Flower power

Flowers never go wrong when it comes to fashion and prints, find designers. Pramita Bose reports
Be it in painting or across the field of fashion, petal power rules the roost. Keeping this in mind, designers often consciously choose floral and foliage prints as their creative tool of expression. So make no mistake to think that springtime is the only season to grow gardens in your wardrobe. You may flaunt a flower-shower all the year round.
“Floral motifs are refreshing, feminine and have a timeless appeal. They are now popular choices all through the year whether in prétlines or haute couture ensembles,” says designer Pranay Baidya. According to him, “Digital prints, especially colourful blossoms will hold sway in the history of 21st century art and fashion scene.”
Botanical elements are now a favourite around the globe, right from international runways to high-street fashion departmental stores. As draper Radhika Singhi says, “Blooms and buds invariably signify a happy mood and a positive mind to look young and mint-fresh all the time.”
Designer Ritu Seksaria feels that “Only colours, patterns and styles keep changing from season to season. Otherwise floralfetish spurts a vibrant splash in all twelve months of the couturiers’ yearly calendar. At the end of the day, it actually depends on the source of inspiration and how it’s been styled.”
Also depending on the seasons, designers’ petal passion varies on the sketch-page. “Daisies are best for sunny summers, while roses in different shades for the lush spring,” says Singhi.
Baidya draws a parallel between evolution of fashion sensibilities with that of the natural flora and fauna. “You will notice, exotic hues, decadent shapes and innovative printing textures result in new prints every season,” he points out. Lilies and cherry blossoms are his hot favourites.
Lately, Bollywood actress and style icon Kangana Ranaut forayed into the world of fashion with her maiden autumn-winter collection — Marquee — from the premium international fashion brand of Vero Moda. She showed off with flair bold dandelions and red velvet prints.
Out of the five distinct lines she launched, two were dedicated to floral stories. The sartorial segment titled Dandelion Dreams unveils a dreamy array in wasabi and cream chromes with a botanical bouquet, artfully crafted with beaded embroidery in a buffet of diffused dandelion drawings. On the other hand, red velvet delineates a radiant classic line heightened with drama and accentuated with laces and rich floral needlework. The colour palette is concentrated with glossy black and fiery red. The entire sequence has a quality of grandeur, sophistication and vintage charm to it.
In women’s wear section, Baidya roots for outfits like shift dresses, evening gowns, jumpsuits, swimwear, saris and blouses to look best in floral-leafy prints. For men, shirts, casual jackets, Nehru jackets and even floral trousers are ideal for the sartorially adventurous. He picks reds, yellows and oranges for the shade-card and fabrics like silk or mercerized cotton to bring out the best in floral designs.
Singhi also eyes men’s waistcoats alongwith jackets, while the colour-code bends towards muted shades like milky whites and beiges. She favours chiffon and satin to flourish floral and foliage themes.
Anupama Dayal takes her floral art to sandy beaches for water- babies and beach bums. She recently unveiled her collection in the second season of Gionee India Beach Fashion Week at the Lalit Golf and Spa Resort of Canacona, Goa. She narrates her floral tale through influences derived from “beautiful sunsets, endless emerald paddy fields, delicious riots of unruly creepers and green sprouts”. The entire collection was reminiscent of fond memories, thereby evoking a feeling of joy. She opts for fluid silhouettes and feather-light organic fabrics that smoothly transform hours from morning till evening yet remaining fresh and durable for long. “These are comfortable to wear and convenient to carry, live in, walk in, party in or lounge around. Fluid tropical colours imported from natural resources like the sky or the sea capture the soul of my resort-wear collection,” she sums up.
The designers are unanimous in their view that petal and peduncle prints are extremely popular both in domestic market as well as abroad. “The floral images have thrived annually in both desi Indian and overseas fashion sectors, because it is somewhat effervescent and elegant. It’s a world-wide fad that both men and women can sport with flair,” says Seksaria.
Apart from breezy party-wears and romantic dates, formal social functions like weddings are a perfect plea to parade floralprints. “Floral outfits with floral jewellery on occasions like mehendi are a current chart-topper,” shares Baidya.
Movie stars like Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Ranvir Singh, Preity Zinta and Natalie Portman appear awesome in floral printed attires, say designers.
“A lot of other motifs besides flowers can be invested to develop quirky prints. For example, leaves, seeds and trees can be innovatively used on a neckline, along the hemmed borders or even to germinate across a top or a camisole to lend an avant-garde twist. It would be all the more interesting if added with a teasing texture,” observes Seksaria.
To balance a base of heavy floral prints which may involve the risk of looking cluttered and congested over a dress, therefore it is important to don the correct jewellery and accessories to mitigate the overall garish look.
“While wearing bold prints, style your look with a minimalistic approach. Whether it’s make-up, bags, footwear, hats or even eyewear, solid tones must be wisely coordinated with floral prints to give it a graceful impression,” advises Baidya. “Simple basic wooden or plain gold jewellery without motifs would be the game, set, match for you,” is Singhi’s tips, adding, “You may pin up a brooch, a hair-slide or corsage, effortless neckpieces or cute bracelets to minimize the flashy look.”
(Trans World Features)