Picture this: Golden fields of wheat, swaying gently in the breeze and glistening under the sunlight. Curious visitors wander around, some even reaching out to touch the delicate stalks. It’s a sight that easily evokes images of an idyllic countryside. Except, this pastoral landscape is situated at Marina Bay Sands’ event plaza, and set against a backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers.
The 250-square-metre wheat field is an art installation titled Blés Vendôme, and is created by French artist Gad Weil. It’s on display in Singapore until 1 March, and is held in conjunction with the arrival of Chanel’s Les Blés de Chanel high jewellery collection on our shores.
The wheat stalks — 250,00o pieces, to be exact — are real, but have been hand-painted in three different shades of gold to create a gradient effect. They are also planted inside a wooden box of sand. “Nature is the jewel that mankind should look after,” said Weil, adding that the installation was previously exhibited at Place Vendôme and Saumur in France, as well as in Taipei.
His words couldn’t be more apt. Over at Chanel, the Les Blés de Chanel jewellery line, which was first unveiled in 2016, is also a celebration of nature — specifically wheat. Composed of 47 glittering jewels festooned with diamonds and coloured gemstones, the collection is based on the life cycle of wheat, which symbolises prosperity, luck, and regeneration.
This was the first time the brand had released a line focusing entirely on wheat, a lucky charm so dear to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel that it could be found in various forms — carved in wood, fashioned in bronze, or even as actual ears of wheat — all around her home. Her friend, the artist Salvador Dali, even created for her a painting of a single wheat stalk.
Resembling Dali’s interpretation of wheat is the stunning L’Epi brooch, which is fashioned in yellow gold with graceful swirls of yellow diamonds and coloured gemstones. It can also be worn as a lavish headpiece.
Other highlights of Les Blés de Chanel include the beautiful Brins de Printemps white gold necklace and its matching bracelet and earrings, which are inspired by the young wheat shoots that sprout up during springtime, and feature waves of brilliant-cut diamonds, marquise-cut peridots, and green tourmalines. Pear-cut aquamarines are also added for pops of colour.
Then there’s the gloriously opulent Champ de Blé cuff, which is set in 18k yellow gold and bedecked all over with 869 brilliant-cut diamonds. The bracelet features intricate wheat-shaped openwork details for a striking effect.
The Les Blés de Chanel collection is currently on display at a by-invitation-only exhibition at the ArtScience Museum. From 2 March to 31 March, it will be presented to the public at Chanel’s Marina Bay Sands and Ngee Ann City boutiques.