Home Horticultural shows HortCouture at Harrogate Spring Flower Show

HortCouture at Harrogate Spring Flower Show

HortCouture: The Christchurch Connection exhibition by Jenny Gillies
HortCouture: The Christchurch Connection exhibition by Jenny Gillies

Gardening and fashion in harmony

Jenny Gillies
Designer Jenny Gillies in one of her own creations at Harrogate Spring Flower Show. All pictures; Gary Welford

The theme of the Harrogate Spring Flower Show this year was HortCouture, celebrating style in the home, the garden and the wardrobe.

Award-winning New Zealand costumier and artist Jenny Gillies combines her love of gardens to create amazing floral gowns.

This was Jenny’s first exhibition outside Australasia. A former microbiologist, Jenny started making costumes 20 years ago after a sunflower hat she made was spotted at the races and she was commissioned to make more.

She produced costumes for theatre, film, and opera, and has won many awards for her wearable art.

Her work has been featured at the Royal Adelaide Show in Australia and the World of Wearable Art Awards and Ellerslie International Flower Show in New Zealand.

The clothes are usually on display at Christchurch Botanical Gardens to mark the reopening of the historic Tea Kiosk following the earthquakes of 2011.

It takes Jenny up to three months to complete a costume, some of which require more than 70 metres of fabric.

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The Green Room

The Green Room - living decor
The Green Room – living decor

This innovative display turned the concept of a living space inside out, creating furniture and furnishings from flowers and plant material.

Even the pattern on the walls is made from live blooms!

Each element was made with a variety of natural materials should you ever want to plant your own sofa…

Floral Pavilion: A flair for fashion

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This year’s large-scale floral art displays focused on four of the world’s most famous houses of fashion – Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Versace and Vivienne Westwood.

The show hosted Britain’s biggest exhibition of floral art and teams from four National Association of Floral Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) areas created their interpretations of the work of each designer.

Floristry colleges from across the country conjured up their unique takes on a floral bonnet – using real cars.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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