“Rule-breaking” is a phrase that’s abundantly thrown around in fashion. Yet what are these rules? And who makes them?
It would be inarguable to claim that Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel is the most renowned designer in modern history. She was, after all, the era-defining pioneer who redefined and championed women’s modern way of dressing. She utterly disregarded her time’s predilection for corsets and extravagance, waging a private war against restriction to make women as comfortable in their dressing as men were.
Continually breaking the mould, Chanel was, perhaps first and foremost, a rule-breaker. Changing the course of fashion, her campaign for liberation in dressing, hence freedom in movement, was the sartorial nudge that propelled women to lead the lives they desired. Her message, if not loud and clear, was threaded and styled into her grain-defying creations: Don’t play by anyone’s rules.
No better homage to Chanel’s rebellious esprit then can be given than through the Coco Crush line. First introduced in 2015, the Coco Crush is a fine jewellery collection inspired by the matelassé, the quilted pattern which became a signature of Gabrielle Chanel, and subsequently her eponymous house. The comfort of quilts, replete in traditional horse blankets of her time, was something of a personal leitmotif to Chanel, who happened to be an equestrian. In 1955, the designer, wanting to provide hands-free comfort, injected quilts as a signature to her nifty leather bag, the iconic 2.55.
Stamped with the symbolic quilt motif, the Coco Crush series — rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings in three varying hues of 18-karat gold — is a nod to the hallowed founder’s time-tested sensibility for no-frills beauty and nonconforming streak. The pieces fluidly glide through categories: they’re classic yet of-the-time, subtle yet enthralling. And as with anything Chanel, form wonderfully collides with function, not taking a toll on ease. And yet they don’t stop there.
The Coco Crush posits another dimension: complete freedom in how one would like to wear its gems. Multiple rings on each finger; bracelets stacked around one wrist; beige gold (an alloy polish that’s lighter than yellow and is exclusive to the house of Chanel) unconventionally paired with white gold; diamonds or no diamonds; right side or upended altogether. The jewels are intrinsically designed for their wearer to freely decide whichever way to mix, match and layer them, be it liberally or minimally.
This year, the collection expands with new open-worked additions. Specifically designed with no fastening, the pieces are ostensibly a nod to its founder’s first and final jewellery collection, of which also exchanged buckles for weightless convenience. A new two-finger ring is an S-shaped coil that intertwines, yes, two fingers — one half in white gold, the other yellow gold — with one diamond encrusting each end. Without clasps, bracelets can be easily slipped on, and earrings, too. Whether or not one’s ears are pierced, they can be worn by inserting the open hoops right at the top of the ear and sliding them towards the earlobe. These unexpected small luxuries, arranged however one pleases, are what make the Coco Crush a culmination of freedom; of assertive boldness.
The forward-thinking Gabrielle Chanel once famously opined, “The proud know nothing but one supreme good: freedom.” And so to answer, only one set of rules should matter: yours. Below, T Singapore plays a game where rules and regulation don’t apply with the new Coco Crush.
Videographer: Tung Pham
Creative Director: Jack Wang
Producer: Michelle Kok
Hair: Christvian Goh
Makeup: Wee Ming using Chanel Beauty
Model: Yaryna K (Mannequin)
Locations: Que Pasa, No. 5 Emerald Hill, Ice Cold Beers
Props: Chess Academy
Words: Bianca Husodo