Some things just naturally come in pairs. In Autumn, we fall head over heels for the golden leaves; in Winter, it’s snow days accompanied by tall mugs of marshmallow-laden hot cocoa. So when Spring comes to mind, you already know the other half of the combo: flowers.
While flowers may not feel especially novel for Spring/Summer fashion, we’d like to argue that it’s practically sartorial sacrilege to completely abandon them in one’s warm-weather wardrobe. This season’s designers have succeeded in reinvigorating this seemingly fatigued trend. Even if you prefer strictly all black garb (we understand the impulse), there’s a way to try out these floral looks while remaining true to your own aesthetic. Ahead, we’ve picked our five favorite garden-inspired designs from some of this season’s collections for a little inspiration. As it turns out, there’s really no wrong way to go floral.
The Look: True Romance
There’s a special sense of power that comes with slipping on a long, filmy dress — feminine power, that is. If you’re like me, trying on a romantic maxi dress transports me to a former era where elegance reigned supreme (one that I often wish I had been born into), allowing me to become an Austenian lady or Renaissance goddess for the dreamy twelve hours or so that I get to float in such a magical dress. Raquel Diniz’s designs, like the Alice dress below, are for the unabashed romantics who yearn for the dresses their lady-like dreams are made of.
The Brazilian designer turned her attention to the manufacturing aspect of fashion after traveling the world as a teenage model and browsing through textile shops in her time off-set, where she realized the design process fascinated her more than posing in front of the lens. Her line, formally launched in 2016, has a duality to its DNA, infused with the lively spirit of her homeland and crafted in the artisanal Italian tradition adopted from her training at the esteemed Istituto Marangoni. Working closely with Como-based silk virtuosos, (delicate silk chiffon is her preferred medium), Diniz creates silhouettes that elegantly drape to flatter the feminine form, accented with smocking, ruffles, and puff sleeves, and last but not least, each season’s signature floral motifs.
The Look: Gothic Romance
Loyal subjects of the McQueen empire know that the British house, named after its controversial founder Lee Alexander McQueen who passed in 2010, has always instilled in its designs an alluring hint of darkness. Blurring the lines between edgy and romantic, today, Creative Director Sarah Burton continues the label’s tradition of daring textile juxtapositions that have defined the line since its inception. This season’s collection, ushering in Spring with its various oversized floral patterns and ornate embroidery, finds its inspiration in the milestones in a woman’s life — births, christenings, weddings, and funerals, for instance — and the strength women possess in expressing emotion and embracing vulnerability during these poignant moments. Strength and softness stand side-by-side in each piece, functioning as the perfect metaphor for Burton’s vision. Ultra-feminine floral dresses — some skin-tight, others showcasing elegant long, A-line silhouettes — are toughened up with smooth leather jackets, aprons, and belts, and strands of chunky chain-and-stone jewelry that harken back to the house’s Gothic essence.
The Look: Girly Grunge
If the phrase “sexy tomboy” feels apt for you, R13’s alternative-rock-inspired looks belong in your wardrobe. Though the New York-based brand is most sought after for its denim designs — often styled with asymmetric silhouettes and uniquely-placed rips — we’re in love with one particular piece in the label’s collection this season: the label’s punky take on a traditional feminine piece: the negligee. This evening-inspired design is classic in its silhouette, with a V-neck and lace trim, and punky in its personality, featuring an orange floral motif and dramatic bleach stains that give this style its girly-grunge aesthetic. We like the laid-back look of a denim trucker jacket layered on top, but a black leather moto jacket would complete the outfit just as well.
The Look: Whimsical Menswear
Make no mistake: men should feel inspired by this season’s blooming bouquets as well. In today’s society, harsh gender lines continue to dissolve, and we’re thrilled by the boundless creative expression this permits when it comes to selecting those pieces that feel perfect for us — regardless of how we identify. Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo is one such creative who’s been celebrated for her bold, offbeat styles since the label’s establishment in 1969, like this whimsical sportcoat style from her Spring/Summer collection. A playful take on the classic menswear style, this piece is crafted of innovative PVC and styled with slashed sides, a recurring detail in her designs this season. The tropical-floral pattern of this piece renders this style a statement piece well worth the investment, one that is sure to have a place in your wardrobe for years to come.
The Look: Playful Wardrobe Staples
If you’re a lower-key shopper that prioritizes comfort and ease in your wardrobe, we don’t blame you — luxurious casualwear is an essential in everyone’s closet for those days where we just don’t feel like trying so hard. Toying with interesting prints is an easy way to elevate an otherwise basic piece, as is unique stitching, as exemplified in this playful brushed jersey V-neck top by Craig Green. The blurred-floral print is a signature motif in the British designer’s Spring/Summer collection, and is ideally paired with either all black or all white so the top can take center stage.
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