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  • Writer's pictureSiiri

Romanov Pearls – Secret Behind The Chanel Necklace

After the 1917 revolution in Russia, The Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich fled to Paris for his life. Dimitri was now the heir to the russian crown and a cousin of the late Emperor Nikolas II whom the bolsheviks had brutally murdered along with his family, and now were after the rest of the russian aristocracy.

"A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls"

– Coco Chanel

While in Paris, Dimitri was introduced to the french fashion designer Coco Chanel who was very interested in all things russian. So, it was no wonder that Dimitri and Coco quickly became lovers sharing not only a bed but also some of the legacy of Russia. Namenly, Dimitri gave Coco the famous Romanov pearl necklace as a gift for his lover which Chanel, being the clever woman she was, adapted to be a part of her iconic style. After all, the pearls had fame, mystery and a touch of royalty. Basicly, that was all Coco needed, to make women beg for copies of her Romanov pearls.

However, pearls weren't the only thing in Russia that inspired Chanel. The russian aristocrats were amazingly talented in sewing and embroidery for the education on handicraft every woman in the russian court had to master. Therefore, Chanel decided to hired russian refugees, who had nothing to do and no place to go in Paris, to work for her fashion house in the creation of Chanel's russian collection, which in fact turned out to be quite a success.

"Costume jewelry is not made to give women an aura of wealth, but to make them beautiful."

– Coco Chanel

Despite of the popularity of the russian collection, the pearl necklace was the item that stayed and became an inseparable part of Chanel uniform, as well as, one of the symbols of Coco Chanel. Even today, Chanel's innovative way of combining real and faux pearls, metallic chains and even leather in her necklaces appears fresh, new, exciting and most of all reminds of her almoust fairy tale like past. After all, it is not often a woman is gifted a real Romanov pearls.


Thank you so much for reading!


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