Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Top Banner Ad

What Everyone's Talking About

Icon Icon Icon

The Romantic Affairs Behind Chanel’s Latest High Jewellery Collection

One inspired by Imperial Russia, a country Coco Chanel has never stepped foot into. But how? Come in and we'll take you through it.

The iconic Chanel N°5 is known and loved by many, but in that same year it was born, Coco Chanel had set off on other plans, ones that shaped the French house’s newest high jewellery collection titled, “Le Paris Russe de Chanel”, or “Chanel’s Russian Paris”.

Chanel’s designs reflected many Russian influences, including those from Imperial Russia. But how it came about is actually rather peculiar, as she had never once set foot in the country. Instead, what brought her together with the culture was a brief, but intense love affair with the elegant and discreet Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich, cousin of Tsar Nicholas II. From then on (or at least for awhile), it was Russe, Russe, Russe! Motifs, embroideries and colours all came to life based off of Coco Chanel’s vision of what Russia was, as told through the lenses of artists and aristocrats she came to know along the way.

Le Paris Russe de Chanel represents two different parts of her life: Russian splendour, a period where she was first introduced to the magnificence of refined Russia by her lover, and Russian Folklore, a place she came to know more, a place rich in colours, patterns and intricate embroideries.

During this period, Chanel had convinced Dimitri’s own sister, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, to open Kitmir, an embroidery workshop that would go on to exclusively supply for the fashion house. Many of Chanel’s cloaks, tunics and large belted blouses were modelled after traditional roubachkas, too.

One of the key pieces in the 69-piece collection features the double-headed eagle, a historic Russian coat of arms, inspired by the mirror in her apartment on rue Cambon. Other signatures found their way into the collection too, like the camellia scattered on the transformable Sarafane headpiece, and wheat – one of Coco Chanel’s personal emblem of prosperity – lining the inner rims of a circular earring.

Some pieces like the Blé Maria brooch set dedicated to Dimitri featured softer colours, set in a velvet box with scattered images depicting the two lovers on vacation, on top of a love letter with filled with inside jokes shared between the two. Walk through the collection with us, either in the gallery above, or on video here.

What To Read Next: Chanel’s Fall Couture Was Librarian Chic At Its Finest, All The Coolest Things On Sale To Make This Your Best Summer Ever and At Max Mara’s Cruise 2020, Pop Culture Merges With Berlin’s Rich History | Images: Natalyn Chan

Icon Icon Icon
What to Read Next
Fashion The Paris Fashion Week Digest – Episode 6 Big changes are happening in Paris, but there are still some things that remain steadfast. From Chanel's always-spectacular show set to Louis Vuitton's army from the future, these were our top collections from Paris.
Fashion We’re Ready For Fall: 4 Different Looks, 4 Different Moods There are countless ways to approach the season's new arrivals, here's how I did it. In collaboration with MATCHESFASHION.
Fashion All My Fashion Week Looks – The #PFW Edition It's been a while, but bonjour Paris Fashion Week! The beautiful weather in the beautiful city meant bare arms on some days and layers on others, the best kind of mix. See all my looks right here.

Talk to Us!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!