STYLING BY HOLLY DAVIESReuse content
In 1932, as her country slowly clambered out of economic depression, Coco Chanel held an exhibition of specially crafted diamond jewellery. Despite the show's proceeds being sent to a charity for single mothers, Parisians were (perhaps understandably) outraged by what they saw as Madame's exercise in frivolity. How times change. In early April, the first European Chanel jewellery boutique outside Paris opens in London; though prices will range from pounds 1,500 to in excess of pounds 300,000, it's unlikely that the denizens of Bond Street will blink a heavily mascara'd eyelash - they'll be too busy reaching for the platinum credit cards. For this is a beautifully crafted collection that, despite the flash of a thousand gems, should kill off Chanel jewellery's glitzy, "faux" reputation; some of Coco's original designs will even be on sale again, including the "comet necklace": a chainmail-like affair of 600 diamonds made by the original jeweller's grandson. But be warned - wearing these pieces is a lot more complicated than just splashing on the No 5. During the shoot, our photographer and stylist were accompanied by two extremely serious security guards; so it seems a fair bet you'd need - at the very least - a personal minder before wearing this sort of Chanel in public.