Everyone knows that the camellia flower is synonymous with Chanel — it was, after all, Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite. The designer adored the flower for multiple reasons but the biggest one is that Boy Capel introduced the blooms to her.
She also adored it for its simplicity: Its lack of fragrance meant it’d never interfere with the scent of Chanel No. 5. Next to a rose, a camellia was revered for its simplicity with its lack of thorns, geometric roundness and perfectly symmetrical petals. The white camellia, in particular, became her signature emblem. She was greatly inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ ‘La Dame aux Camélias’, wherein the heroine always wore a white camellia to signify that her heart remained pure.
It’s only befitting then that the camellia is the icon of the new high jewellery range: The 1.5 — one camellia, five allures — collection.
Fifty designs make up the collection, each celebrating the camellia motif. Out of the 50 pieces, 23 are transformable. This is a tribute to how Gabrielle Chanel wanted women to wear jewellery. The founder of Chanel described her own “(jewels) [as] flexible and detachable […] You can take apart the jewelry and use it to match a hat or fur…Life transforms it and bends it to its needs.”
Let’s take a look at five exquisite and adaptable designs:
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Set in white gold and diamonds, this $6.5 million necklace features a detachable camellia motif that can be worn in multiple ways, including as a hair pin and a brooch. It can be worn on its own; as a choker or even have it cascading down a bare back.
The most interesting of the collection is the Quintessence Quartz Brooch. The translucence of the carved pink quartz makes it exceedingly rare, and reveals the diamond-set camellia below.
Like a secret watch, this timepiece can be transformed. Flip the dial to hide it underneath a camelia, and you’ll have yourself a bracelet. Rock crystal domes set with white gold cut-out camellias keep the watch looking modern, even new-age.
Set in pink gold, red spinels and diamonds, the diamond petals are removable to reveal a spinel ring, and can be affixed to a pink gold and diamond Camélia brooch for a larger effect.
In the signature style of Gabrielle Chanel, the necklace disrupts all notions of femininity with this asymmetrical piece. Strands of dripping pearls are joined to a diamond encrusted necklace, and a diamond-laden camellia. Like much of the rest of the collection, the motif is detachable.