*Article written for SPICE TV
While we at SPICE are thinking ‘Flower Power’ here on the site this month, our top ten moments of flowers on fashion’s runways seemed necessary to share.
See below the best of fauna and fashion’s times of collaboration on the catwalk, and let us know what yours are in the comments box or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @SPICETVAFRICA.
1. When Junya Watanabe Borrowed From Africa
Starting with a significant 2009 showcase, one of Team SPICE’s favourite fashion moments with flowers came from Japanese designer, Junya Watanabe, who sent models down his Spring/Summer runway wearing flowers bound in head wraps.
Also bringing an African essence via the prints he used in his garments (a nod to ankara with colourful apple and heart-print pieces), Watanabe twisted gingham atop models’ heads with flowers and hay growing out at the top or sides, while birdsong reportedly played as the soundtracked, adding natural beauty to the show.
We love the mix of print and textures – denim, cotton, print – and how the flowers decorated the models’ heads so elegantly.
2. When Galliano Made His Models Into Flowers
For Christian Dior’s Autumn/Winter’10 couture show, John Galliano made models in to flowers with bold and colourful gowns that played the part of petals, while the beauties who wore them became the stems.
With the fashion house having proved a fascination with flowers since its beginnings, for this collection and for Galliano, nature, he said, was;
“…The most inspiring teacher.”
Part of the talent’s research involved the close study of real flowers, Mr Galliano even having spent hours observing the light changing on a tulip and examining images by flower photographers, Irving Penn and Nick Knight.
3. When Ashish Made Flowerpot Boots
For their Spring/Summer’12 showcase, Ashish chose to send models to stomp the ramps wearing punky lace ups baring flowers.
Yes, the boots-turned-flowerpots were decorated with tall stems of many varieties, accompanying ensembles that were made of bright floral prints including rose, sunflower and pansy print that came clashing with stripes and spots.
The use of flowers as accessories to these runway looks were pretty hard to miss and even more difficult to leave off of our list of the best moments when flowers met fashion on the runway.
4. That Time Lady Gaga Wore Philip Treacy on the Frow
Lady Gaga is known for her outlandish style and going to the enth degree to deliver a theme with her outfits – and with his extreme and extravagant way with design, milliner Philip Treacy made Gaga’s perfect companion when it came to dressing her for the front row of his Spring/Summer’13 showcase.
Wearing a bonnet made with a bouquet’s worth of flowers, Gaga sprung up on the frow at London Fashion Week, with one of Mr Treacy’s prettiest creations – the hat looking a little like she’d stuck her head in one of the most budful bushes, narrowly escaping with her head.
The singer did the petalled ski mask-like hat well by wearing the piece with a simple, deep green, brocade ensemble, letting the hat and its flowers really stand out – enough so that it sprung to mind the moment we decided to compile this list.
5. When Raf Simons Debuted at Dior
For his first ever Dior showcase, designer Raf Simons displayed a beautiful couture collection for the fashion house in 2013, revealed at Paris Fashion Week.
And, while the whys and hows to his creative directorship at Dior have been well-documented (read about the stylish new film, Dior and I here), for Team SPICE, it was not just the backstory but the backdrop that had us floored, with Simons’ first Dior runway being held amid walls full of flowers.
While Dior himself had always pinned a sprig of Lily of the Valley to a model on his catwalk for luck, Raf colour-blocked flowers from the floor to ceiling of his showspace, including lilac wisteria, pink orchids, red bougainvillea and birds of paradise.
While the designer described the models taking to the ramp as a “new tribe of flower women,” we at SPICE took the whole show as the epitome of ‘Flower Power’ – the fauna in the room making everyone in it look effortlessly beautiful, while we can only dream about the scent…
6. When Tommy Hilfiger Showed Us Spring/Summer’15
Bringing the festival vibes with its collection for this season, Tommy Hilfiger led models around the garden path for a bold imagining of the traditional runway, concocting something between a catwalk and an American football field out of boldly-hued flowers.
Show producer Raul Avila brought the brand’s vintage rock-inspired range to life with approximately 130,000 stems, with over 85 percent of the flowers used being real – many hand-painted for perfect coloration.
The result? A pinotta-style visual effect that packed fun into the showcase and landed itself on our list of stand out flowers moments from fashion’s runways. In other words, #NailedIt.
7. That Time Naomi Campbell Came as a Bouquet
For rebellious designer, John Paul Gaultier’s Spring/Summer’15 couture collection, the ever-in-bloom Naomi Campbell hands down stole the show – not just by showing up, but by showing up, dressed as a bouquet of flowers.
The slender supermodel tookto the ramp with purple Vanda orchids in her hair and came complete with cellophane packaging, plus a card that read “Gaultier in Paris.”
Anyone else know a guy that’d love to receive a Naomi Campbell bouquet on the next special occasion?
8. When Chanel Put Models in a Paper Jungle
For the show that boasted a front row including Anna Wintour , Kris Jenner and Kristin Stewart, designer Karl Lagerfeld walked his models around an ornate runway furnished with paper flowers.
In fact, the set was a complete paper jungle, with exotic oragami-style flowers featuring prominently in the mix and bouncing well with the crystal-encrusted, petal-clad clothes from Lagerfeld’s collection for this season.
We at SPICE love the white tropical palms, seen towering in the centre of the ramp, and the way vivid flowers picked out colours from the range – like pretty, background accessories that we sort of need as much as the clothes.
9. When Tokyo Fashion Week Went All ‘Labrynth’ On Us
Another runway-turned-nature trail came from Thai designer Pim Sukhahuta’s Autumn/Winter’15 showcase, revealed at the recent Tokyo Fashion Week.
Creating a ramp with fairytale-like vibes, the designer explained the set as her “own imagined labyrinth,” which included;
“…Flowers, fruits, strawberries, grapes and strange monsters that are also friendly.”
There’s a sort of ‘twisting garden path’ feel to the dark, flower-lined runway here that brought Team SPICE right back to childhood memories – hence, this playful set design made our list of the best floral moments from the catwalks, with the five-year-old in us promising to throw a strop if we didn’t include it.
10. When Tom Ford Made It Rain
Rebelliously held in LA during London Fashion Week (oh yes he did), Tom Ford’s Autumn/Winter’15 show included a runway covered in petals – the runway to trump all other runways going on wherever else in the World.
Though difficult to walk on, the ramp and its thick blanket of flowers was just beautiful – almost more so than the clothes that walked it.
Best still though and ending our list on a floral high, is the fact that in the second half of the show, Mr Ford made it rain petals – the tiny pieces of white flowers tumbling to the floor like pieces of snow.
Of course, the fash pack on the front row went wild, taking to their social media platforms to declare their emotions.
Think your favourite fauna-meets-fashion moment can top Tom Ford’s or any of the ten in our list? Tell us in the comments box or online, using @SPICETVAFRICA while we continue thinking all things ‘Flower Power’ this May at SPICE.
Image source: Vogue.com, Latelierrouge.com, Dailymail.co.uk, Telegraph.co.uk, Fashionista.com, Fleurmagazine.be, Digitalspy.co.uk, Becauseiamfabulous.com, Nymag.com, Theguardian.com, Thetimes.co.uk, Themillblog.com, Showstudio.com, Hollywoodreporter.com