Coco Chanel did not start out making jewellery ; she started in the fashion business by making hats in 1912. It was only 20 years later
that she started selling jewellery. During those 20 years she had affairs with rich artistocrats and became close friends with many of Paris's artistic set. She also set up a successful fashion business.

When she did start showing jewellery en 1932 she strated by showing diamonds. Later she became insterested in costume jewellery as well as precious stones with settings in gold and asked the firm of Gripoix to makeher desings for her. Gripoix had a special process which turnet molten glass into wonderful coloured "gems" which suited the exuberant colourful designs she was drawing.

When she returned to Paris after the Second World War in 1953 she re-opened her business and continued her jewellery lines, and the young craftsman/designer Robert Goosens was also asked to help with the Chanel jewellery collection. Chanel went back to designing, seeking inspiration in paintings and artefacts in the Paris museums. Maltese crosses, Byzantium and the Renaissance were all important imagery in her designs.

Since her death, designers have come and gone but the Chanel style is still there for everyone to see, true to her image.

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