Explores one of the many sides of Coco Chanel, a creature of contrasts whose legacy continues to intrigue her admirers. There was the Chanel of the most sumptuous baroque, of dazzling, playful, unrestrained jewelry, of diamonds and emeralds shimmering like stars, and there was the Chanel of the tailored suit and the little black dress, of the severe cut, the strand of pearls, of classicism à la française. Out of this dialogue between hyperbole and understatement, and in counterpoint to the costume jewelry that she gave to the world, she created jewelry that was unparalleled in its insistence on luxury and refinement and unfettered in its imagination. Her jewelry presents one of the least known aspects of her work. With more than 120 illustrations and based on archival research and interviews with Chanel's colleagues and other witnesses to her life and career.--From publisher description.