Chanel is famed for its traveling resort fashion shows and immersive sets at the Grand Palais, and the house’s wanderlust is brought to life in the Escale à Venise high-jewelry collection. The 70 pieces are a love letter to the Floating City, and they interpret several of Chanel’s jewelry icons through a Venetian lens, including the lion, camelia, and stars. There are also charming nods to Venice’s tourists, including ice cream cones and a gondolier in a striped shirt.
The collection is divided into four chapters. La Sérénissime, one of the city’s nicknames, is inspired by the city’s incredible architecture, mosaics, palaces, and churches in geometric pieces studded with colorful stones. Isole della Laguna looks to the islands that dot the lagoon, including Murano, which is famed for its glasswork. Here, the Camelia is interpreted in mosaics, gorgeous colors, or in rock crystal with yellow gold, an homage to Murano glass. Spirito di Venezia showcases the city’s iconic winged lion, a bronze sculpture in Piazza San Marco. The lion is also important to Chanel and has appeared in its jewelry before—Gabrielle Chanel was a Leo.
But it’s the city’s Grand Canal, myriad waterways, and gondolas that are the most captivating and iconic. Nautical themes abound in the Gran Canale collection, from the blue-and-white mooring poles used by the gondoliers, rendered in brilliant blue lapis lazuli and diamond, to Golden chains recall knotted ropes used on ships, and pearls, which are the gem of the sea.
While some pieces are more literal interpretations of Venice’s maritime history, with diagonal blue and white stripes, there are more abstract interpretations, too. The glamorous Volute Crosière ring pays tribute to the water with a beautiful central sapphire surrounded by yellow gold, onyx, and diamond. There’s also a red-and-white version of the Volute collection. Until we can travel again, Chanel’s jewelry is a charming way to bring one of the world’s most beautiful and historic cities home with you.