FERTILE GROUND: Chanel is sponsoring an installation by French artist Gad Weil on Place Vendôme, from July 1 to 7, to coincide with the presentation of its new high-jewelry collection, Les Blés de Chanel.
Weil will plant a wheat field in black lacquered boxes, next to the Ritz Paris hotel, across the square from Chanel’s jewelry and watch flagship, a spokeswoman for the brand said. The installation will then travel to Saumur, France, Gabrielle Chanel’s birthplace.
Weil is best known for a series of takeovers of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, in Paris, which he covered with a wheat field in 1990 and a garden in 2010. He has staged outdoor events on the Great Wall of China and in the French cities of Nice and Metz.
Wheat is a symbol of wealth and prosperity in France, and Gabrielle Chanel used it as a good-luck charm throughout her apartment at 31 Rue Cambon: as a brass bouquet, a gold-leaf adornment for a fireplace mantel or a gilded footer for a Regency-style table with glass top.
She also owned a drawing of a single ear of wheat, a gift from Salvador Dalí.
Karl Lagerfeld used wheat ears as a motif in his spring 2010 collection, which was presented against the backdrop of bales of hay. They featured on chain belts, sunglasses, bracelets, headbands, necklaces and brooches.