Fashion meets Art: Anne Ten Donkelaar

A single flower bloom can hold so much meaning. Love, loss, friendship...there is a language of flowers that has the power to extend beyond mere words. Each petal comes together with color, shape and scent to form a thing of beauty and meaning. A blossom can become so much more when paired with other flowers, foliage and found objects. Artist Anne Ten Donkelaar brings together these items to create landscapes, tell stories and inspire curiosity.
Flower Construction #86 (above) and Detail (below)

Blooms mingle with one another, bringing forth a myriad of colors, textures and potential meanings.
The delicacy, color palette and whimsy found in many of Dankelaar's works were also present in the Fall 2017 Valentino couture collection
Flower Construction #70 (above) and Detail (below)

 Like the artist's floral constructions, the couture creations display delicate petals with a color palette inspired by nature. Deep greens are paired with shades of yellow, gray and brown. 


Underwater Ballet Scene 4 (above) and Detail (below)
The Underwater Ballet series brings an increase in the sense of delicacy beyond the Flower Constructions series. There is a fragility in the scenes as blooms hang in the balance among twigs, water and cloud-like forms. 
To mimic the delicacy of the floral ballet scenes, the Valentino gowns feature sheer fabrics that move with the grace of water. The fabric flutters with the movement of walking, similar to how a flower's petals might move with the kiss of a soft breeze. 
Underwater Ballet Scene 11 (above) and Detail (below)
The soft femininity of a pink rose blooms on the runway. The natural intricacy of layered petals comes to life with sheer layers and woven details. The dress floats across the floor much like the flowers in Underwater Ballet Scene 13 (below). 
The story in this intriguing dance between blooms continues with the introduction of cool blues in Scene 8. 

 The varying shades of blue fabrics on the runway creates the tonal effect of rippling water, like what is seen at the base or stage of scene 8's delicate dance shown above. 
Donkelaar invites us into moments of a world made of flowers, vines and beauty. There is an untold history in the blooms, a story not fully written but waiting to be told by each person that encounters the art. Like her captivating scenes, the gowns of Valentino suggest a life to be lived. Each embroidered bloom, delicate ruffle and graceful line of the gowns invites the wearer to give life to the details and write her story while wearing couture. 

Runway Images: Vogue.com
Art Images: Anneten.nl

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