I’ve always loved costume jewellery, but I’m going through a phase in which I’m wearing none. I’ve also got rid of my trusty silver cuff bracelet, probably because I need simplicity and a more natural approach in my life. I’ve recently cut my long hair, too, another result of this desire to go back to the roots of myself. This doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good costume jewellery collection such as the Chanel cruise 2011 one.
It’s clear Karl Lagerfeld has decided to take a basic approach with these very classic pieces, most of them embellished by black diamanté, while others have a summery touch given by pastel-coloured cabochon stones. Even if this is a cruise collection, we get a dramatic, kind of dark atmosphere from it, totally reminiscent of the fall/winter 2011 collection and of a masterpiece of French cinema, L’année dernière à Marienbad by Alain Resnais, which is part of Chanel imagery . Symmetries, repetitions and the mirroring effect of diamanté are the material embodiment of cinematic themes featured in the film starring Delphine Seyrig (A, la femme brune), Giorgio Albertazzi (X, l’homme à l’accent italien) and Sasha Pitoeff (M, l’autre homme au visage maigre, le mari).
This outstanding piece, for example, is structured like a sculpture, an ordered sequence of straight and curved lines, embellished with 1,700 diamanté. The Peter Pan collar shape turns it into a stunning interpretation of a classic clothing detail. Despite my no-jewellery phase, I would be glad to wear this one: it’s so gorgeous and original.
The most classic Chanel piece – the cuff bracelet – becomes a timeless staple when it is decorated with one of the most famous symbols of the Parisian maison, the camellia. This black resin cuff is embellished with a black diamanté flower, with a tiny double c in the middle.
The same black diamanté decorates these lovely pendant earrings, featuring silver chains and round studs, as well.
Another recurring symbol of Chanel – pearls – is included in the collection. For example, this multi-strand bracelet is embellished with baroque glass pearls and a central medallion. I’m not a big fan of pearls, but I like the use of baroque ones (with an irregular shape) in some pieces.
Aren’t these earrings with pear-shaped glass pearls a piece of pure perfection? The slightly irregular shape of the pearls beautifully matches the golden double cs of the earring posts.
Sautoir necklaces are rarely missing in Chanel collections: in this case, we are given three of them. On the left, the long glass pearl necklace is embellished with black diamanté orbs and a camellia; on the right, the long double-strand necklace is made of baroque glass pearls and gold double c decorations.
Camellia rings are often present in Chanel fine jewellery collections (the diamond and platinum one, for example, is one of the most notable pieces), but here we have a more affordable (but still expensive) version, made of metal and embellished with a diamanté flower. The other ring introduces a more summery mood, thanks to the use of pastel-coloured cabochon stones.
The same baby blue glass cabochons embellish this long double-strand necklace. Though nice, this necklace doesn’t convince me much.
Last but not least, here is one of my favourite pieces – an enameled cuff with pink, mauve and lilac glass stones and diamanté. The only downside? It looks really similar to Alexis Bittar lucite cuffs with strass decorations. Probably I won’t never wear such a piece (I prefer less sugary jewels) but it’s definitely one of the best of the collection.
What do you think of these pieces of costume jewellery designed for the cruise 2011 season? Which one is your favourite?
 Most of Seyrig’s outfits in the film were designed by Coco Chanel.