'The rose, the most ravishingly beautiful and fragrant of flowers, is inextricably entwined with fashion and dressed appearances. Like fashion, roses are a luxury and they are ephemeral. Shown seasonally, they fuel our desires with an ever-changing array of colour, texture and form', Amy de la Haye, Roses As Resistance.
Flora is an enduring motif in fashion, one lavished by designers including Charles James, Rei Kawakubo and Alexander McQueen, and found throughout the history of design and dress, as previously shown by the dress historian and curator Amy de la Haye in her illustrated essay for SHOWstudio. The author of Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion (2020) has worked extensively on how the beauty, mythology, and symbolism of the rose have long influenced fashionable dress.
Our founder, Nick Knight, also shares a long fascination with the rose. His on-going series of Roses, feature flowers cut from his own garden. Photographed on his personal iPhone, some are shared directly to Instagram, where Knight has garnered a devoted audience to his thoroughly modern take on the traditional still life. Some images have undergone unique techniques, resulting in the ink appearing to drip beyond the picture plane, or being run through an AI system. They walk the line between the traditional iconography of a still life, and modernity.
Ahead of their new exhibition Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion, (co-curated by de la Haye), opening this summer, the New York-based Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) will be hosting a virtual symposium to explore the rose's role in fashion, fragrance and history. Across a series of five sessions, De la Haye, who is a dress historian, curator and professor at London College of Fashion, will be speaking alongside Jonathan Faiers, professor of Fashion Thinking at Winchester School of Art; Colleen Hill, curator at MFIT and co-curator of the exhibition; Mairi MacKenzie, research fellow at Glasgow School of Art; and Elizabeth Way, assistant curator at MFIT, this Friday, 30 April 2021. Registration is free and the content will be available to watch after their original air times. Nick Knight will be in conversation with de la Haye, to discuss how the rose has played a central role in his images created in the sphere of fashion.