Florals Bring Joy to New York Fashion Week

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Whether it’s perennial prints on summer dresses, hibiscuses blooming over Hawaiian shirts or abstract motifs on bold tees, florals have long been a universal symbol of femininity. In the 1400s and 1500s, floral fabrics made their way through Asia’s rich textile industry across to European traders. From Japan’s chrysanthemum in kimonos to India’s ornate marigold embroideries and Italy’s velvet florals, the ubiquitous motif remains timeless. As New York Fashion Week kicked off, designers sought to uplift their Spring/Summer 2021 collections by embracing the versatility of nature’s flora.

Since his five year stint as Creative Director of Hugo Boss, Jason Wu has become essential to the New York Fashion Week schedule with his namesake brand. The New York-based designer held a socially-distanced show on the rooftop space of Spring Studios, transporting his physical and virtual audience to the Yucatan peninsula. As the first runway for his contemporary womenswear collection, the Tulum-inspired lineup was full of breezy silhouettes and a focus on ease. Wu characterized florals with tropical hues and abstract designs across tunics, T-shirts, and even sandals. He took this ode to nature beyond his garments, too–all the trees and leftover material from the runway has been gifted to the A. Visconti Garden Center, a small local business, where the trees will be adopted and cared for.

Kate and Laura Mulleavy delivered another dreamy collection via look book, staying true to Rodarte’s ethereal aesthetic. Whimsical florals flourish their the sisters’ latest creations on sugary pink slip dresses, crystal-embellished gowns, and silk pajama sets. In addition to the clothes, the designer duo championed the botanical with fantastical flowers delicately placed in their models’ hair and framing their faces.

Tom Ford channelled the ‘70s glamour of models Pat Cleveland and Donna Jordon for his Spring/Summer 2021 collection. This materialized into a vibrant progression of looks, including silk joggers, easy button-up shirts, and flirty dresses that boasted bright floral prints. Ford even added a touch of fauna, blending monochrome animal prints with fun florals. The characteristically sexy brand created a vibrant escape, and honed the versatility of the flower motif.

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