Coco Chanel’s Favorite Flower Blooms in My Garden

camellia
My husband, displaying a perfect white camellia in our garden!

Dear Reader:

Even a brief visit to a museum tells the story of the close relationship between artists and flowers. In fact, the memory of some painters has become entwined with the blooms they admired. We will forever associate Vincent Van Gogh with the sunflower, Georgia O’Keeffe with the poppy and Claude Monet with the water-lily.

But, painters are not the only creative people to draw inspiration from the garden.  French designer and business woman, Gabrielle Chanel, loved the beautiful, short-blooming camellia or Chinese rose. Nearly 50 years after her death, it is still one of the most instantly recognizable emblems in all of Chanel’s accessories, clothing and jewelry.

How did the camellia become such an integral part of one of the most successful fashion houses in the world? It is thought that the Madame became entranced with the flower after reading Alexandre Dumas’ ‘La Dame aux Camélias’ (The Lady with the Camellias) as a young girl. The heroine of the story always wore a camellia. The flower’s symbolic value was also important to the designer. In Eastern culture, the white camellia represents purity and longevity. Coco also appreciated the fact that the camellia is without scent, and, as such, didn’t interfere with the perfection of her signature scent, and my favorite perfume, Chanel No 5.

I’ve always loved fashion and recognized designers as the artists they are. I do not live a haute couture lifestyle, but my admiration for Chanel’s style aesthetic has influenced my fashion and style choices throughout my life. She believed in simplicity, elegance and comfort. She was the first designer to suggest that women dress with their daily routines in mind. She radically promoted the notion that woman should, first and foremost, dress to please themselves.

Chanel loved the ease of black and white punctuated with stripes and loads of faux pearls. With the stroke of her pen and the scissors that famously dangled around her neck, she transformed men’s wear into elegant, feminine clothes for the modern woman. She also gave us the little black dress (LBD) back in 1926.

If you too admire Chanel’s aesthetic, but not the price tag, I recommend these lovely Target (TGFT!) finds:

If you are not lucky enough to have a garden full of camellias, like me, you can also purchase a lovely bouquet of artificial camellias.

I cannot deny the beauty of the white camellia, but I reserve my greatest affection for pink roses. And in the spirit of Coco Chanel, my favorite flower inspired me to create a pink shed and then…from the pink shed.

What’s your favorite flower, dear reader?

Michele

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things:

 

raindrops on pink roses

Dear Reader:

My husband, who is one of my favorite things, bought me the Blu-Ray edition of my all-time favorite movie, “The Sound of Music,” and we enjoyed it in all its glory last night. I love a good sing along and I love “My Favorite Things” most among all of the wonderful songs in the film. The lyrics got me thinking about my own favorite things and wondering about yours too! You already know I love my hubby, daughter and doggies! Here’s a list of the stuff I like:

 

  • Raindrops on (pink) roses… Julie was right, they are lovely
  • Illy coffee…when we serve it, our guests consistently ask, “Wow, what is this coffee?”
  • LaMarca Prosecco…cheers!
  • Beckmann’s Three Seed Sourdough bread…you know how I love to cook;)  If I have this in the house, I simply top it with an egg, cheese or veggies, and viola…it’s a meal
  • My new Kitchen Aid Mini Stand Mixer in pink…it fits in my very small kitchen

 

 

  • Cream…poured into my coffee, whipped to top my fruit and to spread between layers of cake
  • My two favorite destinations:  Maui and London…one for relaxing, the other for exploring
  • Chanel No. 5 on my pulse points since I was 20 years old
  • Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
  • Books, books and more books
  • My pink shed, of course!
  • Sleep, especially after a spritz of lavender spray on my pillow and a slather of Aerin Rose Night Table Cream on my face…I simply inhale the sweet dreams

 

Sleep tight with lavender spray and rose face cream

I’d love to hear about your favorite things…

Michele