Designer History

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Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel was a pioneering French designer (probably the best known designer in the world) who opened Chanel Modes in Paris in 1910. The salon carried an exclusive line of hats. In 1913 she introduced her luxe casual line, which subsequently expanded into a full line of fashion, shoes, accessories and jewellery. Again, the jewellery was originally made to compliment her fashion creations. She introduced the new concept of wearing fine jewellery with “junk” or costume jewellery. Her jewellery designs often harkened back to the Renaissance period using heavy gilt with large stones and faux pearls. During the Second World War Chanel closed her boutique but re-opened in 1954. She continued to design jewellery until her death in 1971. Her pieces, in particular the older items, are extremely highly collectible. The Chanel Company is still producing costume jewellery.

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