The designer fashion house, Chanel, has just revealed their latest collection, and the couture collection is based entirely on Gabrielle Chanel’s beloved Coromandel screens. The wearable Coromandels are the first for the designer house, and are a commemoration of the Coromandels Chanel took with her to “upholster” her home. “I’m like a snail. I carry my house with me,” Gabrielle once told her friend and biographer, Claude Delay. It would be hard to know which house, however, since she owned more than 30 at one point.
Meanwhile, there were the more adored pieces for Gabrielle Chanel out of her collection which she kept all her life and were the 17th and 18th-century Coromandels she picked up in 1910. While considering these the doors to her private world, these were also the pieces Chanel picked with the love of her life, Boy Chapel. Fast forward to the 21st century, and these ornate, lacquer screens sit in the salons of private apartments at 31 Rue Cambon.
While this year marks the first time the decorative screens take center stage for Chanel’s latest collection, previous jewelry presentations by the fashion house have offered a handful of Coromandel moments. It started with the Mademoiselle Privé watch collection in 2012 and was followed two years later by the Jardin de Camélias collection. The Coromandel collection features semi-figurative floral “calligraphy,” stylized landscapes, a lacquer box with highlights of the collection, and Asian bestiaries.
The Calligraphy Florale cuff, in its composition of white gold, white and brown diamonds, black spinets, and pink sapphires are enough to catch the eye of any passerby, and then there is the Horizon Lontain choker in yellow gold, diamonds, platinum, and mother-of-pearl, which reprises the Coromandel motifs. The haute couture collection has become available to some of the Place Vendôme’s loyal customers.