Ode to Chanel

October 2, 2009

It seems apropos that for the Jewelry category, our first post would be about the legendary (inappropriate visual of Barney, Neil Patrick Harris’ How I Met Your Mother character here) house of Chanel.

There is a fresh wave of Chanel-mania this fall, what with the new Coco avant Chanel movie starring Audrey Tautou and the brand’s new fragrance commercials airing on primetime TV.audrey tautou as coco   Add to that the many magazine features:  the spread on the Venice debut of Chanel’s latest cruise collection in Marie Claire, the Verdura cuffs feature in Bazaar, and many other October magazine issues.  There is also the current chain purse trend, Tory Burch, Derek Lam, Chloe, and other names have released amazing pieces that could not have been inspired by anything other than the classic Chanel 2.55.

In our household however, the obsession with all things Chanel started late last year.  Zaha Hadid’s Chanel Mobile Art Exhibit took up residence in Central Park in October 2008, and while the half hour voice-guided show can take you to a place of stillness and enchantment, the giant luxuriously mink-lined quilted Chanel bag at the end is an image no woman can shake.   And then this past June we were able to watch Shirley Maclaine play an older Coco Chanel in a Lifetime movie, a role she received an emmy nomination for.  In the movie, Coco Chanel’s heartbreak, was so very well played out, that one felt truly awful over the very bad reception for her comeback in the 1960s.  You sort of want everything else in life to be great for someone who lost their loved one at what should have been one of their happiest moments.  That movie continued to haunt me for days until I finally decided I wanted my very own Chanel item.  I scoured antique jewelry stores, online vintage retailers and even ebay for not-so-current Chanel jewelry, I wanted my purchase to have that specialness of a feeling of age. After weeks of looking (and becoming an expert on identifying authentic Chanel pieces), I finally ended up with three very guilty purchases, a  heavy gold chain pendant necklace, a cable-link turnlock bracelet, and the most precious pink and white pearl hearl brooch.

Of my three new babies, the brooch is the one that has given me so much joy (I wear it everywhere and receive tons of compliments) and guilt (it cost more than the bracelet and necklace combined).  But I shall be guilty no more, as this morning, Barbara Walters came on at The View wearing what I recognized as a pastel Gripoix Chanel brooch, and I got this very smug feeling that one only gets when one thinks “mine is so much better than hers.” – Happily, Stella

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