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New York Fashion Week's garden variety

September 13, 2010 |  6:16 pm


Maybe it's the grow-your-own food movement, the popularity of farmers markets, or simply the fact that these are spring collections, but botany is sprouting up as a theme all over the runways. Monique1

Carolina Herrera took colors, prints and floral appliques from 18th century botanical plates for her collection, which included a gown hand-painted with the image of a flower, along with its name and species.

 For her Garden of Eden-themed collection, Monique Lhuillier worked with cherry blossom print taffeta, draping it into a pleated A-line cocktail dress and a ball gown. (Also spotted: "sage green," "mint floral" and "poppy" organza.)


At Donna Karan, shoes were decorated with leather leaves and gauzy long slip dresses were "saffron-stained" and "tamarind-distressed." A rough-textured, jute-colored nubuck jacket was reminiscent of a seed sack.

 Jenny Packham, who is fast becoming a favorite of the red carpet set for her lovely gowns -- many of which have sleeves, for those who care about that sort of thing -- tapped wallpaper specialists de Gournay to design the moody, hand painted florals for her finale gowns, one in a silk crepe de chine with a beaded tulle shoulder.

Jpeckham1 And Barbara Tfank was inspired by the goddess Persephone, who was gathering wildflowers when she was stolen away to the underworld, as the myth goes. Tfank designs her own textiles, including the "morning garden" floral silk made into a swing 7_Sarah jacket with gathered sleeves, paired with pale pink pants, and the topiary-print silk crepe draped into a gown that fell to the floor. (Tfank, who lives in Los Angeles, also produces most of her clothing there.)

She didn't use any jewelry, accessorizing models with contrast floral head scarves instead. The only thing missing were gardening gloves, which Tfank said she ultimately decided against because they were just too ugly to bear.

You might call the trend a "greening" of fashion, at least in sensibility if not yet fully in practice.

-- Booth Moore  

Carolina Herrera spring - summer 2011 collection photo gallery

Donna Karan spring - summer 2011 collection photo gallery

Jenny Packham spring - summer 2011 collection photo gallery

Monique Lhuillier spring - summer 2011 collection photo gallery

Barbara Tfank spring - summer 2011 collection photo gallery

Photos, from top: A look from Carolina Herrera, credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times; cherry blossom dress by Monique Lhuillier, credit: Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press; jacket by Donna Karan, credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter; beaded gown by Jenny Packham, credit: Dan and Corina Lecca / Associated Press; floral jacket and pink pants by Barbara Tfank, credit: Kevin Sturman