The Chanel show in Paris recently took place in two pitch-black circular arenas, each dominated by a giant white sculpture of a camellia flower. The guests were treated to a fresh camellia on each seat, and their gift bags contained items from the brand’s No. 1 line of sustainably sourced beauty products, which feature camellias as the star ingredient.
The camellias symbolize the arrival of spring and have been associated with the Chanel brand since 1923, when Coco Chanel first pinned a camellia on a dress. The current creative director, Virginie Viard, sees the camellia as an eternal code of the house and a source of reassurance and familiarity.
Viard’s interpretation of the Chanel canon includes a contemporary realness, with variations on black, white, and gray. The camellias appeared on tweed coats, black patent Mod-inspired suits, cardigan jackets, and even on chain-bags. Some of the suits were paired with tweed bermudas, bloomers, leather shorts, white floral lace tights, and knee boots, adding a quirky touch to the classic Chanel femininity and decorativeness.
Virginie Viard’s depiction of Parisian style for women on the street was represented by camellia-print silk dresses, layered over sweaters and long johns. It was good to see Viard including mid-size models in this finale, making the distinctive Chanel brand accessible to all women.