Patrice Leguéreau, director of the jewelry creation studio presents the Escale à Venise collection. Composed of 70 exceptional pieces, these high jewelry treasures offer a contemporary interpretation of Gabrielle Chanel’s discovery of the Floating City. A tribute to one of Mademoiselle’s favorite destinations, Escale à Venise features the icons of CHANEL as seen through the prism of La Sérénissime today.
In 2020, the “ESCALE A VENISE” collection is made up of 70 pieces of High Jewelry, 22 of which are one-of-a-kind and unique in color, 4 brooches that come in a limited edition of 5 and 5 High Jewelry watches.
The sculptural aspect of these extraordinary stones imbues this ensemble with an aesthetic that is as precious as it is powerful.
Escale à Venise is divided in 4 inspiration frames: Sérénissime, Gran Canale, Le Isole della Laguna e The Spirit of Venice. We decide to make a focus on the Spirit of Venice with a special deepening on Constellation Astrale 4 amazing creation.
The spirit of Venice is expressed through the personality of the lion that reigns supreme over the city. After the first high jewellery collection of 2013 dedicated to Gabrielle Chanel’s astrological sign, the feline now appears in five distinguished sets. The monochromatic Lion Secret necklace shows the profile of two white gold beasts set with pear and shuttle-cut diamonds watching over a 15.55 carat pear-shaped diamond. Like a bas-relief, this unique duo appears on a supple bracelet composed of diamond links.
Lion Secret plays the color card on a three-strand sautoir necklace. It combines red spinel beads and lapis lazuli beads with two sovereign lions whose pelage consists of yellow sapphires. This necklace is accompanied by a stunning bracelet that reflects fluidity and strength with the baroque lion medallion.
The sky where the winged lion appears on the façade of Saint Mark’s Basilica, is transposed by CHANEL onto the Constellation Astrale set. The result is a nocturnal necklace carved from a powerful lapis lazuli mosaic. The central star is set with 4.47 carat yellow sapphire that shimmers on a nebula of stars, also found on a bracelet and a pair of earrings in majestic relief. Finally, the blue gem, faceted like a diamond, forms a starry ring set with a 4.25 carat cushion cut yellow sapphire.
“It is the day of my birth, August 19th. I was born under the Leo sign. For I am a lion and, like him, I put my claws out to prevent anyone from hurting me. But, believe me, I suffer more from scratching than from being scratched.”
Quote by Mademoiselle Chanel from Pierre Galante’s book “Les Années Chanel” (published by Mercure de France, 1972 p. 322)
Is not the first time that the Maison celebrate the city of Venise. In the 2013 the restoration of the Lion of St. Mark and the gold studded blue mosaic is part of the extensive program of the Comite Francais pour la Sauvegarde de Venise: firstly, thanks to private patronage it has restored over the past 16 years the Royal Palace, Piazza San Marco and has doubled the size of the Correr Museum; more recently, the French Committee has funded the restoration of two emblematic sculptures of the Serenissima in the Basilica of St. Mark: the Golden Lion, thanks to CHANEL, and the Quadriga Horses of Saint Mark with the sup-port of the Groupe des jeunes of the Comite Francais pour la Sauvegarde de Venise.
For centuries, the Lion of St. Mark has reigned on the facade of the Basilica of St. Mark, just above the Byzantine horses. Its gold had faded, but its allure nevertheless remained triumphant. It is visible from all sides of the square. Just above it, one can make out the tops of the church roofs and the sky. Its wings further enhance this magical impression. Amazingly, the lion is positioned in front of a star-studded mosaic; a sign of destiny as the Comet was also present in the creative world of Gabrielle Chanel. At any moment the Golden Lion of Venice, one of the CHANEL symbols, appears ready to spring into a starry sky.
Two teams worked for several months to restore the lion and the mosaic: – The first team started to restore the lion itself. After a detailed study of the state of oxidation and the extent of work to be done, the restorers took the statue down in December 2013. Each part of the statue composed of several elements in gilded copper sheets fixed on a metal frame were cleaned and sanded before applying a special coating for gilding. Three layers of gold were applied. The final step was the application of a protective coating made from wax before the lion was finally put back in place on the facade. This work required 1,300 hours.
The second team was dedicated to the restoration of the star-studded mosaic that adorns the wall of the basilica behind the lion. Each piece of the mosaic degraded by pollution and the salt of the lagoon was removed one by one. All pieces were then washed thoroughly to remove any damaging particles. The challenge for this restoration work was to preserve the original mosaic as much as possible. Also, many damaged portions were taken to a specialized workshop to be restored before being put back in place on the original structure. 600 blue and 200 golden tesserae tiles were replaced. Four craftsmen worked for 32 weeks on the project.
Gabrielle Chanel made Venice her city, and like it she was placed under the sign of Leo. The House of CHANEL decided to bring a new strength to this symbol of the city of Venice. The lion of St. Mark can once again reign over the Serenissima thanks to the work of the two teams and the patronage of CHANEL that allowed a complete restoration of this Venetian masterpiece. This project forever binds the House of CHANEL and the city of Venice.