If there is such a thing as a spirit flower, Chanel’s would be the camellia. The flower’s pristine appearance and lusciousness belie its quirkiness. Just consider this: The camellia does not possess a scent, it blooms in the winter and the petals are in almost perfect symmetry.
Its androgynous quality was one of the reasons why the flower often adorned the lapels of gentlemen in the early 20th-century. Naturally, Gabrielle Chanel was drawn to the flower’s appeal and the floral motif started appearing in her designs as early as 1913.
The Chanel haute jewellery and watch universe has been co-opting this motif in the most extravagant ways. But sometimes, it is the more approachable fine jewellery lines that surprise with the most creative expressions for the camellia motif.
Take for instance Petales de Camelia and the Extrait de Camelia collections which were launched last year. These debuts boast the largest and smallest iterations of the floral designs in the fine jewellery line respectively with out-of-the-box designs. Think an ear clip from the Extrait de Camelia range that can be worn on the lobes or along the edges of the ears.
The New Additions To The Camelia Family
Extrait de Camelia 18K pink gold transformable ring with diamonds, $13,500
Les Infinis de Camelia 18K pink gold transformable sautoir with diamonds, price unavailable
Extrait de Camelia 18K pink gold hoop earrings with diamonds, $8,200
One year on and the Extrait de Camelia family gets expanded with four new designs that include a pair of hoop earrings, a bracelet and two fun transformable pieces – all in 18K pink gold. The last two designs include an open ring style that is anchored with three camellia flowers that can be laced between four fingers. But a swivel of the ring – along its special hinges – converts it into a between-the-finger piece that can be worn clasped around one finger.
The other versatile design is a sautoir necklace which – as of the last count – can be worn as a long necklace, a double-row necklace, a lariat-style Y necklace and even a belt. But, seriously, who’s stopping you from wearing it in any way you like?