Instantly recognizable and universally coveted, Chanel’s signature tweed jacket first appeared in 1925. Gabrielle Chanel had discovered the traditional Scottish fabric during holidays at the Highlands estate owned by the Duke of Westminster, whom she met in Monte Carlo in 1923. It became an iconic example of the masculine-meets-feminine aesthetic for which she was renowned. After borrowing the duke’s rough twills for weekends of fishing and hunting, she tasked her Parisian atelier with making the fabric softer, more feminine, and form-fitting. “I was the one… who taught the Scots how to make light tweeds,” she later said of transforming it into an object of high fashion.
The house’s latest High Jewelry collection elevates tweed to new levels. Tweed de Chanel recreates the wool’s distinctive warp and weft in gold and gemstones, realizing Chanel jewelry director Patrice Leguéreau’s vision of creating “a veritable fabric of precious stones that is light and supple”. Expanding the design lexicon established in 2020 when the house first launched tweed-inspired High Jewelry, the new collection zooms in on the details in 63 one-of-a-kind designs that celebrate the richness of color and texture offered by this once-utilitarian fabric.
Five sets are dedicated to the five Chanel icons. Articulated settings and deft openwork hint at the knobbly, nubbly texture of tweed while maintaining a sense of airy lightness; fringed necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are designed to feel like fabric against the skin. These are the standout pieces.
Diamond and sapphire stars glitter amongst a rich tapestry of lapis lazuli, onyx, and yellow sapphires in the Tweed Etoile designs. Mimicking the uneven texture of tweed, the polished gems and hardstones appear as though haphazardly arranged around a 9.16-carat yellow sapphire in this vibrant bracelet.
The Tweed Soleil suite offers graphic, geometric silhouettes ablaze with yellow diamonds, beryls and rock crystal. These flattering fringed earrings dangle shards of rock crystal from a subtle hint of the tweed effect that drapes the décolletage in a matching necklace.
Gabrielle’s lucky mascot roars amongst a fiery palette of yellow gold, rubies, spinels, yellow sapphires, and spessartite garnet in the Tweed Lion suite. This necklace weaves rubies into a tweed of yellow gold, finished with a chain in a nod to another house icon. The majestic lion’s head can be removed and worn as a brooch, while the 10-carat D-Flawless pear-shaped diamond can be exchanged for a two-carat diamond and worn on a ring.
The monochromatic Ruban suite sees a diamond-set tweed ribbon weaved through white gold and pearls. Here the tweed appears as though in progress on the loom: an articulated hem of unfinished fabric flows across the wrist, pulled together with diamond ribbons as though freshly and hastily hand-tied.
The Tweed Camélia set is a feminine ode to the house’s signature flower. Pink gold, pink sapphires, and diamonds are loosely woven into an airy tweed that offers sensual glimpses of skin. The fuchsia hue of the 5.67-carat cushion-cut sapphire at the center of this necklace is complemented by the powder-pink stones scattered elsewhere.