Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Flowers + Fashion = Fleurotica

Flowers and fashion collided at Fleurotica, a fabulously creative runway show hosted at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The event was part of the festivities celebrating the centennial anniversary of the city’s historical conservatory.

The smashingly successful event was anchored by a surreal fashion show, which featured a delightful array of floral based fashion. The runway show challenged the School of the Art Institute’s Millinery students and five of the city’s most sought after florists to combine forces and create wraps, parasols, hats, clothing and more composed almost entirely of fragile flora. The results were stunning.

The millinery students, who displayed their final projects, managed to merge sophistication with the delicate nature of flowers. Ranging from wide brimmed to barely there, the plant based creations were utterly original. Certain hats utilized threads of dangling moss, others capitalized on large attention grabbing flowers and still others used braided leaves to inspire and dazzle the audience. We loved the loose, daisy-strewn cap that cascaded around the chin of the model lucky enough to wear it; another favorite was the over-size sun hat whose exposed exterior was tossed in moss, while the underside burst with a thousand brightly colored rose petals.
The garments that came down the runway elicited cheers and applause from the audience en masse. Florists cum designers spent hundreds of hours composing dresses of various floral origins. Favorites included a leafy floor length dress with a waterfall of orange Birds of Paradise flowers cascading down the front, a mossy, strapless number dotted with tiny buds and, the coup de grace: a Marie Antoinette inspired tenue created by the mad-genius staff at Dilly Lilly. This gown was floor length and had a train. The royal number was strewn with literally thousands upon thousands of rose petals in all different colors and hues. The model was absolutely regal in the gown, leaving a tiny trail of rose petals in her wake as she walked.
Despite the exotic female attire that was enough to send even the toughest of critics into a tizzy, we can’t let the oh-so-hot menswear go unnoticed. Channeling Adam, apple in hand, two rather strapping lads strutted their stuff on the runway wearing little more than strategically placed leafy greens. The conservatory was definitely a steamy spot at Fleurotica.
-photos and story by Kari Skaflen

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