Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fashion in Bloom

There has been a remarkable uniformity of theme in haute fashion houses' spring and summer collections.  That theme is floral fabrics.

The dresses range from filmy chiffon to everyday organza, and the look is generally romantic.   Flowers are featured in apparel for events from garden parties to evenings out to street-fashion miniskirts to prom gowns.

A Quick Overview

Saint Laurent -- a few examples from Hedi Slimane, who took over as head designer in 2012 and announced on April 1 that he will leave the house.   (The fall fashions were ready by then, and no successor has been named.)   His tenure has been an economic home run for Saint Laurent, but fashion critics' reactions have been mixed to what they see as his market-focused designs.

The dress above got a bump in interest when Lena Dunham wore it for an appearance on the Ellen (DeGeneres) Show; Saks Fifth Avenue began promoting it immediately alongside news reports of the outfit.
       I don't know what to make of it.  Ms. Dunham has accomplished a great deal at a young age, but she has never been seen as exactly soignee, to put it mildly.  Still, she was said to "rock" this look.

Alexander McQueen -- Sarah Burton, once McQueen's assistant, has led the house since his death in 2010.  The next year, she was lauded for the much-imitated wedding dress worn by Kate Middleton, now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Dolce & Gabbana  -- These two are always out there with very colorful, often over-the-top designs.

A notably unsuccessful effort was Katy Perry's 2013 costume for the Metropolitan Fashion Gala, which included a crown, large crucifixish earrings and a mosaic dress with a medieval madonna image on the front.

Perry is a very attractive woman, and the outfit did her no favors.

On the other hand, D&G's spring-summer florals are very feminine and -- dare I say it? -- pretty.  A few are below.


Flowered dresses are not exactly a new thing.  Lily Pulitzer began producing them for preppy women in the 1960s.  

In fact, the floral trend has spread to swimsuits for men and women, and also to casual shorts for either sex.  A couple examples:

Ralph Lauren for men

Aeropostale for (very young) women

Here are a couple very nice girls' dresses with floral designs from Milly Mills.


I realize that this is a late post and many people already have bought their summer wardrobes.  One good thing about this, however, is that those who have not stocked up for summer can find floral wear marked well down from original prices.  Many of the dresses above were marked initially at $3,000 to $8,000, and the so the savings can be substantial.  

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