Since the camellia is so linked to the fashion house of Chanel- it was featured in dresses at the Met Gala 2023. The event, hosted by Vogue Magazine, honored the late Karl Lagerfeld, who like Coco Chanel, was an iconic designer.
Here are examples thanks to @the.metgala2023 from Rihanna, Jennie Kim and Anne Hathaway. They all wore the flower in their own individual way. More images are here at Vogue Magazine.
Karl Lagerfeld died at 85 in 2019 and had been the creative director of Chanel since 1983. He was also the creative director of the Italian fur and leather goods house Fendi and had his own label.
Over the decades, the Kaiser, as he was known, collaborated on a variety of fashion and art-related projects.
His signature style of snow-white hair tied in a ponytail, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves and high, starched collars made him a recognizable celebrity in his own right.
Among the most iconic flowers for Chanel was the camellia.
It’s a motif that is branded on the packaging, bags, clothing, jewelry, and shoes. The house even sold individual camellias for $575 and I always wondered who spent that much on one and what did they do with it.
Coco Chanel even incorporated the camellia design into chandeliers and other decor in her French apartment.
There was a reason Coco Chanel loved this flower. As written about in many biographies, Coco Chanel fell in love with the camellia after reading Alexandre Dumas fils’ “La Dame aux Camelias,” a story in which the heroine always wore a white camellia, showing that her heart remained pure and focused.
There was another appeal to this flower, which is from Eastern cultures. The camellia flower didn’t interfere with the scent of her famous Ch. 5 perfume.
The perfumer though had a special jasmine flower for its scent that the company still protects.
The symbolism of the camellia flower also appealed to Chanel’s superstitions. In Eastern culture, the camellia is the flower representing longevity and purity and was thought by the Buddhists to drive away bad spirits.
Lagerfeld continued the tradition of maintaining the camellia as Chanel’s flower of choice and used it in the house’s designs for decades.