Chanel Flying Cloud High Jewelry Collection Inspired by Yachting
The Flying Cloud, a magnificent four-masted schooner that belonged to Huge Grosvenor, the second Duke of Westminster, was once considered the epitome of luxury lifestyle excesses, necessitating a crew of forty just to sail around the Mediterranean coast. Its white wooden deck was the setting for many lavish evenings’ entertainment, but also where the often stormy relationship between one of the richest men in the world at the time and his lover, Gabrielle Chanel played out.
The Duke had met Chanel, then a young designer, at a dinner party in Monte Carlo in 1923, and during a seven-year courtship he lavished her with jewels and extravagant presents, including the Villa La Pausa near Monte Carlo, where the couple would entertain famous guests like Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Pierre Bonnard.
The Flying Cloud with its white sails, buoys and ropes, is now the inspiration for Chanel Fine Jewelry’s latest collection, which uses arabesque and interlace motifs along with blue stones (turquoise, sapphires) and pearls to evoke the high seas.
Part of the collection reinvents basic elements of life at sea: buoys sculpted in white gold, lapis-lazuli and cultured pearls; ropes crafted from gold and diamonds; white gold anchors, pearls and sapphires; sails and compasses in white or yellow gold set with sapphires and diamonds
The rest of the collection presents a series of variations on a nautical summer wardrobe, borrowing elements from a sailor's striped jersey, here explored in alternating bands of deep blue sapphires and cultured pearls; the golden braids seen on marine uniforms and the yellow or white gold buttons on sailors' jackets.
The highlights of the Flying Cloud collection are a unique bib necklace featuring a woven design in white gold, sapphires and cultured pearls, and a supple rope motif necklace in white gold and diamonds.