Reinventing the Chanel camellia
By IRIS EDÉN SANTIAGO
Special to The STAR
We can buy ourselves flowers. But can we buy ourselves these?
In the House of Chanel it is always about the femme suit, the tweed fabrics and the emblematic camellia. This is meant in a very positive way, of course. After all, why mess with winning combinations?
But Chanel surprised us. Their fabulous Fall-Winter 2023 collection focused on just one element: flowers. Nothing revolutionary; luxury labels never step too far away from their soul. But even within their safety zone, Virginie Viard managed to deliver a new brand of girly with just one flower. The camellia. Cool variations, op art patterns, new fabrics and bright colors suggest renovation, while promoting playfulness and artsy looks. I must admit that this is a ballsy move for the Maison. And I love it.
Chanel’s take on the camellia has always been unique and ultra feminine, but this season the iconic motif is fun, tridimensional, graphic and colorful. It’s blooming and popping everywhere. Viard presented all kinds of modern versions of camellias: textured, knitted, quilted, embroidered, bejeweled, sequined. Materials include leather, patent leather, lurex, tweed and plumes.
“The camellia is more than a theme, it’s an eternal code of the House,” explained Creative Director Viard in a statement. “I find it reassuring and familiar, I like its softness and its strength. It’s a Chanel code that is outside of fashion, outside of time. It’s a winter flower, too, and this is a winter collection.”
Camellias were worked into suits, tops, shoes, hosiery and coats. Coupled with Chanel’s interlocking Cs logo, they were also seen in lacy shorts, lace gloves, chain bags, enamel jewelry, hair clips, brooches, sandals and my new object of desire, super fabulous knee high Mod-style boots. Camellias were even arranged and scattered in various sizes on sweaters and cardigans in what at first appeared to be a polka dot pattern. Bravo!
The color palette began with black, white and gray and then exploded with vivid colors like red, navy, coral, dusty pink, orange and fuchsia.
Loving the Bermuda shorts suits, the flounces, the asymmetrical peplums, the beading and the fitted long jackets.