Jewelry, scarves, hats…floral-motif accessories couldn’t be hotter
Flowers are sprouting everywhere and giving fresh excitement to fashion! Top designers, from Oscar de la Renta to Diane von Furstenberg, are crafting collections centered on flowing, flowering designs. Suddenly, the flower girl is the model of the moment, adorned with colorful petals and lavished with wide-ranging hues and graceful silhouettes.
The English flower garden is in prime fashion focus, sharing all of its charm and civilized manner with the fashion world at large. This is a refreshing and delightful flower story! But at the same time, the political scene, embroiled in questions of war, has initiated another kind of floral expression, with an initiative much like the 1960s “flower power” movement. With it, retro peace signs are taking on a kind of flower imagery all their own. Still, flowers are mostly emotional, not intellectual, calm rather than confrontational. Pin on a peace sign or a flower. They both say something positive.
The present return to pure femininity starts with bold depictions of many types of flowers, all vibrant and full of energy. Artful patterns can range from complete realism, to Monet’s water lily-type impressionism, to gigantic enlarged blossoms a la Georgia O’Keefe. Notice intricate floral lace with lace overlays of individual flowers, as in Prada’s new champagne lace sheaths. And, then there are three-dimensional posies added here and there in many houses to dress bodices, or set at the waist, or artfully strewn in models’ hair.
EVERY FLOWER IS A JEWEL
No where are flowers seeding more creativity than in women’s jewelry, and the most innovative surge, as always, comes from prestigious names in the field. Most impressive of all these is Chanel’s new interpretation of its perennial “camellia” collection-a blindingly luxe 3-strand all-diamond necklace with two impressive open-work camellias.
But, flowers are in no way limited to fine jewelry alone. Think in terms of fabulous costume jewelry, with all of its rose imagery, carnation symbols, and daisy formations.
Not all floral jewelry is colorful, either. Clear rhinestone and crystal pieces embody all the flame of the colored flower, in a dressier, flashing format. An Austrian crystal flower pin is one example. Another: a rhinestone necklace and earring set in floral vine motive. These pieces are super-trendy now, even as they are timeless.
One of the most exciting developments related to the flower rush is the resurrection of vintage Art Nouveau-type jewelry. In fact, this is becoming so popular that there is a whole new name to describe it, “New Nouveau“. Yesterday’s Art Nouveau was awash with flowers, perhaps the most important image of the art form. And, things are no different now. Also important here: the craftsmen’s use of all kinds of materials, from oddly shaped freshwater pearls, to translucent horn to steel, wood, yarn, leather, enamels and more. Everything was (and now, is) sculpted into a lavish floral expression. New Nouveau: How wonderful!
A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE…
Flowers appear in many guises throughout the fashion world today, and are loaded with powerful appeal, visually and emotionally. Flowers inspire instant joie de vivre, happiness, and “I look pretty” confidence. And while clear is beautiful, the wellsprings of bejeweled floral color can also make an overwhelming impact. Mesmerizing shades of blue, yellow, green and red dominate, individually and in combination. At the same time, classic black and whites are also strong in floral prints, patterns, and shapes.
Women’s wear is budding, blooming flowers; sometimes softly, in sheer pastels, and sometimes boldly, in electric bursts of pop color. Evening clutch bags are beautifully ornamented with overall flower designs, often with sequins. Valentino centers a trio of 3-D leather posies on the front of his softly-pleated handled bag for Fall. Watch for large, fly-away floral appliqués on structured bags or totes.
TV actress Jessica Alba wears a large, beautifully sculpted single-bloom flower ring, pink enameling plus clear diamonds. Vera Wang showcases a go-round necklace of gigantic-bloom flowers, with huge, shimmering pink stone pave centers and clear crystal petals. Flowers proliferate in chandelier earrings, glass bead designs, even atop metal cuffs, and are imprinted on bangles and strewn throughout necklaces and bracelets.
Possibly one of the most compatible jewelry designs, best for today’s fashions, is the classic Queen Victoria period brooch. These large floral motif brooches sparkle with overlays of colorful crystals amid layers of silvery or golden petals, some domed, some with pearl effects. These work beautifully, whether a single circular bloom, an interesting bouquet brooch, or a vertical floral design. Gracious. Rich. Unique.
Flowers and women’s hats have melded throughout fashion history, and there’s a fresh incursion of “winter flower” numbers in many Fall/Winter hat collections. Church hats are replete with flowers in bright colors and fancy fabric ornamentation all year long! Look at a polypropylene weave hat, available in wonderful colors, and featuring pretty rosettes centered in a dressy brim spray. No longer is the fun and fancy of flowers limited to spring and summer; these are hats that will serve well no matter what the season.
Flower hats. Flower gloves. Flower headbands. Even Marc Jacobs has a floral perfume, “Daisy,” packaged in an opaque black bottle, topped with a cluster of gold toned daisies.
Will the master couturier-salesman’s perfume sell? You better believe it! And, it just goes to show how hot, pervasive, and marketable flowers can be!
What items best fit your clientele? At a very affordable level, a small floral accessory that anyone can buy would be a decorative trinket box, with a cluster of colorful flowers on the cover. Or a carry-all floral rayon tote. Or mini-flower rhinestone bobby pins. Or flower-motif key chains. Or the newly popular purse hooks, in red rose design.
Just remember: Whether it’s the look, the scent or the feel, flowers are proving to be the main attraction.
So pick a few posies for your customers. And watch sales blossom!
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JUST FOR FUN, you may want to know what flowers are linked to months of the year:
May Lily, lilies of the valley