Mega-bucks collection, bigger boutique for Chanel jewelry

PARIS, Nov 13, 2007 (AFP) - Chanel's essentially up-market jewelry and watch boutique on Paris' home-of-luxury square, the Place Vendome, marks its 10th anniversary with a total makeover almost doubling the floor space, and a new diamond collection for the ultra rich.

Chanel Joaillerie, which has 42 boutiques worldwide, has been refurbished by US architect Peter Marino, maintaining the classical 18th century facade but carving up the interior of Number 18 as a succession of richly-decorated rooms fit for Coco Chanel, director Philippe Mougenot told AFP.

"After 10 years we wanted to modernize," he said, adding that Marino had "wondered what type of interior Miss Chanel would live in today."

The answer was walls covered in hand-made silk, marble fireplaces from the 19th century, a lacquered Chinese screen from the 17th and a profusion of crystal chandeliers.

On the jewelry front, the company will on Wednesday mark the anniversary with the launch of 18 diamond jewels named after the address -- 18 Place Vendome -- and a limited edition diamond watch worth a cool 550,000 euros.

Chanel Joaillerie was growing well above market and planned to set up shop soon in Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Russia, Mougenot said.

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