Get out your gardening gloves

Designers have succumbed to the greenhouse effect, and floral prints are springing up everywhere. Marion Hume finds it blooming wonderful

Floral Fashion used to be a contradiction in terms. People wore "fashion" (as opposed to "clothes") when they wanted to look up to the minute. In contrast, the floaty floral dress was about acceptable dressing that never went out of style ... but never quite came into it either.

Until this summer, designers - especially those at the cutting edge - left the rose and the lilic bloom pretty much alone. Pretty floral prints were the preserve of vintage tea dresses (or their contemporary reissues by Ralph Lauren, who is more a superb stylist than a fashion designer). Florals were for country garden fetes, tea parties on the lawn, or for those who wished they could be attending either instead of being on a sweaty tube or bus to work.

Now, however, the most modern of designers are finding flowers funky. The British design duo Sonnetag Mulligan has worked a hem the width of a herbacious border around lilic skinny flares. Fellow Briton Abe Hamilton has splashed vivid summer blooms across teeny stretch T-shirts (as well as slinky second-skin evening gowns and microshorts). Hussein Chalayan, who cuts his clothes not from cloth but from waterproof industrial paper, has sprinkled crinkly jackets with the flowers of an English hedgerow.

The vintage market, ever a good source of floral prints, is now furnishing pieces that look suprisingly modern rather than fey and romantic. We found a chintz, rose-print skirt, which is fully lined and rustles as one walks, that looks as though it could have come from Hussein Chalayan's current collection (but it didn't).

Bouquets of flowers are turning up in the most suprising of places; stretchy tiny dresses as well as wispy, floaty ones, wide-leg trousers and second- skin jeans. This summer, florals are everywhere, at just about every price. International designers, as well as the tough London crowd, appear to have been poring over horticultural tomes and there were times at the international shows when the tented venues resembled those of the Chelsea Flower show. Even the Japanese, normally associated with black, black and more black, skipped out into the garden with antique dark floral dresses from Comme des Garcons and hot house buds on Issey Miyake's Pleats Please line.

Meanwhile, the high street is awash with blooms; the store windows of Regent Street's Dickins & Jones are full of florals, while Warehouse, Miss Selfridge, Kookai, Jigsaw and Top Shop currently look like exotic urban greenhouses. This season's most chic fashion accessory? Judging from a languid summer shoot starring Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista in the current issue of Harper's Bazaar, it's a pair of gardening gloves.

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

    £300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

    High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

    £70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

    Teaching Assistant

    £50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

    Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits