by Maia Adams, Adorn Insight
When Rihanna hit the red carpet at the Met Ball earlier this month, she embodied a mood for fantastic florals that has captured the design world’s collective imagination. The star’s Comme des Garcons gown – which swathed her in layer upon layer of petal-like eruptions – was complemented with pieces plucked from her new Rihanna ♥ Chopard high jewellery collection. Inspired by the lushness of her island home, Barbados, they included a pair jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind floral chandelier earrings dripping with colourful gemstones.
A desire to get back to nature lies at the heart of this vogue for OTT florals, and – notably – we are seeing it in a raft of ideas that bring the outdoors inside. From interiors filled with hothouse flowers, to homewares decorated with opulent vegetation, the natural world collides with the manmade, giving rise to an aesthetic filled with lashings of sensual drama.
In March, French digital artist Miguel Chevalier created Love in Bloom at the Jing An Kerry Centre in Shanghai. The interactive light installation saw projected floral displays respond to the movements of people passing by. In Guatemala City, Taller KEN’s Madero Café is a greenhouse-like space filled with colourful furniture and tropical palms that are irrigated with rainwater collected from the roof. Paying homage to the Japanese House exhibition at London’s Barbican Centre, Elle Decoration’s April cover features a fairytale-like tree house floating high above the ground, suspended in a cloud of pale pink cherry blossom.
© Getty Images, Art Of he In-Between" Costume Institute Gala, Foto: Dia Dipasupil
When it comes to jewellery, this vogue for exotic blooms – with their saturated hues, complex layering and exploded organic forms – is the perfect fit. On the SS17 catwalks of brands as diverse as Marni, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gucci, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana and Antonio Marras, exaggerated blossoms sat at the heart of stylised motifs, dense clusters and movement-filled constructions.Fabulous florals are inspiring high jewellery too.
© Bytomska Jewellery, Foto: Ignacy Matuszewski, as seen in Gem Visions
© Queen of Sheba Ring by Lydia Courteille, as seen in Gem Visions
Unveiling its Cactus collection last summer, Cartier declared the prickly desert plant to be its unlikely, but eye-catching, new house flower. Lydia Courteille’s Amazonia centres around supersized foliage carved from luminous green turquoise. With its white diamond accents that ‘sparkle like dew in the morning sunshine on a tropical island’, Jacob & Co.’s new Las Palmas collection boasts cascades of leaves hand crafted from multi-coloured, ceramic coated titanium.
More recently, Boucheron chose the Paris haute joaillerie shows to unveil Lierre de Paris, an ivy-inspired jewellery suite of white gold and diamond pieces that trail through fingers and around necks. Chanel’s Coco Avant Chanel collection translates floral inspirations into elaborate confections of pearls, moonstones, diamonds and assorted pink gems including morganite, spinel and Padparadscha sapphires. The good news for maximalists is that this trend looks shows no sign of fading away. As Gem Vision’s 2018 trend Naturalia suggests, ‘Irregular stone compositions, asymmetry, organic incrustations, a sense of surging, unstoppable growth, wild movement, and gems and pearls that seem to be growing out of metal’ are set to inspire jewellery in new and exciting ways. In this bold new landscape, where abundance is the order of the day, wallflowers need not apply.