Floral Coutureby Joyce Mason-Monheim on November 16, 2013 at 8:52 am
One of the leading trendsetters in the fashion world was Alexander McQueen. He is best known for low-rise “bumster” jeans, skull scarves, and for his cleverness of cutting clothes and the use of shape and proportion. Even after his untimely death in 2010, the Alexander McQueen label, now owned by Gucci, has become known for its controversy and shock tactics. From extreme silhouettes and technology to outrageous models, McQueen made people take notice. His talent was to take people out of their comfort zones, to make them think, and be uncomfortable, thus turning the fashion runway upside down.
Inspired by McQueen, floral designers created the following “Savage Botanicals,” a transformation of the fashion icon’s influences using permanent botanical materials and repurposed dresses. This unique collection of dresses features three galleries representing nature, industry, and life (breath). Enjoy!
Symbiosis Serenity: The contrast of life and death
Mosses, lush soft carpets covering the serenity of the forest floor, are symbiotic, living off other living materials. Forming the bodice of this dress are layers of Spanish moss and ferns with delicate lavender flowers tucked among the softness. Water lettuce leaves petal around the skirt. In nature, as water lettuce lives on water surfaces, its dense growth suffocates the life of the fish and plant materials below.
Essence of Warrior: The contrast of victory and defeat
This dress depicts a battle scene. Soft chiffon is melted and torn, and more than 8,000 hypericum berries were hand-sewn into the fabric to replicate medieval armor.
Autumnal Ruination: The contrast of promise and dismay
The canopy towering high in the treetops is where photosynthesis occurs, creating life and sustaining growth. But this is limited with the seasons. When darkness and cold ensues, life diminishes; the green fades, and proud bare branches stand tall. Textures again play an important role in the contrast in this dress. The velvety surface of the leaves and layers of groupings create impact. The contrast of the barren branches develops depth and sadness.
Harnessing Culture: The contrast of natural and man-made
The pearl is the jewel of the sea, lustrous, refined and valuable. Combining faux pearls with more than 12,000 cable ties, man-made industrial restrains compromises their integrity but the contrast illuminates their beauty. The result of the gathering of cable ties surrounding the opalescent orbs results in depth and texture. The fluffiness of plastic is an oxymoron.
Mechanical Meringue: The contrast of hard and soft
More than 1,100 nuts and bolts created the sequin effect contrasting with the softness and fragility of the tulle meringue below. The cold surface quality of metals and gears juxtaposed with fluffy tulle provide a tactical experience not just for the wearer, but also for all who see it. Can’t you imagine what it feels like without even touching it?
Spanish Tendrils: The contrast of hard and soft
Tendrils and spirals of copper, gold, red and brown wires create a lace effect over the red satin dress. Flaring panels are embellished with metal lace. Yellow silk cymbidium petals over the bodice and down the back of the skirt add bursts of color. Harsh metals manipulated and caressed create soft, flowing movement.
Insecta Awakening: The contrast of beauty and danger
The migration of the monarch butterfly is a seasonal phenomenon. Monarch butterflies are orange, a warning they are poisonous. The combination of beauty and danger can be deadly, a fatal attraction. Here, midollino sticks flow from a sequined dress superimposed with more than 350 butterflies in poetic flight.
Ravenna’s Sensitivity: The contrast of gentleness and fierce behavior
Feathers are soft and flowing, light and airy, gentle to the touch. But when attached to a large powerful bird, the gentleness becomes carnivorous. The softness of feathers and the velvety texture of magnolias bring a sensitivity and tenderness at the surface. Like Ravenna in the movie “Snow White and the Huntsman,” her evil power and beauty is masked by impressionable beauty.
Surrendered Vertex: The contrast of protection and submission
Antlers represent power and strength, protector and defender of life and sustainability. The femininity of lace enhances beauty with visual softness, seduction and submission. They typically are not designed together to create elegance. Here their differences blend so beautifully.
Hortensia’s Addiction: The contrast of control and desire
In this dress, there are over 400 silk hydrangeas in the calming blends of lavenders, blues, purples, pinks, whites and greens. The textures draw you in making you feel an overwhelming desire to touch; this uncontrollable desire creates an addiction. Haunting your dreams, distracting your wakening moments, overwhelming your mind of wanting more, addiction is consuming.
Which dress is your favorite?