Trendsetters who have made their mark on style and held on to their authentic sense of beauty.
England is well known for its love for flowers; real or as prints on walls, curtains, sofas, dresses and more. These three creative spirits just can’t do their work without them and have filled their Instagram accounts with beautiful flowers.
There’s no art without flowers. In the Middle Ages, monks painstakingly decorated the margins of manuscripts with intricate flower illustrations. The Golden Age painters made the most beautiful still lifes, so realistic that it seemed as if a small bee on a tulip could fly away at any time. Van Gogh painted sunflowers and irises, and Monet painted the water lilies in his garden.
It’s not only artists that are inspired by flowers: fashion designers are as well. Chanel incorporated the camelia into many of her designs, and red roses often appear in Dolce & Gabbana. Yves Saint Laurent found his colour pallet in his Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh and Christian Dior based a famous silhouette, the Corolle, on a calyx. Today, there are artists and designers who still focus on flowers in their work. Check out the Instagram accounts of Lewis Miller, Erdem and Danielle Kwaaitaal.
If you walk around New York, you might suddenly stumble upon a rubbish bin full to the brim with peonies and lilies. The flowers aren’t haphazardly crammed in but tidily arranged, as if the rubbish bin is an elegant vase. You might also come across a road barrier decorated with sunflowers, or a building site buried under hortensias. All of these creations are the work of florist Lewis Miller. He designs floral decorations for events, and in October 2016 he decided to do something with the leftover flowers that were still looking nice. In the early hours of the morning, he decorated the John Lennon monument in Central Park with hundreds of dahlias and carnations. This marked the birth of the first ‘Flower Flash’. And it was a success: people stopped to look at it in awe and took photos, sharing them on Instagram. Many Flower Flashes (and Instagram photos) were to follow: for Miller, the flower displays are ‘gifts to New Yorkers’.
‘Flowers for spring? Groundbreaking!’, as the famous quote from the formidable editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (based on Anna Wintour) goes in the film The Devil Wears Prada.Fortunately, this sarcastic comment never prevented the London-based fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu from vibrantly scattering his floral prints. And not only in spring: with Erdem, the flowers bloom all year round. Even though the use of flowers in fashion is, indeed, hardly groundbreaking, nobody does them quite like Erdem. From dramatic roses made from velvet devoré to charming millefleur on typically English tea dresses, he finds a way to incorporate floral print each season, sometimes even betterthan nature itself. Earlier this year, he designed a make-up collection for Nars named Strange Flowers. The name is a big giveaway. It wasn’t the lipsticks or blushes that were the highlight of the collection, but the packaging they came in, which of course had to include beautiful Erdem floral print. Want to see the flower meadow? It’s all there for you to admire on Erdem’s Instagram account.
Artist Danielle Kwaaitaal photographs flowers under water. The results are fantastic: it’s just like the flowers are floating through the space. Kwaaitaal increases the poetic effect by editing the colours in the photos. She makes the darker shades light and the lighter shades dark. She got her inspiration for her‘Florilegium’photo series from seventeenth century botanical drawings. Just like the illustrators from that era, Kwaaitaal tries to capture the essence of one kind of flower in her photos. The flowers she has photographed include tulips, buttercups and hellebores. She also produced the series ‘Après nous le déluge’,which saw her fastening together flowers in aquariums and injecting them with ink as if they were being surrounded by smoke. For Kwaaitaal, flowers are just as sensual as the female body, which previously played a central role in her work. Usually, just one copy of each of her photos is put up for sale, but for those who miss out, her enchanting work is also available on Instagram.