Living Dresses

When I was younger I would use everything I could find to make dresses for my barbies. I would steal my moms needles and thread to sew up old clothes that I no longer used. When we visited my grandma she would buy me so many outfits and shoes for my dolls, I swear they had more than I did. My mom tells me that I would take such good care of all of them, the complete opposite of what my sisters do now.

Grace Ciao, a 22-year old student in Singapore, also made dresses for her dolls when she was a little girl. She would use scraps her grandmother would give her. Now she is using Instagram to show her fashion designs, however she is using an unusual medium to create them. She is using flower petals.

Dainty petals that look like pencil shavings

A post shared by Grace Ciao Fashion Illustrator (@grace_ciao) on

Carnations are so beautiful!

A post shared by Grace Ciao Fashion Illustrator (@grace_ciao) on

She began using petals after a rose a boy had given her began to die. She likes to work with flowers that have multiple shades because it helps her think of prints that she wouldn’t have come up with.ย  She creates designs that include everyday wear, bridal, and haute couture. In an interview with Buzzfeed she told them that she thinks “petals work really well for illustration…because their delicacy and exquisiteness mimic those of a soft fabric”.

Find the potential in everything! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A post shared by Grace Ciao Fashion Illustrator (@grace_ciao) on

This reminds me of Alexander McQueen’s dress Sarabande from his 2007 spring/summer collection in which he used both artificial and real flowers.

During the fashion show people thought the falling petals were an illusion, it took a while for them to realize that they were real. Flowers symbolize desire and are a metaphor for the transience of life. McQueen stated that he “used flowers because they die”. This dress demonstrates many dichotomies: natural and artificial, the coverage of the overlaying flowers and the visibility of the skeletal trellis, finally the contrast of the living (and dying) flowers upon the living (and dying) body.

Nothing that anyone creates can ever compare to the beauty of nature. Through art we are constantly trying to mimic what is real. It makes sense to use the actual thing to create our masterpieces. Too bad, people won’t actually be able to wear these dresses on a daily basis(or ever). Flowers aren’t cheap, and using a couple hundred for a dress just doesn’t seem worth it. I guess I can wear it in my dreams.



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