanne” head jewel in 18k white gold set with 512 brilliant-cut diamonds for a total weight of 14,53 carats

“Jeanne” brooch in 18k white gld set with a cushion-vut pink spinel of 10,07 carats, 6 fancy-cut pink sapphires for a total weight of 3,91 carats, 2 pear-cut grey spinels of 1,38 carat, 64 round-cut grey spinels for a total weight of 2,40 carats, 135 round-cut pink sapphires for a total weight of 2,76 carats and 84 brilliant-cut diamonds for a total weight of 3,20 carats.

 

“Jeanne” fan in 18k white, yellow and pink gold set with round-cut diamonds of 0,30 carat, 3 fancy-cut diamonds of 0,87 carat, 1 mother-of-pearl, a grey and black silk fabric and 262 brilliant-cut diamonds for a total weight of 6,95 carat. A carved-out white quartz base.