Chanel’s ­Latest High-Jewelry ­Collection Pays Homage to the Coromandel Screen

The 59-piece collection is inspired by Coco Chanel's iconic screen collection.

Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel

Paris Couture week is a special time in the City of Light. Unlike the ready-to-wear fashion weeks each fall and spring, couture is a chance to showcase the world’s best craftsmen, the most unreal, over-the-top, made-to-measure clothes, bedazzled with more sequins and feathers than one can imagine wearing to the world’s finest balls and society fetes. It’s also a time when the jewelry maisons on the Place Vendôme open their ateliers to reveal what they, too, have been dreaming up for their latest collections. And sometimes, as in the case of the house of Chanel, it’s both.

This past summer, the French brand unveiled its newest high-jewelry collection, Coromandel, composed of 59 pieces (24 are one of a kind) based on the Coromandel screens that Coco Chanel collected. If there were ever a high-jewelry collection that had Siweb’s name all over it, where fashion and jewels are truly inspired by home and design, this would be the one. “When I look at them, I see doors opening and knights setting off on horseback,” Chanel said of her beloved screens. I did, too, during a private tour of the apartments at 31 rue Cambon that left me breathless. What can I say? Design can do that to you. So can jewelry.

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Two Coromandel screens flank the fireplace in one of Chanel’s 31 rue Cambon apartments.
Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel

Chanel adored her screens so much, they traveled with her to all her residences: the mansion on avenue de New-York, the legendary Parisian apartments (rue du Faubourg Saint-­Honoré, rue Cambon, and later, at the Ritz), and the chalet in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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The living room of Chanel's flat at 31 rue cambon
Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel

“I’m like a snail,” she once told Claude Delay, her biographer. “I carry my house with me. Two Chinese screens, books everywhere. I’ve never been able to live in an open house. The first thing I look for are screens.”

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Vibration Minérale
Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel

The Coromandel baubles capture the essence of Chanel’s dividers: Floral and animal motifs based on their patterns now grace cuffs and rings, while emeralds, tourmaline, red spinel, and onyx evoke their lacquer colors.

Vibration Minérale earrings, the Vibration Minérale bracelet in yellow gold and platinum featuring diamonds and lacquer, and the Vibration Minérale necklace featuring green and blue lacquer and cultured pearls.

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A scene from one of Chanel’s Chinese Coromandel screens.
Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel

As the designer herself put it: “Lacquer is my element. It’s not something that jumps out at you. I’ve bought 32 screens and given many away, but I’ve kept enough to upholster my home.”

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The Brooches
Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel

An Indonesian cultured pearl adorns the Bestiaire d’Asie brooch and a diamond-and-emerald-studded brooch.

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Chanel’s desk in front of one of her beloved screens.
Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel
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Fleur de Nacre
Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel

The white gold, diamond, and mother-of-pearl Fleur de Nacre bracelet, diamond-encrusted Fleur de Nacre earrings, white gold, diamonds, and mother-of-pearl Fleur de Nacre necklace, and white gold, diamonds, and mother-of-pearl Fleur de Nacre ring.

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Two of the Coromandel screens at 31 rue Cambon.
Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel
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The author in front of one of Chanel's screens.

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Coco Chanel photographed in 1936 by Boris Lipnitzki.
Chanel Coromandel Screen Jewelry
Courtesy of Chanel
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