Top Designers Interpret Whimsical and Exotic Looks for Spring/Summer


To quote an icon, florals for spring? Groundbreaking. But however cliché the idea may sound, there is still something about rising temperatures and longer days that makes sporting floral prints highly appealing. And each season designers prove they understand this fact by packing their Spring/Summer runways with flowers galore.

As timeless as florals for spring and summer may be, there are still definite trends to how flowers are represented in fashion. On the S/S 2018 runways there was a distinct leaning towards exotic and whimsical flower choices. The exotic look makes sense for summer, when warmer weather has everyone feeling a little more tropical and ready for travel. Likewise, the irreverent combinations and bright colors of whimsical designs are also evocative of summer.



Pierpaolo Piccioli went out of this world for his S/S ’18 collection. The designs were partially inspired by the “Apollo moon landing, in which the Earth was photographed from space and revealed in all its natural wonder.” The collection stayed in step with the season spanning trend of a 70s revival, but also stayed true to the romantic escapism the brand is known for.

Plastic utilitarianism of the daywear gave way to sequins covering delicate floral prints. Throughout the collection futuristic vibes were married with classic flower prints. Many times the floral was used in conjunction with color blocking, creating interesting lines on the body. The Covered up dresses Valentino is known for were given visual interest with delicate, brightly colored florals and, another trend sweeping the runways, floral embroidery over sheers.


Oscar de la Renta

In their second outing as head designers of the iconic brand, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia were still attempting to find a balance between honoring the late, eponymous creator and cementing their own aesthetic. Fashion critic Nicole Phelps writing for Vogue said, “The daywear was a departure—like a different galaxy departure—but the designers were true to their Oscar de la Renta training with the evening dresses.”

Interestingly, the pair used flowers for the day looks, incorporating them in bright, pop art designs. Yet, when it came to the eveningwear, they stayed away from them. Opting instead for fresh colors and splashes of sequins.

Dolce & Gabanna

According to the designers, their Spring ’18 collection, entitled “Queen of Hearts” took inspiration from playing card. And while there were plenty of queen of hearts motifs walking the runway, there was also plenty of the exuberant styles we’ve come to expect from the pair.

Florally, the show shifted between the two extremes that make up the D&G wheelhouse. First, the black lace florals that bring to mind an incredibly sexy Sicilian widow and, second, the big, bright flowers that reflect everything from Italian landscapes and art to ceramic tiles. This season, D&G took a detour in their garden exploration and also offered up prints featuring fruits and vegetables.  

Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabanna


Elie Saab

Elie Saab began its foray into the exotic look with their runway decorations. The cited the jungle and specifically the Amazon as inspiration and as such transformed the runway into a lush green oasis.

The clothing itself featured tropical flowers embroidered onto sheer bodices and skirts as well as on leather jackets. There were also many pieces featuring a palm print that in many instances was utilized as an abstract stripe.  

Photo Credit: Elie Saab


Writing for Vogue, fashion critic Emilt Farra stated, “Last season, they cited China as an influence, and Spring ’18 took its cues from Aimée Crocker’s travels to Japan. In the 1920s, the famously eccentric explorer left everything behind to settle into a new life of Buddhism, pearls, cherry blossoms, and “collected” lovers; she even adopted snakes, and went so far as to wear one around her neck at parties, like living jewelry.”

The collection featured plenty of dark romanticism in silks and kimono shaped sleeves adorned with exotic flowers such as orchids. But the designs eventually gave way to the ultra-feminine frocks the brand has become synonymous with.

Photo Credit: Marchesa

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