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FASHION KEEPS ON BLOOMING Floral Is Always In

Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt

When it comes to fashion, it’s time to accept that floral won’t stop, well, flowering. Like a resilient weed, it’s kind of hard to cleanse from your wardrobe: pack one flowery print in a box destined for the second hand store, and another (retail) variation grows in its place.

The year turns over, and we search for exciting new trends to dazzle us, knowing full well one of them will be a bouquet (of printed fabric), wrapped in different marketing for sure, but still floral to the core. C’est la vie.

Every season, floral is meticulously grafted onto the latest runway trends. You’d be surprised how many ways there are to work the appearance of petals into items of clothing: bright sassy tropical blooms, small sprays in a pastel palette, blurred wildflower graphics bleeding together in bold, futuristic ways. The list goes on.

In comparison, other graphics (butterflies, lightning bolts) never stand a chance. Even kitten prints can’t take down the power of the flower. When facebook feeds filled with photos of hipster placing rosebuds and daisies in their beards, we knew cats had lost the battle (on the style front at least).

For some, the sight of flowery clothing evokes a sense of unease; getting fashion to bloom just right can prove almost as hard as resisting garden metaphors when writing a floral fashion feature. While the experience can be a little hit and miss, the key to pulling off floral would appear to be confidence.

Contrary to popular belief, floral fashion for men doesn’t begin and end with the occasional Hawaiian shirt. (Remember digi floral footwear?) Some of the prints for guys may be a tad refined, more outlined botanical sketches than bunches, but that’s still a flower you’re wearing, buddy.

Guys can look so good in flower prints. Pharrell Williams and Harry Styles have pulled off some tidy floral numbers. Pharrell chooses funked up floral, from footwear to tuxedos, while Harry occasionally rocks understated floral shirts. Great taste in graphics is the key to their style successes.

On the red carpet Emily Blunt displays a penchant for floral, as does Lupita Nyong’o, both moving from soft and pretty gowns to loud, striking frocks. Neither woman is afraid to think bold. For more casual interpretations, Rita Ora’s Spray and Roses design effort for Adidas last year comes to mind, fusing sport and street in a fresh way (Even Lady Gaga gets her flower on occasionally).

Don’t forget, during the summer months, floral also works on the beach. Fashion’s current lazy, hazy sixties and seventies-inspired feel bleeds across to swimwear with pretty printed bikinis as an option. Hell, even sunglasses get the treatment this summer, with blooming beautiful embellishments on frames.

The great thing about floral is that you’re playing with more than just colours and patterns; you’re mixing up symbols and ideas. Don’t be afraid of the flowers, people. They won’t bite.

GILLIAN O’MEAGHER

 

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