Yes, it’s true.  April showers do indeed bring May flowers. They also bring a flood of floral fabrics off of the runways and into our respective spring and summer wardrobes.  For much of the following months, daisies and daffodils, roses and ranunculi, peonies and sweet peas cover our bodies from head to toe. They can be found tucked behind our ears, dangling from our wrists, and wrapped around our figures as we reignite our passion for lazy sundresses and flowing, feminine tops. But alas, the love affair is fleeting. As the leaves begin to change, the warm weather drifts away, and the alluring scent of autumn is once again upon us, where do all the flowers go?

If this years fall 2012 Haute Couture collections are any indication of what’s to come, we’re in luck – the flowers won’t be going anywhere. Beautiful, botanical arrangements appear to be the inspiration behind some of this seasons most captivating additions.

floral on the couture runways

Christian Dior

dior couture fw12

dior couture fw12

dior couture fw12

dior couture fw12

At Dior, Raf Simmons pranced his models through a Wonderland-like meadow. The designer contrasted lighter hues with bright, bold colors (note the pale blue and crimson ensemble above) and played with a number of patterns and textures (see the delicately beaded, pink gown with  royal blue, floral appliques).  He even managed to send a dress down the runway dripping with petals swept up from the meadow floor.  Take a note from Simmons and do not be afraid to mix and match.  Try a printed pant with an easy striped button down or a light, floral print top with colorful leggings.

Georges Hobieka

georges hobieka couture fw12

georges hobieka couture fw12

georges hobieka couture fw12

georges hobieka couture fw12

Georges Hobeika worked in a more muted pallet – even his reds lacked luster – but all of his designs were dazzling.   Hobeika effortlessly incorporated luxurious fabrics like velvet and lace into his collection and, rather than utilizing a floral print, adorned each of his sheer creations with sparkling, monochromatic, floral detail.  Get the glittering look (for less!) with J. Crew’s silk petal dress (below).  

Giambattista Valli

giambattista valli couture fw12

giambattista valli couture fw12

giambattista valli couture fw12

giambattista valli couture fw12

This collection was the Secret Garden come to life.  From a gown made of vines ripped straight from the garden’s wall, to a cocktail number -in full bloom- printed with a blur of white blossoms, Giambattista Valli’s haute couture was the materialization of dreams.  Each piece was more whimsical and imaginative than the next, yet they all remained remarkably wearable.  Above everything, Valli’s collection provided assurance that daring designs don’t have to mean a disastrous fashion “don’t” when worn worlds away from fashion week.  In fact, working a far-from-shy fabric into a highly conventional cut (see J. Crew’s silk popover, below) is most definitely a fashion “do”.

Valentino

valentino couture fw12

valentino couture fw12

valentino couture fw12

valentino couture fw12

At Valentino, designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli went with a different approach.  The two paired neutral tones such as taupe and gold with darker shades like black and navy.  Their prints seemed to focus on the entirety of a plant (not flowers, alone) and they added an element of elegance to their collection with sheer, metallic, and lace fabrics.  While a full-length gown, in navy lace, accompanied by a sheer navy cape or a metallic, sand colored jumper with pink and gold plant detail may not be appropriate for every day, one can certainly add opulence to their wardrobe with similar pieces.  Invest in a lace trim blouse or a pair of foiled, floral skinnies like those made by Seven For All Mankind (see below).

Zuhair Murad

zuhair murad couture fw12

zuhair murad couture fw12

zuhair murad couture fw12

zuhair murad couture fw12

So much happiness at Zuhair Murad this season! Murad’s vibrant couture designs ventured down a variety of creative avenues and included everything from intricate beading and soft lace, to bold prints and rich jewel tones.  He sent something for everyone and every taste down the runway – reminding us all that strong, sizzling shades need not be reserved for the Summer months. Fun, fiery floral’s (think J. Crew’s Liberty Perfect Shirt in flame red, below) will put a spark back into your cool-weather attire.

How to wear couture-inspired florals

Glad to know florals will still be in fashion for fall 2012, but still not quite sure how to wear them?  Consider this!

Denim has not been blue for a while.  In fact, in the past year, jeans have been every color under the sun.  More recently, they have taken yet another route.  Rather than drawing the line at neon pink and pastels, designers are now introducing patterns to the mix of acceptable denim trends.  The new flower-power designs featured below are the perfect way to transition your brilliant buds into that brisk Autumn air.

floral jeans
Laser gold foil and Wildflower print jeans, both 7 For All Mankind.

Beyond denim a bit of floral lace or a floral-print shirt can channel the botanic feel of the couture runways – but with a casual air.

liberty floral and lace
Liberty print shirt; Lace-trim blouse at J.Crew.

soft florals
Silk popover and Silk petal dress, both J.Crew.

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A true California girl, Quinn never leaves the house without her sunglasses (the bigger and more glamorous the better). Despite being compulsively organised she can't bare to part with the piles of fashion magazines she's accumulated under her bed - evidence of her overriding love of fashion. Anything vintage, gold, pink or sparkly finds an instant place in Quinn's heart, and she's a sucker for sequins and bead work. Ask her about fashion and Quinn will tell you it's art, full stop. She views clothes with the earnestness that others may view oil paitings or medieval architecture and brings her vision of fashion-as-art to her contributions at both Fashionising.com and her own blog - The Posh List - which is frequented by thoughtful, independent women.