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Coming up roses: The bloom at the fashion fore

Coming up roses: The bloom at the fashion fore


by IMAGE
06th Jul 2024

The spring/summer catwalks were a veritable bed of roses, and designers found much to explore in the bloom’s rich list of associations.

Compiled by Megan Burns and Sinéad Keenan

As warmer weather rolls around it’s never a surprise to see florals grace the catwalks, but this season, they were a punchier affair than we might normally expect. Roses were undoubtedly the bloom on everyone’s mind: a flower that can connote passion, love and innocence, while their thorns hint at something darker lying beneath. There was much to explore for designers.

History was in focus at David Koma’s London show, where roses were a nod to Queen Elizabeth II, while at Erdem they were an homage to the late Duchess of Devonshire and her efforts to restore Chatsworth House. “Koma is synonymous with contrasting soft and hard, and this season his body-con dresses became more elegant and graceful thanks to rose motifs,” contributing fashion stylist Sinéad Keenan explains. “At Erdem, roses featured in chintzy curtain and wallpaper prints, patchworked across poplin dresses and quilted coats.”

At Simone Rocha, roses were full of emotion. Her show, entitled “Dress Rehearsal” explored ideas of tension as well as love, evoking ideas of performance with her setting of the English National Ballet’s rehearsal space, but also of the moments before something momentous, with a distinctly bridal feel to the collection. “Instead of the bride holding a bouquet, fresh roses were trapped between layers of sheer tulle,” says Sinéad. “Fabric roses were manipulated into dresses and jackets, models carried single stems fashioned from cotton or Rocha’s signature pearls, and even the models’ bare skin was adorned with red rose tattoos.”

Roses also expressed emotion at Sarah Burton’s final collection for Alexander McQueen. “Her goodbye after 26 years at the house was inspired by blood-red roses and the female anatomy,” Sinéad explains. “Roses were printed on striking column dresses, as well as on the signature McQueen tailoring, the structured silhouettes balanced with the organic softness of roses, creating a harmonious blend of strength and delicacy. Her final show was a tribute to Alexander Lee McQueen whose wish was to always empower women.”

In Paris, at Kenzo, large statement roses were printed on denim separates, cotton shift dresses and tailoring, while at Balmain roses were also the focus for the collection. Olivier Rousteing honoured founder Pierre Balmain by using his beloved roses to adorn everything from corsets and jackets to bags and shoes, taking the forms of 3D embellishments in patent leather, beads and soft fabrics.

Forget any associations with insipid prettiness, roses are an impactful statement in our wardrobes this season.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of IMAGE. 

IMAGE Summer 2024

The Summer issue of IMAGE is here, and we’re taking the longer days as an opportunity to slow down, take stock, and luxuriate in the lull that summer brings. From laid-back looks to in-depth reads, there’s everything you need to set you up for the season. Plus: * Warm-weather style * Boho is back * In studio with Irish designer Sinéad O’Dwyer * Career success stories * Growing and foraging * Women in music * Reframing divorce * Tackle your tiredness * Summer beauty favourites * Bringing the outdoors in * Irish eco escapes * Garden getaways * and so much more… 

Have you thought about becoming an IMAGE subscriber? Our Print & Digital subscribers receive all four issues of IMAGE Magazine and two issues of IMAGE Interiors directly to their door along with access to all premium content on IMAGE.ie and a gorgeous welcome gift worth €142 from Skingredients. Visit here to find out more about our IMAGE subscription packages.

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