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Florals in Fashion: Orchids Dazzle Fleek Fashion Runway at NYBG Orchid Show

 

If fashion runways ~ Catwalks ~ are meant to grab attention for introducing new fashion lines, then the 21st edition of the iconic orchid exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden, The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion, is a heart-stopping, fashion-inspired celebration of all things orchid that you can’t take your eyes off of.

 

What does the intersection of “Hort-Couture” and “Haute Couture” look like? 

You won’t believe this orchid-inspired “Collection” style.  Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll see at this year’s Orchid Show: 


 

Orchids inspire the Catwalk that transforms The New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a kind of fashion atelier of Nature.

Opening this weekend, the 21st NYBG Orchid show runs from Saturday, February 17 through Sunday, April 21, 2024. 

According to the Garden, “The sartorial scene is set by thousands of diverse orchids and accessorizing plants in dramatic, picture-perfect installations, highlighting the bold, fashion-themed creations of three rising design stars—Collina Strada by Hillary Taymour, Dauphinette by Olivia Cheng, and FLWR PSTL a.k.a. Kristen Alpaugh—who have all been inspired by nature. 

Visitors can walk the runway, strike a pose, and show off their own personal flare, love for orchids, and fashion-forward connections to the natural world.”

 

Often called the “divas of the plant world,” orchids have inspired designers such as Halston, Rodarte, Dior, and others across the globe for decades. It’s not a stretch to see why.

Some have what look like faces.

They are one of the largest and most diverse families of flowering plants on the planet. Marc Hachadourian, Director of glasshouse horticulture and senior curator of orchids at the New York Botanical Garden, overseeing the cultivation of tens of thousands of tropical and temperate plants grown for conservatory exhibitions and permanent horticultural display, provided a fascinating and immersive tour of the Orchid Collections and displays throughout the Haupt Conservatory.  Marc described the diversity and adaptability of orchids as nothing short of astonishing. Orchids, he said, are like many of us in that they often find the best real estate is up on the top ~ meaning that they can grow high in the canopy.  Low too. Some of the diminutive orchids are so sweet. 

He explained that there are 30 thousand species of orchids and only 7% are assigned for their conservation.  We lose so many  due to environmental degradation, climate chaos, and theft. 

I learned that the oldest orchid in the Collection is celebrating  120 years.

So many orchids are fragrant.  In fact, the Garden is working with one of the show’s sponsors, Guerlein. 

  

I love this artful image I took of Marc looking through the Orchid Case in the Upland Gallery ~ orchid artful. 😀 

Marc is also an author, and one of my favorites is his recent: Orchid Modern

Rendering of the cover of Orchid Modern

I wrote about his Book and the Jeff Latham Orchid show back in 2020 ~ a squeaker of a show ~ a fabulous one nonetheless, that premiered February 14 ~ tucked in right before the pandemic…

 

To create this year’s Orchid Show, the Garden explained “horticulturists at NYBG identified and assembled an extraordinary selection of these colorful and coveted flowers, including iconic and rare specimens from the Botanical Garden’s collections, as well as from some of the finest growers in the world. 

         

In this year’s exhibition, orchids are accented by a diversity of other plants, including epiphytic cacti, carnivorous nepenthes, air plants, and more, in displays of living attire.”

     

In The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion, three visionaries each present their unique perspective on the connections between the botanical world and fashion. 

 

Upon entering the glorious Enid A. Haupt Conservatory’s soaring Palm of the World Gallery, you will see Olivia Cheng’s “First Look” installation of floral designs seemingly floating on the noir pool of water.  

Cheng’s fashion label Dauphinette, best known for its use of preserved botanicals and repurposed materials, has created a dramatic composition of her Orchid Punk fashion art.

In front of a wall of orchids, mirrors, and other plants, mannequins on a grand mirrored staircase are adorned with Cheng’s dramatic dresses dotted with real beetles, headdresses of Tillandsia air plants suspended within an orb to create a floating effect. The plant-based outfits are delicately made of colorful living material, such as elegant blue-green tresses of Huperzia, pastel rosettes of Echeveria, and delicate Spanish moss.

   

The attention to detail is incredible. That red beetle dress and the daisy and tea rose corset dress defy reality.  You have to take your time and gaze upon the looks from many angles to really understand the composition and the fashion design style…

  The Designer, Olivia Cheng

 

 

Hillary Taymour is founder and creative director of Collina Strada, a fashion platform dedicated to promoting climate and social awareness and fostering self-expression. 

    

These floral pants are so Fit! And so are these: 

 

The long Conservatory Gallery showcases Collina Strada’s “FreezeFrame” runway vignettes. Taymour uses upcycled materials such as “rose silk,”which is made from salvaged rose plants, and she was the first to use artificial intelligence to generate looks for her New York Fashion Week and Spring/Summer 2024 collection. 

Some of these creations are on view in The Orchid Show’s flower-filled fashion runway frames.

Geometric plantings complement the runways, while orchid-decorated Kokedama—spheres of moss in which an ornamental plant grows—float overhead. 

Talk about a “killer look:”

 

 

Check out this Venus Fly Trap handbag. (photo courtesy of Jean Galle)

Vanda orchids, colorful miniature Phalaenopsis, variegated succulents, and other plants clothe the A.I.-inspired characters in the snapshot tableaus.” 

   

 

FLWR PSTL is Kristen Alpaugh, botanical artist, and founder and creative director at Haus of Stems, the world’s first on-demand botanical art atelier, known for her experimental botanical artwork and custom wearables.

 

  Regina: the queen

Kristen’s shimmery leaves are so eye-catching ~ so much so that she has a patent on the process. 

   

If you have a thing for shoes, Manola can’t beat these:

  Floral Leggings…

                                               Enjoy this video of an orchid-inspired fashionista

 

More Ways to Be Fashionable at The Orchid Show

Wear your heart on your sleeve. Many of the journalists wore floral fashions to the preview.  I did too!  It’s fun to brag on your love for floral fashions.

 

On-site public programs during the Orchid Show are plentiful, including “Orchid Basics” Q&A opportunities at the NYBG Shop on weekends plus the Shop provides a multitude of top-quality orchids—from exotic, hard-to-find

specimens for connoisseurs, to elegant yet easy-to-grow varieties for beginners—along with orchid products and books for purchase.

 

Wednesdays you can “Meet the Orchid Experts.”

In a later post, I’ll share some fun, interesting orchid facts I asked Marc about.

 

At the show there will be “A Treat for the Senses: Sensory Table” on select dates in the Conservatory, providing more chances to learn about these marvelous flowers and engage with them through touch, smell, sight, and even sound.

 

Voguing at the Garden

On select dates during The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion, adults age 21 and over can experience the mesmerizing exhibition through Orchid Nights, with evening viewing, music, live performances, and a selection of cocktails and lite bites available for purchase at seasonal bars. 

Performances by the Iconic International House of Miyake Mugler, led by

choreographer NY Father Icon Arturo Miyake-Mugler (Arturo Lyons), winners of Season 2 of HBO Max’s Legendary, transport Orchid Night revelers to a ballroom culture scene with movement and fashion. 

 

Celebrate by arriving dressed in chic couture and floral

finery, voguing into the night. 

Seven Orchid Nights take place on: Saturday, March 30; Friday, April 5; Saturday, April 6; Friday, April 12; Saturday, April 13; Friday, April 19; and

Saturday, April 20, 2024, from 7 to 10 p.m. 

 

For more information about The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion, please visit:

https://www.nybg.org/event/the-orchid-show-forals-in-fashion/

 

2 Comments

  • Garden Glamour

    I could do a Look Book with scads and scads of photos ~ each one prettier than the next. Flowers, especially orchids, beguile us…. So glad you enjoyed the preview and tour here. I hope you get to see the show @NYBG. It's spectacular. And you can Catwalk with style among the orchid displays. Heavenly…

  • Anonymous

    Amazing show. Such talented growers and those that have the know how to display the flowers. The entire display is wonderful. Thanks for the preview. Your pictures are perfect.

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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