Monday's Visual Treat - Day 1/ Haute Couture Inspired by Flora, Designed by Emanuel Ungaro

Nature influences the design of fabrics through pattern, texture, application, and purpose.  How many of us upon running our hands down the slick surface of nylon fabric commonly used in rainwear and sportswear has not remarked upon it uncanny similarity to the feel of large leaves, such as those found on a philodendron, the amaryllis, or an iris. Broad and flat, these smooth leaves facilitate the easy run-off of water as does the London Fog rain-coat during springs rains and summer thunder-storms.  Fashion designers, as well as industrial designers and textile designers have always looked to nature for inspiration with its myriad forms and shapes, leaves and branches, bark and petals, an unlimited color palette and a variety of shapes unmatched both in variety and volume by any synthetic rendering; and based on recent articles in National Geographic, Smithsonian, and other scientific journals, horticultural marvels are still to be discovered. 

In the area of Haute Couture, fashion designers demonstrate their skills, artistry, and vision twice yearly before an audience of store buyers, journalists, bloggers, industry types, editors, fellow designers, and most importantly, wealthy patrons who can and will commission these wearable works of art that perfectly encapsulate the concerns/fears/dreams of a world known to many as the Fashion World, and more specifically, the world of Haute Couture. Haute couture differs from ready-to-wear (or off-the-rack which is generally where basic folks like you and me procure our garments) for this is where clothing is exclusively made for a specific customer, is of the finest fabrics which have been embellished with feathers, beads, jewels, embroidery and so forth by highly skilled and experienced artisans and seamstresses who typically labor hundreds of hours to produce garments of exquisite beauty.  Designers who aspire to show their garments within this rarefied niche must also follow specific rules imposed by a council whose purpose is both to maintain rigorous high standards of craftsman-ship as well as to continue the tradition of haute couture which is very very expensive to produce, and as some critics declare, is no longer relevant and dead.  Nonsense, I say.  Nowhere is fantasy and beauty more apparent than in the world of haute couture where creativity is limitless, fantasy abounds, beauty reigns, and the illusion of immortality pervades--as well as hope and curiosity which truly separates us from beasts and denizens of a lower order.

Emanuel Ungaro loved elegant draping, ruffles, and flamboyant patterns and exuberant colors.  His creations, along with Christian Lacroix, are the epitome of the 80's with celebrity clients such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Catherine Deneuve, and Invana Trump.  Today's visual treat features a Ungaro creation of blue and green; I love the shoulders of giant flower-petals.   Looking at them, I feel like I would just love to pluck them off and give to my girl (or boy).


PS:  Hope you enjoy this week's peep show devoted to haute couture creations influenced by flora.  


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