hen Gabrielle Chanel adopted tweed as her own, it was to gift its comfort to elegant, sporty and resolutely modern women. When Patrice Leguéreau, Director of the Chanel Fine Jewelry Creation Studio, took his inspiration from it in 2020, it was to create the first High Jewelry collection dedicated to tweed, with as its central masterpiece the “Tweed Couture” necklace.
Re-created today, this technical and aesthetic tour de force now forms part of the Chanel High Jewelry Patrimoine. And it assures tweed a definitive place among the major inspirations of the Chanel Fine Jewelry Creation Studio.
Taming tweed. Transforming its softness, reinterpreting its weave and the irregularities that deepen its fleecy qualities, and mastering its suppleness in gold, pearls and gemtones. This is the dream that is realized in the “Tweed Couture” necklace. Unfolding in a host of radiating lines of varying lengths, it evokes a dense yet astonishingly light weave, created through a number of innovative processes.
The first of these is the articulation of rose gold and platinum threads to create minuscule hinges, rings and joints that infuse the whole structure of the necklace with suppleness. They are complemented by settings of equal lightness, in which each stone appears to be freed from claws or beads, to be fully revealed in the light.
Rows of infinitely delicate pink sapphires, intense and crystalline red spinels, velvet-smooth pearls and diamonds of dazzling clarity weave the warp and weft of the tweed to re-create its downy thickness. A row of pearls, meanwhile, punctuated in the center by a 10.20 carat DIF type IIa cushion-cut diamond, delicately accentuates the base of the neck. Finally, the back of every element has been polished to ensure the necklace is as light and comfortable as tweed.
In its perfect embrace of the curve of the neck and its re-creation of the tweed weave, the “Tweed Couture” necklace elevates suppleness to the level of a creative principle, as exalted by the mastery and savoir-faire of the Chanel Fine Jewelry Atelier. In its freedom and inventiveness, it celebrates the uncompromising boldness of Mademoiselle and takes its place in the Chanel High Jewelry Patrimoine.
Patrice Leguéreau, Director of the Chanel Jewelry Creation Studio: “The Tweed Couture” necklace, which combines most of the technical challenges we had to face in 2020, was the most ambitious piece in this High Jewelry collection. For example, more than 980 articulations were assembled to create the exceptional suppleness of the necklace. That’s why today, Chanel is proud to donate this exceptional piece to the Patrimoine department as a precious testimony of our creativity and savoir-faire.”
In the 1920s, Gabrielle Chanel had a love affair with the Duke of Westminster and discovered the lifestyle of the English aristocracy. The Duke had an indisputable influence on the designs of Mademoiselle, who notably borrowed his tweed jackets to offer reinterpretations of them in her collections. Tweed is a thick, soft woolen fabric that takes its name from the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders. While it has been part of the Chanel vocabulary of style since the 1920s, it entered the Maison’s world of jewelry in 2020, with an initial collection of 45 High Jewelry pieces.
Created in platinum, rose gold, pink sapphires, cultured pearls and diamonds, including a 10.20-carat cushion-cut diamond, the “Tweed Couture” necklace is emblematic of the “Tweed De Chanel” theme. Different cuts of stones are arranged to create a precious tweed weave, and the gold structure is fully articulated to give each piece the suppleness of a fabric. The most expensive piece in the 2020 collection, the “Tweed Couture” necklace has been reproduced for the occasion in order to join the pieces in the Chanel High Jewelry Patrimoine department, such as the “55.55” necklace from the “N°5” High Jewelry Collection.