Fashion is indebted to Coco Chanel. As much people speculate about her colourful affairs and storied life, no one can doubt the impact Chanel had on the world of style. She is credited with the creation of the handbag, the concept of the 'little black dress', initiating masculine tropes (like trousers and sailor's Bretons) for women and changing our perception of costume jewellery. As the lady herself said: "It's disgusting to walk around with millions around the neck because one happens to be rich. I only like fake jewelry… because it's provocative."
To celebrate what would have been Chanel's 129th birthday this Sunday, collector Douglas Rosin and auction site 1stdibs have sourced a special capsule collection of jewellery from the 1960s-2008, launching today. Over 60 pieces, the accessories offer an overview of Chanel's jewellery: poured glass, coloured stone, faux pearls and rhinestones. We spoke to Douglas Rosin to hear more about collecting and this monumental sale.
Dazed Digital: What was the Chanel first piece you collected?
Douglas Rosin: I was at an auction bidding on several box lots and afterwards another dealer came up to me and said "What was in those box lots, gold?" I said, "Yes, in a way they are." These were my first Chanel jewellery pieces.
DD: What do you think Coco Chanel would think of today's Chanel jewellery range?
Douglas Rosin: I think Coco Chanel would have approved. In her own words: "Fashion is always of the time in which you live. It is not something standing still. But the grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous." And today's collection does just that.
DD: Do you have a favourite piece from the capsule collection?
Douglas Rosin: I usually don’t have favourites, but I love the multi-strand pearl bracelet because it looks great on. It might come home with me! I also love the work on the unusual chain necklace with enamelled petal accents.
DD: As a collector you must see a lot of amazing pieces and, conversely, a lot of rubbish. What are your tips for spotting fakes?
Douglas Rosin: Avoid pieces that feel tinny or light, also the patina of the gold should not look bright, look for craftsmanship, always examine the way the glass is used and also its colour; older coloured glass used to come in primary colors. Importantly, if you are starting out, trust your dealer!
DD: How has 1stdibs changed the way you work?
Douglas Rosin: Basically 1stdibs has opened the doors of the world to all its dealers. It forces us to know more about all our pieces, through research, so we can present them correctly. As my partner says, I can be working 24 hours a day.
The Chanel Sale will be active from Wednesday 15th August2012, 15.00 EST and 20.00 GMT