Petals across time

When in the 1957 movie Funny Face, Audrey Hepburn as model Jo Stockton hears Fred Astaire as photographer Dick Avery shout “more, give her more” and she spins around to face the camera, it is with her arms laden with flowers. It almost defines 
fashions relationship with flowers across seasons, decades or indeed centuries. 
However, it’s over the last hundred or so years we’ve made them such an integral part of fashion from Roger Vivier flower encrusted shoes to Philip Treacy millinery like stamens or buds, flowers are never out of fashion. Many Vogue covers such as 
Irving Penn’s shot of Wilhelmina in 1964, where the flowers ascend skywards, present the beauty of flowers and the beauty of fashion as one creative partnership growing, merging, and blending in perfect harmony. 

left, Dress: Erdem; right, Jacket: Victor de Souza

In the images you see here the floral element transcends eras to hint at the past, and placement is integral to the mood and creation of each image, never simply as background or an accessory. 
Flowers and makeup have a harmonious relationship, from swoops of petals used as eyelash’s; by Veruschka, rouge like crushed geraniums, eyeshadow powdered like pollen, and many other parallels. The textures and colors of makeup
and flowers have been picked by fashion and make up artists in numerous ways across the years, perhaps most famously
by the great Pablo at Elizabeth Arden way back in 1964 or at Valentino by Pat McGrath in 2019. Cosmetics are often named by the industry with associations to the vocabulary of flowers with words like bloom, blush, petal, blossom and more, using floral imagery to summon up the beauty and lightness of the product.

left, mask: Vicky Steckel; right, jacket: Victor de Souza

Simply forget florals in prints or embroidery, even forget for the moment floral scents, they’re well-known fashion stories, or as one famous editor said “groundbreaking.” 
Here, entwined in the hair, around the face, in cascades or a single bloom, flowers give their own light, their own surfaces and depth of colour. Through these images Vicky Steckel refreshes and updates floral beauty inspirations, blending Monet gardens and Christian Dior “Corolle,” Jean Shrimpton tinted Regency, and Alma Tadema cascading petals, or even Julien D’Ys hair constructions with Belle Epoque voluptuous sexiness. By mixing floral influences into a magical potion, flowers appear fresh, through Vicky and her team’s creative alchemy, they offer a new and modern story which still acknowledges the role flowers have played for so long in fashion.

left, jacket: Victor de Souza; right, cape: Elden

Words by Tony Glenville


Creative Beauty Director: Vicky Steckel @vicky_steckel using @elfcosmetics
Photographer: Ludovic belmonte @ludovic.belmonte
Talent: Maya Gabriella Velasquez @mayagabriellav
Agent: Fred Holstonton @visionLosAngeles
Hair Stylist: Keith Carpenter @keithcarpenterhair using @Balmain
Stylist: Liz Cresi @lizcresci
On set Stylist: Cassiopeia @cassi_opeia
Nails: Kuniko Inoue @kunixx12 using @essie
Makeup Assistant: Devin David @devindavidworld
Hair Assistant: Kuki Alrawwi @kukiny
Production: Fathead productions
Location: Casa Dumbo

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