Fleurs de Villes: The Floral Fashion Extravaganza
As fashion inspiration goes, flowers have been a perennial motif of designers, who have used them on prints and embellishments. At the recent West Coast debut of Fleurs de Villes at South Coast Plaza, top Southern California florists became fashion designers, using flowers as their fabrics for head-to-toe “couture ensembles.” Their fantastical floral creations drew thousands of shoppers and visitors from all over the world during the exhibition’s four-day exclusive run.
On display was a collection of 16 mannequins, each with a unique story inspired by South Coast Plaza boutiques and restaurants such as Coach, Diptyque and Yellow Vase, as well as by the center’s community, arts and culture partners such as The Westin South Coast Plaza, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Bowers Museum and Sherman Library & Gardens. In keeping with the name of the exhibition, which is French for flowers of cities, some of the mannequins were clothed in interpretations of stylish cities such as Berlin, Copenhagen, Dubai, Madrid, Milan, Tokyo and Shanghai. A mannequin dressed in bridal finery completed the collection.
Participating florists and floral designers came from all over Los Angeles and Orange Counties, including Above the Stem, Bella Blooms, Bottles and Blooms, Bonne Fleur Floral & Special Event Design, Corona del Mar Florist, Couture Flowers, Fleurish, Floral Fete, Flowers by Enzo, The Flower Stand, Inessa Nichols Design, Jacob Maarse Florist, Penelope Pots, Sherman Library & Gardens, Yellow Vase, and White Lilac Inc. Event & Floral Design. Mayesh Wholesale Florist provided the flowers for all the mannequins. See the individual creations below.
Floral collisions from the work of artist Kaffe Fassett – featured in this season’s Coach collection – add to intense layers with a darker kind of romance. Her dress, bursting of energy, is made up of hydrangeas, sweet peas, dahlias, thistle, black ti leaves, exotic orchids and imported roses to create texture and daring color combinations.
Mademoiselle Bella is inspired by vintage Parisian couture with an elegant, modern twist. Cascading roses weave the intricate canvas of her flowing skirt while black baccaras, dahlias and peonies round out the details of her bodice, caplet and accessories. As she strolls the streets of Paris, her look captivates the eye while her signature fragrance, Diptyque‘s Fleur de Peau, titillates the senses with hints of rose and pink pepper.
Here, an uplifting palette of citrus notes that wakes the senses and mirrors the menu and atmosphere you will discover at Yellow Vase. An open invitation to sit, stay and enjoy all the fresh ingredients and flowers the cafe and bakery located on Level 1, Saks Fifth Avenue Wing, has to offer. Her friendly yellow roses and graceful orchids celebrate beauty and strength. Fresh green mums and vibrant billy balls brighten her complexion, the way a visit to Yellow Vase adds to the pleasures of a shopping excursion.
Fresh from a restful stay at the lovely Westin South Coast Plaza, she exudes all that is Southern California. She is palms and beautiful roses, cymbidium orchids and succulents – a walking resort of blooms composed into a sophisticated designer dress, perfectly suited to her high fashion surroundings in Costa Mesa.
Her ensemble is Inspired by the La Bayadère ballet; a story of eternal love, mystery, fate, vengeance, and justice, showing from October 16-20, 2019 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The design tells the story of Act II, with temple dancer Nikia engulfed in tones of burgundy and black. Flower-filled baskets spill off the platform with hidden snakes. The edges are adorned with flower garlands on gold poles with parrots perched on the top, reminiscent of the scenes inside the palace.
Eden is adorned in white blossoms, including ‘Purity’ garden roses and dried leaves. The serpent nestled on her shoulder is created with ‘Free Spirit’ roses, and designed in a tropical nouveau combination of soft, temperate flowers paired with bold, tropical blooms. Sherman Gardens is a botanical Eden, home to a wide variety of plant life. From the exquisite succulent garden to the verdant greenery of the tropical conservatory, it’s truly an inspirational piece of paradise.
Meet Luz, a worldly, radiant and spirited woman. A trip to the Bowers Museum transports her to far-away places through fine and exotic art. Luz’s ensemble is drawn from her Oaxacan culture and the artist Rufino Tamayo; simple lines, detailed embroidery and rich colors of the Mixographia print.
Inspired by London’s iconic fashion designer, Alexander McQueen’s 2007 Spring/Summer fashion show. This gown is composed of layered hydrangea in varying hues of lilac and wine, with corset-like accents made of sun-bleached twigs. View a time-lapse of this mannequin being built on our Instagram.
Inspired by the recent “Balenciaga and Spanish Painting” exhibit at the Thyssen- Bornemisza Museo Nacional in Madrid, Spain, this recreation of Balenciaga’s gown in floral form was done by layering blooms such as roses, chrysanthemums, carnations and natural foliage in sultry red tones. Cristobal Balenciaga’s love of recreating historical garments as modern works of art inspired him to create the red dress based on the 1921 painting of the Duchess of Alba. In the painting, she wears a black lace mantilla draped over her shoulders which has been recreated using plumosa fern and other lace-like foliage.
The color story of Milan, Italy – champagne, caramel, ripened peach, sumptuous golden yellow, rich milk chocolate, earthy terracotta and dove grey – all are encompassed in this gown inspired by a Gucci dress. This mannequin represents the edgy, bold and confident woman with a soft spot for romance. Milan’s fashion legacy is richly endowed with old school opulence and luxurious textiles. Its style is always well-tailored but often focused around ‘statement-making pieces.’ With this in mind, the essence and heart of this gown are meant as a nod to Milan’s reputation for exquisite leather designs.
Full of grace, class and tradition, she catches everyone’s eye walking down the modern streets of Shanghai. She wears a silk cheongsam adorned with colorful blossoms. She lays her sun-kissed parasol down to enjoy a moment of bliss.
The elegance of the Japanese sun and avant garde simplicity exploding from the emergence of modern Tokyo is boldly created in pampas grass, carnations, anthuriums, roses and red ti leaves, standing in a contrasting lush garden.
Meet The Little Mermaid, inspired by the famous bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen, in homage to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. Her pre-transformed tail is donned in fleshy succulents and smooth green anthuriums. She is wearing a modest bodice complete with feather-like pampas grass and sleek white anthuriums. Her hair displays a more present-day take on ‘mermaid hair’ with the natural electric colors of phalaenopsis orchids. As seen by many travelers, she is perched on a lone rock located waterside at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen. Here she sits among dusty miller, magnolia leaves, hydrangea and air plants as she reminisces on her lost mermaid past.
Inspired by the skyscrapers and luxe lifestyle of Dubai, our floral figure is packed with extravagance at its finest. Claiming the name ‘City of Dreams’, Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building, The Burj Khalifa, and the world’s largest natural flower garden, Dubai Miracle Garden. Larger than life, this world-renowned city was built from nothing and is now thriving in superlatives with neutral tones, pops of color, and sights.
Our liberated woman is wearing edgy, unexpected lace and lingerie haute couture, inspired by renowned German designer Leyla Piedayesh. She wears a carnation petal sheer illusion overlay of black lace with umbrella fern and skeleton leaves. Her classic beaded necklace is made of white hypericum berries and her intimate personal garments are made of black ti leaves. This modern, uninhibited woman takes a stand for her rights next to graffiti from the Berlin Wall, composed of 500 hundred African yellow marigolds, fuchsia and blue carnations, super green roses and lettering in black reindeer moss.
This bridal look is inspired by the natural beauty of the California coast. Her ethereal and whimsical look embodies all that California is, and is composed of pampas grass, white wax flowers, plumosa, and roses. She makes her way through the meadows and reaches the ocean to meet her one true love.
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