Fashion & Shopping

Coco’s Camellia

May 20, 2019

Ask someone their favourite flower and you’ll probably hear an answer along the lines of the rose, peony or orchid. Maybe some will mention the tulip, the dahlia. We tend toward the most beautiful varieties and the ones rooted in tradition, or those emitting an intoxicating scent—the spectacular. But not Gabrielle Chanel. Never one to follow the crowd, the icon chose the scentless and humble camellia as her very own floral muse and, when she began donning a single white bloom atop her signature black dresses in the early 1920s, the fashion world took notice.


To this day, Chanel continues to embrace the simple fleur in homage and debuted the 1.5 1 Camélia . 5 Allures High Jewelry collection earlier this year in Paris. The name refers to the transformative nature of the line, with several of the fifty pieces designed to be worn five different ways. Gabrielle herself believed that jewelry was not to be thought of as an accessory or ornament but something that should be comfortable with the ability to suit different desires. She was quoted as saying, “My [jewels] are flexible and detachable. … You can take apart the jewelry and use it to match a hat or fur. In this way, the set of jewelry is no longer an immutable object. Life transforms it and bends it to its needs.”


The Rouge Tentation ring does just that with dazzling pink gold, red spinels and diamond petals that can be removed to reveal a more delicate option. Detached, the petals can be joined to a small pink gold and diamond camellia brooch for a bold effect. In the same vein, the camellia motif adorning the Rose Poudré bracelet in pink gold and diamonds is removable and can be styled as a brooch. However, the real stars are the necklaces with the ability to be worn in five distinct styles. Beauties such as the exquisite Cristal Illusion necklace dazzle in white gold, diamonds and rock crystal with a detachable camellia that can be displayed separately as a brooch and necklace worn elegantly on its own as a double choker, cravat or sautoir. In true Chanel form, each piece in the collection embodies Coco’s emblematic bloom with beauty and expertise.

Available in select boutiques now. —Rachel Johnston


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