Colossal camellias served as the ready-to-wear altarpiece for Chanel’s sparkling, bloom-inspired fall display, making them the utter protagonist of the show. Camellias during the Chanel show appeared everywhere — from the catwalk to the garments, camellias gave the main character vibes and energy.
Camellias Steal the Show During Chanel’s Paris Catwalk
More than a thousand different designs were inspired by the camelia flower, and people all the way from influencers to the most iconic fashion designers wore the start element in their garments during Chanel's show in Paris Fashion Week.
According to the legend, Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel originally developed a fascination with the camellia in 1913. She pinned one to her belt after being enchanted by its simplicity, shape, purity, and vitality. It is very noticeable that the camellia flower was and is still in the spotlight more than a century later.
Virginie Viard, the creative director of Chanel stated that camellia is more than just a motif; it is an immortal code for Chanel. What she loves most about the camellia flower are its firmness and gentleness. Nonetheless, during the Chanel show, the camellia was treated with strict care, embellishing jackets, pockets, buttons, patterns, or leather shoes.
How Were Camellia Flowers Used During the Fashion Show?
The show featured multiple appearances of the brand's signature camellia, which was woven into the designs of voluminous overcoats and dresses, rendered as stark white three-dimensional embellishments on all-black ensembles, and made an appearance as a patch of black flowers on a sleek black jacket's collar.
The majority of the looks were black and white, and models often wore patterned white tights while strutting around in dazzling black platform boots. The brand's distinctive jewelry, including chained belts, earrings, and swinging necklaces that shone down the catwalk, was worn as an accent with Bermuda shorts and matching jackets, loose-fitting jumpsuits, and tweed outfits. When models circled the area for the grand finale, the enormous camellia sculptures began to glow crimson and gradually changed from red to a vivid pink.
The Story Behind the Iconic Camellia Flower as a Chanel Symbol
As previously mentioned, the camellia flower as the official symbol representing Chanel has a long history dating back to 1913, the day Mademoiselle pinned one of the white blooms to her belt. The flower’s simplicity, shape, purity, and vitality (it’s not afraid to blossom in winter) seduced her. She made the Camellia more than her favorite flower — she made it the Chanel symbol.
The camellia’s resilience against winter frosts caught the attention of Chanel scientists. After extensive laboratory research on several varieties of camellia, Chanel discovered that Camellia Alba Plena contains intensely hydrating molecules. The southwest of France offers ideal conditions for the cultivation of the camellia. In 1998, CHANEL began collaborating with master botanist Jean Thoby, and nowadays, Chanel even has products that contain camellia.
The Purity of Chanel’s White Camellia Flower
Although camellias come in a variety of colors, the purity of the white camellia is most frequently linked to the Chanel fashion house. Several artists have been influenced by the camellia, including the writer Alexandre Dumas who authored La Dame aux Camélias, or The Lady of the Camellias, which in turn encouraged an Italian musician to write his well-known opera, La Traviata.
But where do camellias actually come from? Camellias are particularly appreciated in eastern and southeast Asia, where they are native. For instance, they are a common option at weddings in Korea where they are seen as a sign of steadfastness and longevity. They now stand for desire, passion, and elegance in the West. One of the qualities that drew Chanel to this well-known flower was its exquisite symmetry, which inspires thoughts of enduring beauty.
One thing is certain, after this incredibly successful Chanel fashion show, many will want to implement camellia flowers in their day-to-day garments and try Chanel's camellia makeup and skincare collection.
Photos by Chanel