Couture et Fleurs: Fresh

Fresh Floral Design - Amanda Hayes-Florance - Naples Botanical Garden - Hats in the Garden

Fresh Floral Design’s runway look featured dried beech leaves and deconstructed flowers.

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 Amanda Hayes-Florance came up with.


Amanda Hayes-Florance | Fresh


The Look: “One dress is more of an evening style – a long, full skirt with a lot of ruffles with a big train, and a cropped top with a flower embroidery look. So it’s young – I kind of picture a young, confident girl who, when she walks in the room, you notice her. The elements in that are a lot of leaves and lilies. I also destructed flowers to make the look – lots of petals, individual leaves and small flowers. I kind of wanted to make my own fabric.

   “The other dress is like a fun, flirty cocktail dress. The skirt is made from my own pattern with leaves, and flowers taken apart to create a really cool pattern.

   “There’s a lot of texture to the dresses. I wanted it to be wow from a hundred feet away, but when you’re up close you can see all the detail.”


Vision: “I wanted a lot of movement in my designs. When we were [touring the Naples Botanical Garden] the wind was blowing – flowers and trees are not stiff. So I wanted movement in my clothes.”

Fresh Floral Design putting the finsihing touches to the runway look

Adding the finishing touches to the runway look.

Inspiration: “When I was first asked to do this, I was really excited. We did a tour of the gardens and I really loved the Brazilian Garden, I always have… I love the mosaic wall, just the feel of it: the color and vibrancy. The Brazilian culture kind of inspired me. So I started thinking of fire and heat. And I love fashion, I really wanted the dresses to be very pretty. So I tried to meld the two with lots of burgundy, reds, and oranges.”


Challenges and Surprises: “How to attach everything while keeping it flowy was difficult. And reining it in from the sketches was the hardest part, narrowing down the design for one concise look was hard. I’m not a seamstress, so keeping it within my own limits.

   “I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this, the process. And they really gave us a lot of control and creative freedom.”


Favorite Flower or Botanical Used: “I never used beech leaves before but I just love the color. I used them on a whim.”

Fresh Flroal Design - Hats in the Garden - Naples Botanical Garden

Photo by Charlie McDonald

Fresh Floral Design

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