Chanel '1.5 1 CAMÉLIA . 5 ALLURE': The Camellia Returns to Chanel’s High Fashion Jewellery!

The camellia - Gabrielle Chanel’s favourite flower – was more than a mere personal emblem and, over many years, became one of the central motifs of the Chanel house. The great mademoiselle appreciated the elegant flower’s simplicity and purity, finding that the camellia’s beauty is equal to that of its perhaps more conventional cousin - the rose. Unlike the rose, however, the camellia has neither smell, nor thorns and its flat petals are arranged with an almost meticulous order – working to form a perfect circle. The French couturier wore these white flowers instead of jewellery – adorning her small black dresses and cardigans with the buds. Known for her adoration of contrast, it is no surprise that since 1923 the flower has become an integral symbol of the Chanel brand.

Camellias have already been featured in the jewellery collections of the French house, and over the years designers have devoted both separate lines to the flower ('Camélia', 'Jardin de Camélias') while also including it in a number of other collections, including ‘Les Perles de Chanel’, ‘Café Society’, ‘Coco avant Chanel’ to name but a few. In 2019, during Haute Couture week in Paris, Chanel presented a new high jewellery collection '1.5, 1 CAMÉLIA. 5 ALLURES ”, consisting of long and short necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, brooches, timepieces and even a single work of art.

The new collection includes 50 luxury jewels, 23 of which are transformable works with at least two different ways of being worn. “My jewellery is versatile and dynamic. It can be pulled apart, worn with a fur coat or pinned to a hat. This jewellery set has lost its inflexibility – it is subject to the changes of life and may be adapted to new styles,” said Gabrielle Chanel.

Chanel '1.5. 1 CAMÉLIA . 5 ALLURES' collection 'Rouge Incandescent' transformable necklace, in white gold, rubies and diamonds. Detachable camellia motif that may be worn as a brooch, and reveals another openwork camellia motif

The pieces from the '1.5, 1 CAMÉLIA. 5 ALLURES' collection are designed to adapt not only to the situation, or style and image of their owner, but also to different tastes entirely. In this sense they become a declaration of personality and it is this demonstrative display of individuality that is at the heart of the collection. A good example is the 'Revelation Diamant' sautoir which is adorned with beautiful colourless diamonds. It is decorated with the famed camellia motif, which, if desired, can be removed and worn separately as either a brooch or in the hair of the owner, while the length of the necklace itself can be adjusted as the wearer wishes. 

Another convertible sautoir is entitled ‘Perles Intemporelle’ – made from white gold and decorated with a plethora of pearls and diamonds. The larger of the camellias included in the piece may be worn separately as a brooch, while the necklace may be worn either without the flower or with the camellia pinned to it in a number of different places. In addition to this, the smaller camellia pendant may be worn in three different styles.

Chanel '1.5. 1 CAMÉLIA . 5 ALLURES' collection 'Cristal Illusion' ring in white gold, rock crystal and diamonds

Fascinatingly, the collection also includes a couple of jewels that unexpectedly transform, for example, on the 'Rose Gold Rouge Tentation' ring with red spinel and diamonds, one can remove the outer diamond petals and attach them to the small camellia brooch. This is what a larger brooch flower would look like, while a miniature red coloured version of the flower can remain attached to the ring on the wearer’s finger. Following the latest jewellery trends, Chanel designers have also come up with a cunning mechanism that allows one to fashion hair ornaments from these brooches.

The colours seen in the collection '1.5, 1 CAMÉLIA. 5 ALLURES' could be described as very restrained, echoing the main colours of the camellia buds – either white or pink in hue. Diamonds, pink sapphires, rubies and gold harmoniously complement each other – all exquisitely sparkling throughout the collection. This tasteful refinement of jewellery is a tribute to Chanel and the jewellers who work under the name of the great Mademoiselle.

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