From L: Last week I had the fun opportunity to speak to a floral design class hosted by our sweet friends at Colonial House of Flowers (you’ve seen their work here, here and here – to say that we are obsessed with them is an understatement). I was super excited to be included, but…what to talk about? Because while I admire (and purchase!) their work on the reg, I’m a total dunce when it comes to floral design. I *do* know a little about creating outfits, however, and the more I thought about it the more I realized that arranging flowers in a beautiful way and creating an amazing outfit share the same principles.
I used this gorgeous front door featured on the Pottery Barn Blog and created by Lavin Label with the help of Kelli Boyd Photography, The Vine, Camp Makery and Colonial House as my inspiration to create a fall outfit.
After I finished drooling over these double doors, I got to work translating the floral design into a fall outfit (below). You can use floral design to inspire your fashion, too. Just follow these four principles…
- First, build a basic structure or line using classic shapes. Monica of Lavin Label started with circular wreaths of classic greenery, which provide a great canvas for creativity. Of course, it helps that they’re hanging in front of gorgeous double doors! Similarly, I created the foundation of the outfit using three classic styles that work for a variety of ages and body types: a chambray button-down shirt, a corduroy A-line skirt and a cotton crewneck sweater.
- Second, use rich, in-season neutrals. Fall provides the most amazing range of colors. Monica’s palette included navy, green, burgundy, gold, cream (floral examples include rose hips, amaranthus, bittersweet, olive branches and David Austin garden rose). I used the same palette for our outfit: the camel skirt references the matte gold stool, the cream scarf stands in for the cream roses. The olive anorak provides the “greenery,” and tan riding boots mimic the dark wooden doors and bronze lanterns. Originally I used a rich merlot HOBO clutch for the purple trailing flowers, but it sold at Sole right before the class, so I subbed in a ruby one. #improvise
- Third, add texture. In both floral arranging and fashion, the more texture the better! Monica used natural branches and berries to create texture both on the wreaths and on the steps. I used skinny-waled corduroy, wool, and cotton cable-knit to create textural layers in our outfit. Cool-weather fabric offerings provide a wealth of texture – try tweed and cashmere, too.
- Fourth, add points of focus. Light is essential in all design, whether home, floral or fashion. Monica added flameless candles in recycled glass lanterns, which plays off the subtle shine on the accent stool. The cream roses provide a point of light in the wreaths. We used a plaid scarf (any print creates interest) and added sparkly earrings to draw the eye upward. A note about sparkle: we absolutely believe in bright jewelry for day, no matter what the season…but it looks especially rich in the fall and winter when the rest of our palette gets darker. Other ways to add sparkle include a sequin top (ground it with a navy wool blazer or tweed jacket and jeans), a metallic leather clutch, and a pretty brooch pinned on a blanket scarf.
Key points to remember when creating your own masterpiece, whether floral or fashion:
- Layer, layer layer textures and colors
- Always include a point of focus or levity in your designs – Colonial House tucks tiny plastic animals into terrariums and other arrangements, and they make us so happy!
- More is more this time of year – colors can be richer, go for more texture, add plenty of sparkle.
Fashion Credits: Sole Statesboro (@solestatesboro) and The Glitter Life (@glitterblogxo)
Double Door Styling and Photo Credits: the creative geniuses at Lavin Label, Camp Makery, The Vine, Kelli Boyd Photography and Colonial House of Flowers. Be sure to follow all our awesome friends @lavinlabel, @campmakery, @colonialhouseofflowers, @vinegardenmarket @kelliboydphotography and @colonialhouseofflowers on Insta!