Trend Test by Cynthia Nellis
I am not especially girly.
I think pink looks best on Barbie and have never been a big fan of tulle or ballerina skirts.
But I think the big blooms that are being favored recently by Sarah Jessica Parker and Dolce and Gabbana manage to look feminine and chic at the same time.
The flowers at the David Rodriguez Spring 2001 collection (left) were worn with punky hair and makeup and glam clothes.
This trend is still in its infancy, but it'll really explode for spring. Large flowers are showing up on everything from juniors to eveningwear and are used for holding together wrap dresses, being attached to a ribbon choker and much more.
It's all right in line with fashion's return to glamour and elegance, and because I'm definitely not going to don a ladies-who-lunch suit or a four-inch pump anytime in the near future, I thought a big, bold silk flower was the least I could do to girly up my wardrobe.
What to wear it
Although I love the pinned-on-a-choker look, I started out by pinning my very large silk flower on a simple sleeveless black mockneck sweater and pants with sandals. I wore the ensemble to a baby shower, and the black bloom was perfect, because no one mistook it for a corsage.
I'm also going to wear it on a blazer near the lapel and with a simple black jersey dress, maybe even use it to hold a white wrap shirt or a shawl pinned on the shoulder. For holiday, it'll be perfect on a black satin ribbon with something strapless.
Do's and Don'ts
-Do remember oversized blooms are big attention-getters, so make sure you place the flowers next to a body part that you want to emphasize: I suggest placing as close to the face as possible.
-Don't forget about what you'll be wearing with the flower - it sticks out a bit so you'll have to worry about silly stuff like whether or not a coat or jacket can be worn with it. You also may need to switch to a handheld purse to avoid bag straps tangle in the bloom if it's worn near the shoulder.
-Do try rich colors like red, pink and ivory in the blooms. I like the monochromatic look (all cream would be fab, too), but think a dash of color looks great on most people.
-Do play against extremes: don't do set hair with a big bloom on a extra fem suit or you'll look more like a homecoming queen than a fash pack pro. Go for simply cut suits (even man-tailored) and sleek hair.
-Don't wear earrings or bracelets or necklaces with this. A large flower counts as a statement accessory all by itself.
-Do experiment to come up with original ways to wear the blooms. Buy two and wear them on shoes. Add one to a belt to show off a trim waist. There really are no rules (unless you are thinking about pinning a big sunflower on a floppy denim hat -- ugh)
The style I bought (left) was just $20 ordered online from Bellemart in black silk (also available in blue and pink).
There are lots of variations available, like Del-Mar Hat Company's $12 paper style.
If you're even a moderate do-it-yourselfer, it's not too much of a stretch to just attach a pin to a silk flower from a craft store.
About "Trend Test"
Cynthia Nellis actually buys and tests the items in these regular reports -- just like any consumer would, so you can find out ahead of time what to expect from certain trends, and what to look for in a comparable product.
All photos copyright Cynthia Nellis.