Couture et Fleurs: Blue Pear

Blue Pear - Anne Dancu - Hats in the Garden - Naples Botanical Garden

One of Blue Pear’s runway looks, featuring umbrella tree leaves.

Photo by Charlie McDonald

For the 2014 Hats in the Garden celebration, the Naples Botanical Garden tasked local floral designers to create wearable fashion from botanicals. Here’s what Anne Dancu of Blue Pear came up with.


Anne Dancu | Blue Pear


The Look: “I am calling the collection Ferns, Fronds and Frills. It is very simple, natural look.”


Vision: “I wanted to create this mystical feeling, mystical tropical. And I wanted to stay with simple colors and a simple look. So when you think of any kind of mystical, fairy, nymph creature, to me those colors are more greys, greens, purples and lavenders. So I created a palette and textures, and out of those came this look.

   “One outfit is like a sarong, and the other is a tunic look. They are meant to be fun and playful rather than serious drama. Both are real tropical looks because of the leaves and the orchids. They are meant to be light … I imagine someone young, going out the beach and having fun.”

Blue Pear fitting at Hats in teh Garden

Anne Dancu fitting the model.

Inspiration: “The whole thing started with Spanish moss. Spanish moss, to me, evokes this mystical, fantasy kind of image. I am not even sure why I went this way, but the style is a cross between fashion and botanical, natural and feminine.

   “I started in my yard. The Ferns and the Fronds part of the collection name came from the parts that went into the dresses. All the ferns and fronds were gathered from my yard or someone else’s. So I am using a lot of leaves from the umbrella tree – schefflera tree.”

Fitting model at Hats in teh Garden

Final fitting with Anne Dancu

Challenges and Surprises: “This was the first time I have created something for a model moving down a runway. I have made stuff on mannequins before, but this is totally different. Getting the fit right so when she moves everything flows, trying to create a flow was probably the most difficult thing.

   “I think [the biggest surprise is] just how much fun this has been. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this has been a lot of fun working with the leaves and the flowers.”


Favorite Flower/Botanical Used: Starburst Bush, or shooting star [Clerodendrum quadriloculare] (below). “I picked these from a neighbor’s house just yesterday (Tuesday, the day before the event), so they are totally new to the design.”

Blue Pear runway look at Naples Botanical Garden Hats in the Garden

Blue Pear’s runway look featuring Starburst Bush leaves.

Photo by Charlie McDonald

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