My inspiration: the garden--the source of it all, my roots, my teacher. While working in the garden, I found myself mesmerized by the beauty of the Annabelle hydrangea--bold with a touch of refined grace dancing over the top of a symmetrical and crisp Korean Boxwood hedge.
I imagined myself sprouting out of the hydrangea, straight from the soil, into a beautiful, intriguing flower, and from there the idea for a floral dress took hold.
As I balanced my vision and reality, many factors came into play-- volume, flow, movement, weight, preservation, freshness, and transportation.
How to Make a Floral Skirt: 3 Steps
1. The Foundation
This dress was a transformation of a petticoat thanks to my handy-man husband, crafty mother-in-law, and engineering brother-in-law.
Lots of sewing, and supportive hoops were put into place, along with a mesh screen for the wiring to be easily accessible.
Time to be creative—hmm, let’s say around 500 white carnations, 50 white roses, 50 white hydrangeas, 75 mini green hydrangeas, 50 white ranunculus, 2 bunches of white majolica spray roses, and 40 orchid blooms should get the job done (I HOPE).
It took about 20 hours of hand wiring in order to get a sturdy dress that will hold itself up.
Where to photograph?
The Hilltop Garden designed by Ryan Gainey overlooks the Tennessee River and expresses the same character and energy of the skirt: formality, structure, and symmetry, paired with the unruly ease and grace of flowering shrubs. Cascading perennials and playful vines engulfing and softening their rigid supports produced a captivating and elegant image. As the photo shoot went on, we moved from the manicured garden rooms into the shade of the welcoming, yet massive, elm tree—it’s canopy sprawling 75 feet.
Inspired by Boho-chic fashion, the floral skirt was paired with a coral bandeau and lace top, and takes on a cascade of color, dripping from bouquet and pooling at the feet. The purpose of this effect was to minimize the bridal feel and transform the floral skirt into a show-stopping work of art originating straight from the garden!
Florals for the bouquet were sourced from Napping Cat Flower Farm and Sevier Blumen. The amazing, yellow Bartzella Peony were sourced from The Pryse Garden.
Photography: Danielle Evans Photography
Hair and Makeup: Bangs and Blush