Channeling Chanel

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the 1932 Paris debut of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s fine jewelry collection, Bijoux de Diamants (Diamond Jewels). To celebrate, the famous fashion and jewelry house has recreated and revamped 80 exquisite diamond pieces, now available at Chanel Fine Jewelry Boutiques around the world.

Obsessed by Jewelry invites you to take a look:

Mademoiselle Chanel’s inaugural “high jewelry” collection was inspired by several motifs she employed in her fabulous fashions. Think bows and ribbons…a plethora of pleats…and of course her favorite flower (and ours), the camellia. She also drew on the heavens above Paris for inspiration…the sun, comets, shooting stars and constellations. Chanel was a Leo…and she celebrated her Zodiac sign with this over-the-top quartz and yellow diamond lion ring.

Referring to the comfortable elegance borrowed from her couture collections, Chanel told the French newspaper I’Intransigeant, “I want the jewelry to be like a ribbon on a woman’s fingers…I wanted to cover women with constellations…and stars, stars, stars!”

But Chanel’s love of all things jewelry was not limited to precious diamonds. Not our Coco. She was famous for mixing high and low styles with extraordinary flair. She loved costume jewelry and wore masses of pearls, layering on real and faux with abandon. Divine.

“A fashion that doesn’t hit the street,” said Chanel, “isn’t a fashion.” Obsessed by Jewelry couldn’t agree more.

It’s interesting to note that Chanel premiered her diamond jewelry collection in the midst of the Great Depression. But never mind. If you can’t quite afford the real thing, check out these seen-on-the-street photos to help you channel Mademoiselle Chanel’s signature looks for less. Enjoy!

Looking for affordable alternatives? Click Here>>

Photo of Coco Chanel courtesy Lipnitzki / Roger Viollet / Getty Images

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