Robb Design Portfolio: Grand Illusion

  • Chanel created only six rock-crystal-and-diamond pieces in its Contrastes collection, including a pendant
  • Chanel created only six rock-crystal-and-diamond pieces in its Contrastes collection, including a bracelet
  • Chanel created only six rock-crystal-and-diamond pieces in its Contrastes collection, including a necklace

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 jewelry house Miseno is named for an ancient city said to magically bring joy to its residents…
Davies takes an ancient Greek jewelry technique and makes it fresh and modern…
Rough-cut diamonds give a fresh twist to the latest creations from De Beers…
The designer crafted a collection of fine jewelry that is both timeless and cutting-edge…
First popular during the 1920s, big, bold cocktail rings are making a comeback…
Jewelers Alex Soldier, Coomi, Pasquale Bruni, and others are getting back in touch with nature…
These designs dazzle with simple shapes presented in extravagant ways…
Photo by Michael Oldford
Assael’s diamond-and-rare-pearl jewelry depicts and aids endangered animals…
The historically inspired necklace is part of Boucheron’s new Bleu de Jodhpur collection…
The London jeweler employs rare fossilized wood to create her pieces…