In 2020, Chanel and the creative studio led by Patrice Leguéreau unveiled their first collection dedicated to tweed. In 2023, “tweed again”, but this time it was an even greater and more precious journey, with a lot of gemstones, magnificent materials and fabulous colours. This is so Chanel and it is gorgeous.
1- what is tweed?
Tweed is a carded wool fabric whose name comes from the word “tweel”, “tweal” or “twill” in Scots (a Germanic language spoken in Scotland and Northern Ireland very close to English), the latter referring to the way in which the famous fabric was made and to the weave (interweaving of the weft and warp threads) of this particularly warm type of wool. There is also some historical confusion with Tweed, the river that flows along the Scottish coast.
There is no official date for the creation of tweed; in fact, the local people developed the know-how needed to survive the harsh and extreme climatic conditions: relatively violent winds, cold and rain. Sheep are thought to have been introduced to the area as far back as 4000 BC. A capricious climate required animals that could survive, such as the Cheviots sheep, a hardy breed perfectly adapted to this territory. Meat and wool in the same animal.
Naturally, weaving did not take root, with the manufacture of tightly woven fabrics ensuring that clothes were perfectly waterproof. Over the centuries, the technique was refined and then mechanised. But it’s important to remember that in Ireland and Scotland during the 18th-century, most families owned a weaving loom. This fabric was therefore primarily used for outdoor clothing. Prized by men at weekends in the country, it wasn’t until the 20th century that it was worn more regularly in the city.
2- Chanel and tweed
1924, Gabrielle Chanel met Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, in Monte-Carlo. Born in 1879, he is the son of Victor Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster and Lady Sibell Lumley, daughter of the Earl of Scarborough. A sulphurous character who was divorced several times, he was also a formidable politician and a man of great elegance. It was undoubtedly all of this that seduced Gabrielle, who was, at this era, adored for her creations.
She borrowed the Duke’s wardrobe and adapted it for women, with the same desire that characterises her work: to no longer see women’s bodies fettered. Tweed, which featured prominently in this wardrobe, became a staple of the house and the brand’s signature. This soft, supple fabric was a partner of choice. At Chanel, tweed is adorned with colours, ribbons, feathers and sequins, and never ceases to amaze us with each new collection. Its adaptation to jewelry was therefore obvious.
3- Tweed in 63 pieces
2023, the year of gemstones for this new tweed. Five chapters for five symbols dear to Coco: the ribbon, the camellia, the stars, the lion and the sun. The house and its workshops called on pearls, stones, gold and platinum of course. Here diamonds, there pink sapphires, imperial topaz and orange beryls, elsewhere lapis lazuli and onyx offer striking contrasts.
The result? Simply remarkable. The jewelers’ masterful use of enamelling gives the pieces an astonishing suppleness. The stones with their different volumes skilfully reproduce the prowess of the weavers who imagine the tweeds of future collections. Everywhere, in every piece, the weft of the fabric is apparent.
At Chanel, jewelry has become a veritable medium of expression. Year after year, the House expands its creative vocabulary, brilliantly reinterpreting the very essence of the House. “For this new Haute Joaillerie collection dedicated to Tweed, I wanted to go even further in its interpretation by imagining a real fabric of precious stones, supple and light” says Patrice Leguéreau. The result is perfect, bravo!
See you soon!