Image: Murat Esibatir
The Evergreen Appeal of Floral Design in Fashion and Beyond
From the wonderful and beautiful to the strange and shocking, the world of fashion and design has historically been inspired by countless things.
No one could have predicted Alexander McQueen’s captivating robotic performance. As of yet, nothing has been as delightfully shocking as Lady Gaga wearing a meat dress inspired by the legendary Vanitas piece.
Yet fleeting inspiration comes and goes with only the best, most revered still in remembrance. It is then perhaps a testament to the awesomeness of Earth that for thousands of years, nature-inspired design remains to this day. Florals still reign supreme from humble beginnings as a symbol of luck to inspiring some of the most sublime architectural projects in history.
Nature is among the chief influencers when it comes to artistic design and expression. For thousands of years, dating back to 2,500 BCE, the ancient Egyptians welcomed flowers in the home to bring good fortune and fertility. Today, the global floral industry is worth $50 billion annually and is a growing market.
Online stores like Fig & Bloom dominate the online flower industry as the company’s founder, Kellie Brown, applies her extensive background in New York fashion to her expanding trade. Working with companies such as Wonderbra, Witchery, and Zoo York has facilitated Kellie to apply her impressive fashion design knowledge to what is now one of the online world’s most valuable trades – floral design.
The success of Fig & Bloom could be seen as a glowing reflection of the fashion industry’s historical reliance on nature and floral patterns. From bold and exciting floral prints with stark contrast to barely noticeable impressions on the most subtle wedding gowns, florals play a crucial role in modern fashion. Undeniably, they are an infinite source of inspiration.
Whether celebrities influence fashion or the other way around is a debate for the ages. However, you cannot deny that the rich and famous can influence the masses and set trends at the drop of a hat. Provided they are famous enough, of course. So Rihanna made heels and socks fashionable once more, while Paris Hilton brought velour tracksuits out of the Cosa Nostra scene and into trending fashion.
While florals never seem to go out of fashion completely, they often take a step back, only to emerge victorious once more. Recent celebrity adornments seem to suggest the re-emergence of flower and nature design as some of the world’s hottest fashionistas have been spotted donning florals for various events.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful women in the world, Ukrainian model turned actress Olga Kurylenko was in attendance at the Richard Quinn show during the recent London Fashion Week. Famous for her appearance as Bond girl Camille Montes, the 41-year-old sported a stunning white and baby pink floral gown as she mingled with Boy George and Kate Moss.
Of course, what is a wedding without copious amounts of flowers and petals? From table settings and bridal entrance adornments to the infamous bouquet and the wedding gown itself, florals take pride of place in most traditional ceremonies. Throughout history, different flowers were fashionable but have stayed a staple of nuptials since ancient Rome.
Over the past couple of millennia, flowers have consistently been recognized as symbols of new beginnings, birth, and fertility. Today, floral arrangements are still used throughout the ceremony proceedings as gown adornments and the passing of the bouquet. Unfortunately, however, much of the meaning is lost on most people through the passage of time and decaying tradition.
But whether anyone is aware of the historical symbology of flowers or not, their importance and influence are not detracted as a source of inspiration. Wedding gowns alone are the substance of dreams, as highlighted still by Tali Photography’s recent homage to the modest wedding dress. Working with Sharon Sever and Galia Lahav, four of the most astounding gowns you are ever likely to see are dripping with floral influence throughout their designs, highlighted by strategically placed arrangements in the awe-inspiring shots.
Of course, the intricacies, symbology, and patterns of floral design extend far beyond the world of fashion. The infinite inspiration of nature astounds and surprises every time. Because of this, you can identify respectful tributes almost everywhere. You will find floral patterns on dinnerware, jewelry design, and historical and contemporary architecture alike.
Some of the world’s most impressive constructions are inspired by florals. For example, Dubai’s famous Burj Khalifa is an abstract representation of the Spider Lily, while the Hangzhou Olympic stadium in Japan is designed as a white-petalled lotus. Additionally, floral patterns are found on countless ancient structures such as Persepolis and the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.
As if to seamlessly merge arts, culture, fashion, and technology, there has been a welcoming announcement in the world of video games. The uber-popular video game, The Sims 4, receives upcoming traditional Indian and Korean fashion content. Once more, floral elegance is set to inspire a new generation of children and designers alike, immortalizing the prominence of flowers and nature across truly modern media.
The fashionable appeal of flowers has never been more prominent, with a current global worth of over $50 billion. The intricate nature of floral design still inspires the fashion industry today, with many of the most talented designers still using natural patterns regularly.
Despite their power and like most inspiration, florals come in and out of fashion from time to time. Yet, their intricate designs remain a prevalent choice for general wedding gowns and ceremonies, mainly due to historical symbology and tradition.
Certain celebrities are no stranger to fashion, and some have been known to revitalize a dead trend or start a new one entirely. Florals have become a recent favorite among the stars as showcased during London Fashion Week and Juia Roberts’ latest Lancomé ad.
While florals provide lasting influence and inspiration in fashion, they also extend to numerous arts and industries. For example, modern and ancient buildings worldwide are inspired by various flowers, while even traditional floral designs are digitized in video games like The Sims 4.