Floral Details

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2002

Flowers are emblems of romance. Just as the goddess of spring signifies the season of new beginnings with her floral coronet and daisy-dappled gown, so might the bride see fit to adorn herself with flowers -- fresh or faux, tatted or bejeweled. Flowers can underscore any sentiment and breathe wit and whimsy into formality. As accessories, they may express the bride's personality, whether she chooses to wear a demure bolero of floral lace or a dramatic hat of fanciful silk blossoms.

The tradition of pairing flowers and fashion descends not only from mythology but also from history. Few have been more passionate about flowers than the Victorians. A well-dressed Victorian woman might have worn blooms in her hair, at her waist, and on her wrist, all while carrying a bouquet. For evening, she might have ornamented her ball gown with orange blossoms or pinned clusters of arbutus into the generous folds of her skirt.

Today's brides are unlikely to adopt such extravagance, but adding a few deliberate floral accents to an ensemble -- fresh flowers tucked in upswept hair or earrings in the shape of a flower basket -- can invoke the same sense of romance. If you wish to further weave flowers into your bridal look, consider a gown with subtle floral appliques, beading, or embroidery. Many laces have floral motifs as well, such as Chantilly, with its delicate texture and exquisite drape.

The blossoms you wear needn't match the ones you carry. A textured bouquet of brilliant tulips beautifully complements a gown trimmed with soft silk roses; and a bride wearing a dress appliqued with roses should feel free to hold an armful of tiny baby's breath. A mixture of flowers is as appropriate for a trip down the aisle as it is in the garden.

Above, a mesh shrug appliqued in daisies slips over a strapless corset dress by Domo Adami; ring by Van Cleef and Arpels. Below, Vera Wang's triple-tiered gown of silk duchess satin features an exuberant silk corsage; the ring is from Stephen Russell.


This wool silk monk coat and sheath by Cose Belle are enlivened by a single bloom: a richly colored silk cabbage rose by R. J. Graziano, pinned just above the waist. The ring is from Fred Leighton; earrings are by Tenthousand Things. Below, a bolero of Chantilly lace frames Richard Tyler's fan-front silk Mikado gown; the bouquet is a cluster of layered silk-satin roses.


A backless halter dress of triple gazar by Angel Sanchez lights up with the addition of a voluminous silk peony in a swirl of coque feathers by Dulken and Derrick. The bouquet is a mix of common baby's breath and a smaller variety called 'Million Stars.'

The bodice of this charming Christos organza dress is appliqued in a floral Venise lace; ice-blue leaves encircle a silk poppy.

A vintage silk fan in a floral pattern is a demure alternative to a bouquet; the ring is from Stephen Russell.

This silk chrysanthemum corsage is really an Ann Vuille hair ornament clipped to a velvet ribbon; the dress is by Yumi Katsura.


The layered silk organza of Peter Langner's empirewaist gown is a meadow of hand-painted flowers with caviar beading. A tulle shawl is fastened with silk flower pins by Dulken and Derrick.

Below, a faultless nerine lily is the only accessory needed with this vintage Edwardian necklace, with a flower basket design, from Kentshire Galleries; the Reem Acra satin gown shimmers with embroidered leafy trellises accented with bugle beads.

Tiny diamond blossoms spread out like wild-flowers on a ring by Van Cleef and Arpels.

A floral veil is worn mantilla-style with a slender gown of Chantilly over silk charmeuse, both by Elizabeth Fillmore; the necklace is from Stephen Russell.


Vivid pink silk cabbage roses descend from one hip on this shirred organza and layered tulle Atelier Aimee dress. The choker is by Kara Varian Baker.The vibrant bouquet is yellow tulips and hyacinths.

Below, a deftly banded neckline adorns Robert Danes's ivory silk taffeta gown.

A princess gown by Monique Lhuillier is silk satin overlaid with pink Chantilly lace. The bouquet is pink roses tied with a celadon ribbon.


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