Couture et Fleurs: Garden District

Garden District runway look - Hats in the Garden - Naples Botanical Garden

Garden District’s elegant gown was created with hundreds of hydrangeas and Phalaenopsis orchids.

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 Rufino Hernandez of Garden District came up with.


Rufino Hernandez | Garden District


Vision: “We started researching online and saw some of the big fashion houses have done similar things for their Paris shows, so we had imagery to play with. It was good inspiration.”


Inspiration: “I felt like the tent is filled with powerful women of our community, so my whole theory was to do goddesses, people who have a lot of power. So one look is a wood nymph or earthly goddess. The second is an ethereal goddess, which is almost like a wedding dress made out of hydrangeas and orchids.”


Challenges and Surprises: “The mechanics of the dresses were difficult. The easy thing to do would be to take an existing dress or existing jacket, and just apply leaves to it. But you don’t get that movement, so the mechanics of the forms was challenging. We didn’t meet our models until Monday of the week of the event. So we had the forms made, and then needed to do all the mechanics.

   “How much fun it has been has been a big surprise. When you have a client, you have very specific needs and wants. With this, your imagination is your only limit.”


Favorite Flower Used: Phalaenopsis orchid

makeup being applied

Makeup being applied backstage.

Garden District's earthly goddess-inspired floral dress.

Garden District’s earthly goddess-inspired floral dress.

Photo by Charlie McDonald

Hats in the Garden at the Naples Botanical Garden

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