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The Chanel brooch is the most iconic bijoux to have

Whoever wears Chanel wears the philosophy of a Maison that made history

By Giorgia Festi

Elegant, classy and wrapped around the neck with a necklace of sparkling pearls. Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was certainly a woman of strong tenacity. Her warrior character allowed her to make space for herself in an age in which the female figure was seen in the shadow of the male one. It freed the women from the set and suffocating silhouettes to wrap them in soft fabrics that slid down the body while giving practicality and sensuality. Its revolution brought change not only in the fashion world but also in the thinking of past and present culture. Today whoever wears Chanel wears not only a style but the philosophy of a Maison that has made the history of fashion and society.

In the wardrobe of a true fashion enthusiast you cannot miss a piece by Chanel. Bags and shoes are among the most popular accessories, but in the last period it is another object that is attracting attention: the timeless brooch. In the early 1900s, fashions required aristocratic women to use jewels covered with diamonds and precious stones. Coco Chanel, to differ from the crowd, created a new trend that included the use of semi-precious jewels within everyone's reach, the “bijoux”. Cabochon stones, diamonds, baroque pearls and precious stones, a mix of true and false that adorned the basic and linear silhouettes of Coco. The Chanel brooch was the bijoux par excellence not only for the materials from which it was composed but also for the use made of it: it was appropriate to use the brooches as an accessory on the outerwear, but Coco decided to place them on tweed jackets, on hats, on jersey dresses and even on clients' hair.

Whether new or vintage, the Chanel brooch always has its charm. Each broche is rich in personality and brings with it the memories of the year of which it was created, in addition to the immense value that it acquires over time. The pins dating back to the second half of the 1900s are mostly gold-plated and sometimes adorned with colored stones and diamonds. Since the 2000s, silver and broche have also come into play, and they are becoming more and more in tune with the catwalk collections. Today each season offers a wide selection of brooches: from the classic CC in numerous variations to the “Chanel” cursive writing adorned with pearls and Swarovski, from the golden hearts to the pendent ones up to the camellia, the icon flower of Coco, present in every collection. Whether pearls, stones, metals or other materials, each broche is a unique piece that is hard to resist.

A little pill:

The first bijoux produced by Chanel were made with the sole purpose of accompanying the clothes and didn’t possess any mark verifying the belonging to the Maison. The only jewels of which we have the certainty date back to that period, today they are part of private collections or are exhibited inside museums and therefore impossible to find on the market. After 1940 bijoux began to be on the market with the Chanel brand but they were not made by the renowned designer, but by a Maison called Chanel Novelty Company that after a long cause had to change the name. The Chanel jewels began to have been stamped by the Maison since 1954 when Coco reopened her shop on Rue Cambon entrusting the jewelery side to Robert Goossen. In the mid-1970s, Alain Westherimer, from the homonymous family that owned the Maison, introduced the copyright trademark “Chanel Made in France”. Finally, since 1993 the double C is accompanied on the right by the collection number and left by a letter indicating the season (A for autumn/winter and P for spring/summer). Today it’s also possible to read the word “Made in Italy” on the Chanel jewelry and the letter C to indicate the Cruise collection.

Therefore, when buying an original Chanel brooch, keep it tight and wear it on your best looks because it is a unique and rare accessory.