Yesterday I went with my husband to the Chicago Botanical Garden just to get out of the city and get some fresh air. We planned it for a sunny day, and we were not disappointed!
It was a mushy and somewhat icy stroll for an hour thorough the gardens, and ending appropriately in the Rose Garden. This garden was totally white(leftover snow), and there were no roses- only those in our imagination!
It was the perfect backdrop to an online lecture I was signed up for the following day called “The Rose In Fashion: Ravishing”, a book by Amy De La Haye. It was a fascinating presentation of her book where she describes how she worked at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London before the Fashion Institute of Technology called upon her services She describes the making of her book which became like an animate object to her, and shares several chapters with her viewers on screen.
The rose historically has a yin and yang to it. It can be viewed as something beautiful or be associated with death(how many funerals have you attended with roses being the primary flower?). We learn that roses started blooming 30-40 million years ago worldwide and have different associations across different cultures.
La Haye talks about how fashion embraces the rose through time and I’ve read that it is the new Spring 2021 trend for clothing. The clothes selected for this book have the feel of roses and fashion. She describes the fashion as “luxurious, multi sensorial, inciting passion and obsession.”
A few of the chapters I found intriquing include:
—The 1960 Stiletto Shoe made out of roses with a metal thorn heel. It was called “Can A Woman Stand On A Rose”
— The 1950 hats. They are decorated with tiny artificial roses and designed to actually look like an opening rose.
She talks about how in researching this book she visited the Paris Fashion House which was estimated to have been built in 1727, and looked exactly the same in 2020. Located on the same site they still work with original flowers and their artificial roses are perfumed!
A great book to pick up before Valentine’s Day. The stories and photography are totally amazing. The publisher is Yale University Press.