The fate of the camellia would have been remarkably different if it were not for the ingenuity of Gabrielle Chanel.
Gabrielle Chanel was fascinated with numerology. Superstition in numbers often guided her decisions and held great significance in her life — most importantly, her lucky number five.
The number five brought Gabrielle Chanel great luck. Twice yearly, on the fifth day of the month, her fashion shows were revealed. Now, for the first time ever, the emblematic camellia is handcrafted in five, High Jewelry variations.
In the Chanel 1.5 – 1 CAMÉLIA, 5 ALLURES High Jewelry collection, numbers take on new significance, paying homage to the singular camellia, the emblematic flower of CHANEL, and the five variations in which it is crafted.
The Chanel camellia silhouette is the inspiration of every design in this collection, structured in five different chapters: Rouge Incadecent, Cristal Illusion, Contraste Blanc, Rouge Tentation, Revelation Diamant.
Never bound by convention, nor the confines of masculine or feminine style, Mademoiselle Chanel plucked the camellia from the buttonholes of men’s blazers, fastening the bloom to her belt, her blouse, her hair. Mademoiselle transformed the camellia to fit her every fantasy: embroidered, printed, engraved, pleated, woven, frayed.
Cristal Illusion is just that. At first, it appears as a necklace, to be worn both short and long, but can be transformed into two distinct pieces: a necklace and diamondencrusted camellia brooch.
“I want the jewelry to be like a ribbon on a woman’s fingers. My ribbons are flexible and detachable. For grand evenings, you wear the full set. For smaller parties, you can remove the main part and large pieces. In this way, the set of jewelry is no longer an immutable object. Life transforms it and bends it to its needs.” – said Gabrielle Chanel about her definition of jewelry (Extract from “Jewelry by CHANEL” by Patrick Mauriès, Thames and Hudson, 2012).
In 1932, when Gabrielle Chanel created Bijoux de Diamants, her first and only High Jewelry collection, individual pieces were crafted to be worn in multiple ways, bestowing the wearer with versatility and choice. These High Jewelry pieces were displayed on life-like mannequins, a then disruptive departure from the velvet and glass cases used at the time, preferring the shape of a woman’s body to emulate the movement in their lives.
The camellia has also been created in diamonds, moonstones, pearls, and for this 2918 high jewelry collection, it blooms also in rubies. The incandescent red of these fiery stones radiates the color of passion, desire, love, and also that of fearlessness. It is unsurprising why Mademoiselle loved this color.
At the center of the camellia on the Rouge Incandescent necklace is a 7.61-carat Mozambique ruby, which detaches to reveal a second, red camellia, illuminating hues of rouge, encrusted with baguettecut rubies.
Contraste Blanc transformable jewelry
Contraste Blanc embodies the concept of paradox which Mademoiselle Chanel so loved. The strong lines of a five-carat, emeraldcut diamond are juxtaposed with the delicate petals of a diamondencrusted camellia.
Gabrielle Chanel was known to have a relentless, incessant work ethic; an ethos of the House that remains to this day. Each ruby is carefully selected, and molds are inspected for compatibility with the detachable petals.
Revelation Diamant, with an ethereal, lace-like pattern, is punctuated with a detachable diamond camellia that the wearer can fasten as a brooch.