The language of flowers
Known as the ‘language of flowers’, floriography is the term used to describe the meaning – especially emotional – that flowers hold. We asked conceptual artist Alexander Hofmann, who helped create our incredible ‘Flower Walk’ through the Village, to take us on a journey through some of the display’s most eye-catching blooms – and what they mean.
“My love of flowers has always been there,” says Alexander. “I was lucky enough to grow up with a garden where I could plant and practice, and watch things grow – gaining lots of experience for installations like this.”
The queen of flowers. The superstar. The rose, according to Alexander, is suitable for almost every occasion – the meaning is all in the colour. Red roses symbolise love and passion, while yellow means friendship. White roses, commonly used in weddings, show loyalty and adoration. And orange reflect enthusiasm and desire.
And in fashion terms? The rose is an elegant cocktail dress – perfect for a romantic date night or a sophisticated soiree.
This delicate ornamental shrub symbolises grace, beauty, purity, true love and power through femininity. A blend of pretty pink and white, when this tree blooms it makes a beautiful sight – plant one in your front garden for maximum impact.
And in fashion terms? Sensual and mysterious, the magnolia has the energy of a flattering wrap dress. Made of the highest quality, it would show extravagant style and confidence.
The white lily especially represents grace, dignity and purity. With its powerful fragrance, you could call it the diva but it shows ultimate respect when given as a gift. It should not be given lightly - it stands for true, genuine love and is also associated with purity and innocence.
And in fashion terms? The lily would undoubtedly be the fabulous evening dress of the flower world – perfectly sculpted and destined for the red carpet.
Kate Spade New York
The word peony derives from the Greek name ‘Paeon’, otherwise known as the physician of the gods in Greek mythology. Little surprise then that the root of the peony flower is considered to be anti-inflammatory and is used in naturopathy and traditional Chinese medicine. Gentle and delicate, the peony is sweetly thought of as little sister to the rose – and much more tender for its lack of thorns. Its subtle fragrance has inspired countless fragrances.
And in fashion terms? It would have to be a pastel dress made of fine silk taffeta. Loose-fit and able to swing, it’s ideal for a summer party with friends.
From blooming meadows to seeds atop your salad, poppies have a universality that makes them much-loved and unassuming. The flower’s popularity has even led to ‘Poppy’ appearing as one of the most-popular baby names for years. Elsewhere, the flower’s caring reputation is also shown in its medicinal uses – curing everything from sleep disorders to infections.
And in fashion terms? This down-to-earth flower would definitely be a linen blouse. Casual, cool and beautifully light.
Thanks to ‘heliotropism’ (when the bud follows the sun as it moves through the sky), the sunflower is well-known as being the most positive of flowers – always chasing the light and bringing with it a feeling of cheerfulness, fun and warmth. This towering flower was also used in the 1960s and 70s countercultural, hippy movement as a symbol of unity, peace and charity.
And in fashion terms? For its optimistic outlook, the sunflower would be a colourful sun dress with tie straps – ideal for a Sunday brunch with the family.
The cherry blossom, which only blooms for a short period of time, symbolises the fragility and beauty of life. A national symbol in Japan, with only 10 variants, these pretty pink blossoms stand for beauty and gentleness, but also transience. They offer the admirer a deep sense of joy and appreciation for catching them in bloom. And in fashion terms? Precious and understated yet hugely impressive, cherry blossoms are best reflected in a delicate silk dress.
The ornamental hydrangea, blossoming in beautiful shades, is held in high esteem. Thanks to its impressive and imposing appearing, it’s seen as a symbol of beauty and admiration. However its reputation can also sway into vanity.
And in fashion terms? We’d liken it to a luxurious tweed jacket – worked from the finest materials, handmade and a classic.
Beloved by bees and butterflies alike because of its strong scent, lilac symbolises attraction, with the shade of bloom reflecting how strong those feelings are. While white lilacs might demonstrate restrained affection, darker shades of purple illustrate lively infatuation. It’s thought the scent even plays a role too when it comes to fidelity.
And in fashion terms? Lilac is the lightweight cashmere top – a fashion must-have that’s fine and luxurious.
With more than 40 species of dahlia and plenty of colourways, this flower has lots of different meanings – but fear not, they’re all positive! The Aztecs considered the flower a symbol of the sun and the sun god, while in modern times they represent gratitude, recovery and renewal. When it comes to romance, giving a dahlia as a gift is thought to express that you’re already promised to another, while in friendships it symbolises neighbourliness.
And in fashion terms? Popular and suitable for all, the dahlia is the pleated skirt of flowers. It’s an all-time favourite for flattering the silhouette.
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