Friday, 24 January 2014

Orchid: 'film noir' queen of fashion

Picture a modern catwalk. All right.Skimpy skirts, long legs, attitude.

Now, picture a fashion show from the late 1930s. Languid models, long evening gowns, fabulous fabrics.

A new couture collection has turned back time and explored the the shapes, petal patterns and colours of the orchid as a source of inspiration. Two dresses in particular glowed during Couture Fashion Week in Paris.

The designer partnered with ‘Art of Life’, a group of Dutch Orchid Growers to create the pieces. The groups provided Taminiau with a sea of the flowers to support his creative inspiration, which I felt had a strictly ‘film noir’ appeal.

He said: “The orchid not only inspired me, it surprised me. Orchids are every bit as fascinating as the women who walk into my studio.”

According to the press, the dresses symbolise the orchid’s status in the plant kingdom. Not only is the orchid the queen of plants, it’s also the perfect living fashion and home accessory.

One dress (above, was inspired by the Phalaenopsis, the moth orchid. The name is derived from the Greek words ‘Phalaina’ (moth) and ‘opsis’ (resembling).  The story goes that during one of his trips, Dutch botanist, Dr C.L. Blume, saw a group of butterflies floating almost motionless beside a tree. These turned out to be Phalaenopsis orchids.

Jan Taminiau was also intrigued by the Vanda Orchid, a rare orchid that does not need any earth to survive. Its roots hang loose in the air or wrap themselves around  trees. The dress pictured has a languorous quality that I haven't seen since ... The House of Eliot. So shoot me.


By Pamela Kelt

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