Robb Design Portfolio: Grand Illusion

The House of Chanel (800.550.0005, www.chanel.com) has long been inspired by the designer’s life and legend, and its new high-jewelry collection is drawn from a particularly artistic moment: Coco Chanel’s 1925 collaboration with Jean Cocteau, when she designed the costumes for his play Orpheus. The collection, called Contrastes, was unveiled at the July haute couture shows in Paris. In a surreal presentation that might have been art-directed by Cocteau, Chanel’s Place Vendôme boutique was transformed with dramatic lighting and props, like a white staircase to nowhere, with extravagant jewels replacing actors in the spotlight. The designs, mysterious and dreamlike, explore a series of contradictory qualities: darkness and light, softness and rigidity, permanence and ephemerality. The rock-crystal-and-diamond pieces especially capture Chanel’s innovative spirit. The large, organically shaped crystals are inset with a swirling arabesque of diamonds, creating a fascinating illusion of diamonds floating within the stones. Only six of these one-of-kind pieces were created; prices are available upon request.

The Milanese jeweler celebrated the opening with one-off jewelry pieces inspired by paintings…
The London jeweler uses baguette-cut gemstones to echo the film’s neon-lit buildings…
The store is located inside the Peninsula Hotel in the 16th arrondissement…
Photo by Matthias Hoffmann
The 13-piece collection will be on display in cities around the globe in the coming months…
Photo by Jasper Johal
Jessica McCormack’s Victorian townhouse looks like a tasteful private residence in London’s posh...
The jewelry in the new Louis Vuitton Emprise Collection feature streamlined rectangular shapes that...
Lisa Charles Watson, styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
The understated, masculine style of Shamballa Jewels’ macramé bracelets (www.shamballajewels.com)...
Photo by Lisa Charles Watson, styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
Made from 150-million-year-old fossilized dinosaur bone, this Monique Péan necklace (www....
Photo by Bernhard Rampf
Nature’s Jewels collection by Hemmerle appears to have been foraged in the woods rather than cast...
The jewelers combine shark teeth with traditional materials…