The Secret Garden: Vintage Floral Dresses

Angelo floral vintage dresses

 

Japanese artist Toshiro Kawase said: “the whole universe is contained within a single flower”. In other words, just looking at a flower can open our horizons of beauty - going beyond mere aesthetics.

If you think about it, flowers have been a recurring subject in art and fashion since the beginning of time.

Today, our Instagram feeds are blooming with petals and buds, nymphs decorated from head to toe dancing to club music at Coachella. However, looking at flowers has always been a calming, comfort ritual for the eyes and for the soul.

The Evolution of Floral Prints

The very first floral prints came from Asia, where the most exotic compositions were born. In the XVII Century, prints arrived from China and Persia in Europe on the most exclusive fabrics, only for wealthy customers.

In the XVIII Century, in France, Queen Marie Antoinette, who was really fond of flowers, turned them in her style trademark, spreading them all around Versailles: from incisions on furniture and paintings on the walls to her beloved Petit Trianon gardens, from the fine embroideries of her dresses to her luxurious bud-filled hairstyles.

In the XIX Century, William Morris, artist and writer close to the Pre-Raphaelite movement and to its main representative Dante Rossetti, studied floral patterns to transpose them on sophisticated fabrics and wallpapers, becoming one of the first designers in history.

At the beginning of the last Century, flowers and nature were the essence of artist Frida Kahlo's style, who used to wear them in the hair and on wide gipsy skirts and traditional dresses. She also included them in her paintings - they're a symbol of fertility and fecundity in the Mexican culture. She once said: "I paint flower so they will not die".

In the 1950s, Christian Dior swept away the gloomy mood of the period after the War. He created the "New Look", giving back to women a lovely, feminine silhouette, with a wide bust, tight waist and full skirt. Dior loved flowers: he even said that "after women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world". His passion was born in his childhood, when he used to spend long afternoons with his mother in the gardens of his family's villa in Normandy. Flowers and aromatic plants blooming in his garden would then become a recurring topic in his collection's embroideries and patterns.

In the early 1970s, nature became essential for the hippie movement, made of naked feet and long, wavy dresses covered in flowers, as seen on Ali MacGraw and Joni Mitchell. Flowers here represent the basic need to go back to the origins and to our most intimate freedom, taking a step back from a tough society that reduces more and more the space for nature, supporting the growth of industries instead.

Wearing Florals

Wearing florals has always had a highly symbolic meaning, beyond beauty and beyond the aesthetic pleasure of looking at nature.
Floral prints donate an elegant silhouette, creating an ambitious, classy style. They give a more "haute couture" allure - which streetstyle can't do.

The floral dress can refresh your mood and tell the story of a sophisticated woman - giving the right importance to romance but avoiding all things sugary.
In this age where "romance is boring" (from the title of the album of 2010 by indie group Los Campesinos), the idyll of nature and its manifestations is the real revolution.

Want to follow our flower revolution? Visit our e-shop to discover what vintage floral dresses you'll be wearing this summer.
 

 

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