14 April 2014

Fashion & Flowers

For many years flowers and gardens in general have been a great inspiration for fashion designers. Every year on the catwalk there are enough flowers on show to create a frenzy in the bee world.
Zuhair Murad created an enchanted garden with a floral painted background for his Spring/Summer Couture show. Camellias, roses and peonies amongst many other flowers were featured on garments and a wedding dress in the collection had over 25,000 flowers appliquéd onto it. Now that's an awful lot of needle threading.

Dior are also great lovers of what Mother Nature has created. Who can forget John Galliano's Couture Fall/Winter 2010 collection, that was full of horticultural brilliance? There were corseted ball gowns that were hand painted with bright and majestic colours, with layers upon layers of chiffon and silk-tulle. The collection was simply mesmerising, it's like a chic floral paint by numbers.

The new head of design Raf Simmons seems to be more then happy to carry on the pollen infested trend as well. The Spring/Summer Couture 2013 show was set out like an enchanted garden with bushes and hundreds of flowers. The clothes were made up of lots of tulle with hundreds of flowers, petals, blossoms and lilypads appliquéd. The 2014 Couture show was set out like a hanging garden with bright coloured flowers, orchids and wisteria hanging from the ceiling. That man must watch an awful lot of Garderners World.
Dior Spring/Summer 2013
This is not just a recent trend that has started in the past few decades though. There is now an exhibition at the Garden Museum in London until the 27th April, that is looking into the world of how gardens have inspired fashion for centuries.
As far back as the Jacobean era women were entranced by the beautiful colours of flowers. Dresses worn at the royal court were embroidered with images of flowers from overseas. The exhibition also looks at when and why some flowers were popular at different times such as camellias in the 1840s, sunflowers in the 1890s and not forgetting the flower power craze of the 60s and 70s.
There are some rare pieces of artwork, collages, neddlework and garments on show for many centuries. Designers including Christopher Bailey, Alexander McQueen and Phillip Treacy with his glorious hats, show how what we grow in our gardens can be a lot more chic then just compost and worms.
There are examples and images of floral couture, including Yves Saint Laurent featured jackets with embroidered Sunflowers and Iris's that were in his Couture 1988 show. Valentino's Spring/Summer Couture 2013 show had a garden theme with wrought iron park gates being a main inspiration. There was lots of organza and fabric that was embroidered with flowers, butterflies and birds.
There is also a feature on how people over the centuries have dressed to tend to their much loves gardens. While unfortunately you can't really wear a Dior ball gown to tend to your roses in, you can still look fashionable and chic. Now beat that Monty Don.
There are some great floral and garden themed pieces on the high street too, so you can incorporate the look into your outfit. Either go full blown with a floral dress or tone it down by just incorporating the theme into your accessories. Think more garden party chic and less Mrs Doubtfire, even though she is a pretty cool chick.
Floral Frenzy

Second Hand Rose

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