On & Around the Street

WATCH: Chanel “The Camellia”

Chanel has created a series of bewitching short films, “Inside Chanel“, that look back at the story of Gabrielle Chanel and the iconic creations that generated a legend and built the House of Chanel.

[youtube id=”GiOitbvI2IU”]

The latest chapter, “The Camellia”, the 16th in the series, celebrates Chanel’s iconic flower, which has appeared in every imaginable incarnation, from denim and silk, to diamonds and leather.

In Asia, it is a symbol of purity and longevity and this delicate bloom inspired Mademoiselle Chanel in 1923 to incorporate this key element into her style. Whether pinned on a garment, adorning a hairstyle, engraved on the buttons of a suit, embroidered or a lace motif, the camellia became one of her signature emblems.

Told from the narrative of the flower itself, the film features “memories” of the journey that the couturier and the Camellia, with lines including, “I remember that at age 13, young Coco was said to have been deeply moved by Sarah Bernhardt’s performance of “The Lady of the Camellias.”

Inside Chanel Chapter 16 - The Camellia

The film recalls how Marcel Proust and his dandy friends would wear camellias pinned to their jacket lapels as a sign of refinement, unity and ambiguity. And how after Chanel started adopting menswear into her signature style, she started wearing camellias herself, such as the time at a beach in Étretat, she had the idea of slipping one into the belt of her striped Breton shirt.

Inside Chanel Chapter 16 - The Camellia
Inside Chanel Chapter 16 - The Camellia

Today, like The Comet or The Lion, it is an essential creative element at Chanel, appearing season after season in new incarnations.