Big, playful and bold floral designs are the look at the moment - and expect darker blooms for winter fashions, writes DEIRDRE MCQUILLAN
FASHION’S FLORAL BLOOM continues to flourish. As if to underscore the point, at Raf Simons’ recent dazzling debut for Dior, the Belgian designer lined the walls of the show salons with more than one million flowers, stacked floor to ceiling – delphiniums in the blue room, orchids in the white room, mimosa in the yellow room, pink peonies in another. As a metaphor for a new flowering, it could hardly have been bettered.
Fashion and floral design have always gone hand in hand, but modern floral prints are overblown and overscaled thanks to the artistic freedoms that digital technology allows. Many fashion designers are also keen gardeners like Dries Van Noten who owns a 60 acre garden in Antwerp and has always experimented in novel ways with floral motifs. His summer collection drew from black and white 17th century botanical prints and in his new winter one, Asian prints from China and Japan are abstracted in his signature artful way as on the winter coat shown here.
British fashion designers from Laura Ashley to Erdem have traditionally displayed a horticultural bent on the catwalk, but from very differing perspectives. Mary Katranzou’s influence has spread to Zara and to Penneys’ new collections as floral expression takes root in ways that are bold and playful. In Italy Dolce Gabbana eschewed poppies, roses and orchids for onions, chillies and tomatoes for earthier and widely copied fashion takes from the soil. (See Urban Outfitters fruit printed blouses, for example).
As for printed trousers, Whistles’ wisteria prints were a sellout this summer and we’re going to see even more of this trend for winter. High street chains like Warehouse, for example, have at least four different versions and MS will be introducing 70s style border printed flares along with floral bodies and boudoir wraps. As the current sales are in full swing, the summer’s bunch may be gradually fading, but darker blooms are set to blossom afresh for winter.