See Chanel’s Fierce Signe Du Lion Jewels Come To Life
Video: Tyrone Wu/Hong Kong Tatler
As much as Chanel’s high jewellery is about empowerment, it is also about love, and love lost. Amidst Coco Chanel’s calls for emancipation, she also embraced the vulnerability that came with falling in love.
Devastated when her great love, English tycoon Arthur “Boy” Capel, died just before Christmas in 1919, she headed to Venice, where she eventually found the strength to “breathe again.” There she discovered the proud and courageous lion—a traditional symbol of Venice—and used it in many of her designs. Indeed, the lion has turned up in the buttons of many of Chanel’s couture, and figures prominently in a high jewellery collection called Sous le Signe du Lion, which was first launched in 2013.
A particular piece worth mentioning is a diamond-encrusted Lion Astral watch, which is both a timepiece and a luxurious bracelet. This piece not only stands as a reminder of how Coco found the strength to move on, but also represents her progressive approach to jewellery, as she was already creating transformable and multifunctional pieces back in the 1930s.