Spring has officially arrived! March 20 was the first day of the spring in the Northern Hemisphere. From here on out, the weather gradually gets warmer and days are longer. Warm days encourage colorful spring flowers to bloom: cherry blossoms, tulips, daffodils, and many others. To celebrate the arrival of this balmy season, we offer you a "bouquet" of flowers from the FIDM Museum collection.
Featuring a dynamic pattern of swaying poppies interspersed with small white daisy chains on a salmon pink ground, this Silver Studio cotton textile was created for use in interior decoration. The stylized poppies used in this pattern are characteristic of British Art Nouveau designs of the late nineteenth century. A popular British design firm, the Silver Studio was active between 1880 and the 1960s. Their products, including wallpaper and interior textiles, were mass-produced and decorated countless homes across the UK.
Dimensional felt flowers decorate the back of this Wiener Werkstatte girl's ensemble. Founded in 1903, the Wiener Werkstatte (Vienna Workshop) was a design and manufacturing studio dedicated to creating gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art that united architecture, furniture, graphic design, clothing and all other material elements of daily life into a compatible whole. Fashion and textiles were an important part of this endeavor; Wiener Werkstatte artists produced fascinating textile patterns. This ensemble dates from the last years of the Wiener Werkstatte, when the Werkstatte's style had moved away from contemporary art movements and towards folklore styles.
George Halley's (b. 1930) linen dress features horizontal bands of chemical lace decorated with appliquéd daisies. With their blue centers, the three-dimensional daisies verge on the psychedelic. Despite this nod to late 1960s flower power, Halley's dress is a perfectly correct full-length evening gown. It may date from the designer's first independent collection, which he produced in 1967 after many years of working in the New York garment industry.
Gianfranco Ferré (1944-2007) stood at the helm of Christian Dior for almost 10 years. His work for Dior was informed by the history of the house. This model's title is "Gruau," referencing the artist René Gruau who famously illustrated many of Christian Dior's seminal creations. The blossoming, red-hued flowers that accentuate the bust of this gown and its oversized, trailing stole are direct continuations of Christian Dior's well-known design vocabulary: romantic and dramatically feminine. The labor-intensive flowers were assembled petal by petal; each piece of red organza was individually cut, embossed with veins, curled, and hand-tinted.