What's the opposite of having green fingers? Black fingers? Blue ones perhaps? Whatever it is I must have them. I'm like some sort of an evil Disney character where I covet the look of roses in the form of cool Tumblred images, as opposed to the real thing which withers under my very gaze and negligence. Do you see the distinct lack of water in this jug (no vases in my hovel…)? No longlife sachet is going to cure this beautiful bouquet. As for the real grown-in-the-ground sort of flora? Don't even go there. I'll have to find some way of supressing my black/blue blighted fingers when I get down to Port Eliot and find myself in Michael Howells' curated Flower Show.
My lack of affinity with flora though can't touch the 'Memoirs of Roses', which is exactly what designer Hermione de Paula has based her A/W 11 collection around. Hermione has returned to what she knows and does best – manipulated floral prints that twist the image and symbolic values of the English rose into something darker. She embraces all facets and connotations of the rose to create her prints for the season which have been paired with shapes and silhouettes that best showcase the sprawl of roses. She paints them in natural and synthetic shades and textures to illustrate a journey – classic red roses symbolising the first throws of love, delicate rose petal confetti cascading at a wedding, the artificiality of jewel and feather encrusted roses at a Las Vegas shotgun wedding, green roses (they apparently exist!) embodying the spirit of adventure and wooden roses laid down on a coffin as a final adieu. In all these guises, Hermione has maintained a sensual spirit in her way of manipulating her floral prints that first drew me to her work. The many print options of course means that if you're not a raging red rose kinda gal, you can go for more delicate and subtle shades or you can take a detour into the purple-based prints where the rose is more difficult to make out. Some would say the shapes are simplistic but I think I'd prefer silhouette to be left out of it if it means that you can waft and faff more easily in Hermione's tunics, neat collared shirts, scarves and dresses the play with varying lengths.
Hermione has shown over the past season that her aesthetic can be applied to so many instances – custom printed Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, specially bound diaries and books in collaboration with Prometheus Bound and installations for Liberty department store paves the way for Hermione's flowers to bloom in many other forums. I didn't get to go to her London Fashion Week event where she organised a Las Vegas Shotgun wedding to celebrate her collection with Pomp de Franc cupcakes as part of the wedding feast but it seems to demonstrate Hermione's ability to create a seductive universe into her flower-filled world, one where even a black-fingered me can hope to step into.