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The Spring Fashion Issue: Dark Side of the Bloom

Fantastical floral creations make a magical backdrop for the season's moodiest looks.


Ulla Johnson Louisa gown; Gucci Caspar Dragon pumps; Monies baroque pearl, leather, and ebony choker; Tiffany HardWear link bracelet; Tiffany T square bracelet.

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Gucci quilted solarized-acetate bomber; Jenny Packham tulle ball skirt; Tiffany HardWear black onyx ball ring; Tiffany HardWear freshwater cultured pearl ball ring; Tiffany HardWear pink quartz ball ring; Tiffany HardWear ball ring.

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Christian Dior embroidered tulle dress; Christian Dior knit bodysuit; Balenciaga metallic leather block-heel booties.

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Alexander McQueen bustier midi knit dress; Tiffany HardWear Triple Drop earrings.

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Fendi embroidered tulle gown; Monies baroque pearl, leather, and ebony choker; Monies black tourmaline, ebony, and leather bracelet.

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Dolce & Gabbana silk balconette bra and silk bikini panty; Goorin Bros. Trumpet Blues hat; Tiffany HardWear Graduated Link necklace.

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Rejina Pyo ruffled and tiered maxi dress; Christian Dior belt.

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To the astute observer of high fashion, the runways can provide commentary on the times we are living in, rendered in silks, florals, leather, and lace. And this season, the typical sunny optimism of spring was replaced by something understandably more complex. There were the expected ruffles and sheers, but now they were draped in moody shades of gray and black; the stalwart of spring—pink—was presented in dusty, darker hues.

To help make manifest this mercurial fashion moment in the slideshow above, we turned to Waterlily Pond, a floral artistry studio in Bernal Heights whose fantastical work would be at home on a Guillermo del Toro set. Led by husband-and-wife team Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz, the studio has become known (and has won a litany of awards) for natural installations inspired by concepts including time travel, meteorological phenomena, and ancient dance forms.

Using over 3,000 blooms and custom sculptural frames, Lisitsa and Schultz created nine installations to complement looks from the spring runways, proving that just because everything is coming up roses, that doesn’t mean the sun is always shining.


Originally published in the March issue of San Francisco

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