Spring fashion 2014: How the catwalk caught the gardening bug

This season horticulture is hot, with reimagined florals in full bloom, says  Stephanie Hirschmiller

Fashion has caught the gardening bug this season and the spring/summer collections are awash with blooms. But it’s not about the twee floral prints of yore. Christopher Kane set the standard with futuristic petal cut-outs, biological depictions of the photosynthesis process and flower-motif sweats. Meanwhile, Raf Simons’ Dior garden was bedecked with suspended fronds of flora and the house code of bulbous tulip shapes but also came wrapped in typographic Alice in Wonderland references imprinted on ribbons that insinuated themselves around the body like botanical calling cards.

It all felt peculiarly English with a twist of hyperreality – borne out also in Paul Smith’s upscaled daffodils and the overblown Marimekko-style daisies woven into silver jacquard at Mulberry.

Burberry’s Christopher Bailey took the English Rose as the theme for his collection accessorised with pouches of appliqué flowers and a finale of falling petals. Then shoe queen Sophia Webster staged her “bug’s slumber party” presentation in a secret garden – all laser-cut butterflies and ladybird spots.

Needless to say, designers take inspiration from their own gardens as well – not least Oscar de la Renta, whose grandiose outside spaces form a large part of his newly published tome The Style, Inspiration and Life of Oscar de la Renta. As for top hair stylist and avid horticulturist, Sam McKnight, his Instagram feed is always a riot of flora from his London garden. A recent inspection proffered snowdrops, crocuses and camellias popping up amid his backstage creations for Balmain, Fendi and Paul Smith. McKnight has even created a range of floral hair accessories with the jeweller Vicki Sarge debuting in April on Net-a-porter. Entitled Floramorta, it’s inspired by “dying blooms.” Well, we never  promised you a rose garden now, did we?

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