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Award-winning florists fashion dresses out of flowers
Florist Sara Collinge puts the finishing touches to the diamond jubilee flower dress modelled by Natasha Andriotis
AFTER the drab of winter, trees are finally beginning to leaf and, despite the rain, cherry blossom lifts the spirit with a promise of better days to come.
But a floral display of a different kind went on display yesterday at the Great Yorkshire Showground, where award-winning florists presented exclusive fashion items made with thousands of flowers and leaves.
First on the catwalk was Sara Collinge’s sumptuous gown, made from orchids and roses, together with limonium and hyacinths in shades of purple, inspired by the Queen’s coronation crown and a skirt featuring hundreds of delicate skeleton leaves decorated with “diamond” diamantes.
Sara, a silver medallist at the Chelsea Flower Show last year, said her brief was to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Sara said: “My inspiration was to go back to the elegance of the coronation era. Having researched the elegant evening dresses of the 1950s I decided on a full-length gown with a modern twist.”
Melanie Garbutt chose to mark the other great event of the year – the London Olympics – by creating a contemporary floral tribute to the elegance and athleticism of the British gymnast. Her red, white and blue flower- festooned leotard is made from astrantia, calla lillies, muscari, orchids and bear grass and Melanie, florist of the year at Chelsea in 2010, said this year’s Olympic Games was a natural choice.
The unusual fashion show was held to celebrate Britain’s largest floral art marquee which will take centre stage at the 2012 Harrogate Spring Flower Show.
Construction began yesterday on the marquee which is the size of three tennis courts and as well as Sara’s gown and Melanie’s leotard, it will feature a stunning array of some 160 painstakingly prepared works of art, together with spectacular displays from clubs and colleges across the country.
Events to be featured in flowers include the sinking of the Titanic, the legendary tale of Elizabeth The First and Sir Walter Raleigh and Askham Bryan College’s Fall Of the Berlin Wall.
But for originality, nothing will quite match Sara and Melanie’s stunning creations. Sadly, before you ask, they are not for sale.
The Harrogate Spring Flower Show will run from April 26 to 29.
Tickets for Thursday to Saturday are £13.50 when booked before noon, April 17, £16 on the gate. Sunday £11.50, advance; £14 on the gate.
Phone 01423 546157 or visit flowershow.org.uk for details.
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