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Chanel presents a sport-inspired Haute Joaillerie collection

In sport, it’s the numbers. Which sprinter has the fastest time? Which team has the highest score? Which gymnast gets the perfect ten? This summer, the eyes of the world will turn to Paris to watch the scoreboards as countries compete for gold at the Paris Summer Olympics. French haute couture house Chanel, located at the epicenter of Paris’ Place Vendôme, is ushering in this very sporty season in glittering style. A new haute couture collection, High Jewellery Sport (Sport High Jewelry), designed by Patrice Leguéreau, director of the Fine Jewelry Creation Studio, entices women to move their bodies by ensuring that their high-quality jewelry follows suit.

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

Like sportswear, the pieces in this collection are designed to mimic the anatomical nature and lines of the female form. The novel jewelry is ultra-light and can transform to offer true freedom to the lady who has proven her happiness. Discover the sporty chevron motif that pulsates with speed and the clean contours that recall a race track. At the same time, the iconic 5 appears in a chronometer typography. Particularly noteworthy is that the Chanel signature is presented for the first time in a high-end jewelry creation.

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

Leguéreau expresses that he hopes that customers will experience “a feeling of freedom of movement and energy” with this new collection. Inspired by the sporty style of Chanel, with its elegant lines and garments that encourage movement, he sought to highlight the athletic appeal that Gabrielle Chanel so mastered. As early as 1921, she set up a “sport” atelier in her haute couture house, explains Leguéreau. “This collection combines elegance with performance – through its aesthetics, its technical savoir-faire and its careful selection of gemstones – and celebrates this vibrant energy that defines a woman’s look, movement,” he says. Functionality and technical savoir-faire come to the fore with quick-release fasteners borrowed from sports equipment and transformed into real fasteners. These are not hidden but placed at the heart of the jewelry. Concretely: a snap hook has been redesigned in the shape of the number 5, while a twist lock, along with buckles and loops, have been borrowed from the 2.55 bag.

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

Note the quilted Chanel motif, here represented in the style of high-performance openwork fabrics. This too is now a supple mesh and embellished with sporty signatures. Meanwhile, a tube chain becomes a “sport cord”. In this collection marked by French audacity, both precious and high-tech materials such as carbon fiber combine low density with high resistance to create an ultra-light sports cuff. Meanwhile, aluminum, known to be light and resistant, rocks in new colors. Lacquer dominates the color palette to highlight shades that harmonize with those of the precious stones.

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

Gemstones play a central role. The sapphires in particular are simply described by Leguéreau as “the finest ensemble of stones Chanel has ever presented.” He explains that the moment he discovered the set of Kashmir sapphires, he realized they were “incomparable, priceless and an extremely rare ensemble of collector’s sapphires showcased in high-end jewelry.” To ensure a harmonious ensemble that meets the highest quality standards, years were devoted to finding each individual stone. “It is an ensemble that we created from scratch, one step at a time, as always at Chanel, where creation is at the heart of everything we do. They perfectly ’embody’ my vision of color.” The hues add extra dynamism. Two- and three-tone contrasts highlight the colored stones and their silhouettes underline the ergonomic aesthetic of the collection.

Chanel high-quality jewelry

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

This high-end jewelry uses very advanced savoir-faire to develop new shapes and new functions without losing elegance, and uses unusual materials such as carbon and aluminum, which are uncommon in high-end jewelry. “I wanted to create a carbon ‘weave’ that would cover the entire external surface seamlessly. However, the conventional techniques used on this type of material, such as machining, could not achieve the desired result,” he explains. “The carbon was therefore shaped, which brought with it a large number of complexities. The second challenge with this material was laser engraving to represent the lace motif of the lettering on the entire external surface without distorting the letters,” he continues. The creative is impressed that the features have been designed, proportioned and integrated with precision to sit perfectly on a woman’s body as she moves. “This was the case, for example, with the Musketon clasp in the shape of the number 5,” he explains with a touch of bravura. “It all starts with the sketch, the idea. And then come the challenges! Fortunately, nothing sounds impossible when it comes to creation. This is the fantastic feeling I have had since arriving at the Chanel Fine Jewellery Creation Studio.”

The designer, who began his career at Cartier and later spent a decade at Van Cleef et Arpels, is a man in constant motion. “Sport has always been a part of my life. Especially skiing and running. I love running marathons. Running clears my head and makes me feel free, which is essential when creating,” he says. He seems to have found his pace at Chanel, as he has now worked for the house for 15 years. He specialized in the métiers d’art of modeled engraving at the famous Ecole Boulle and also studied at the Institut National de Gemmologie. In designing all of Chanel’s fine and high-end jewelry collections, he transforms popular codes such as the comet, the feather, the camellia, the wheatsheaf pattern, quilting and pearls in spectacular new ways. He introduced the lion, Mademoiselle Chanel’s zodiac sign “Leo”, into the style world of high-end jewelry, along with collections dedicated to perfume No 5 and tweed fabric. He also exhibits valuable objects, including the Academic Sword for the American conductor William Christie and other custom-made pieces. Now Leguéreau is once again showing his artistic skills. Like an athlete, he has explored the limits of what is possible. With technical brilliance, precision and artistry, he has created a narrative that evokes excitement and amazement.

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

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