Chanel has been influencing designers and fashionistas alike since ‘Coco’ first stepped into the Parisian Haute Couture spotlight. The maison has introduced the masses to such ideas as ballerina flats, the little black dress, and innovative floral design. That’s right, floraldesign.
The notorious Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s head designer, introduced paper flowers as the focus for his Spring/Summer 2009 Haute Couture Show in Autumn 2008. The all-white theme was a symbol of a new beginning for the fashion house. The paper flowers that lined the walls and winding staircase portrayed the blank sheet with which Lagerfeld was starting to design for the future of Chanel.
As with many of Chanel’s triumphs, paper flowers began to appear as a trend in other creative arenas – interior decorating, weddings, and DIY Pinterest boards. At Ornamento, floral designer Orna Maymon balances her creativity between classic and current styles. In staying on trend, paper flowers have started to blossom in her event designs and around her shop at the Fairmont hotel.
Most recently, she exhibited paper as the medium of choice at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show, held last month at Fort Mason Center. There, Maymon constructed life-like white phaelonopsis orchid flowers out of cardstock paper and attached them to the stems, which were planted as if they had grown from the earth. In a less lifelike, and more decorative, instance she created a large mixed flower construction for the centerpiece of a wedding in San Francisco. Even for smaller decorations, Maymon is able to make a few cuts and folds here and there to adapt Lagerfeld’s paper masterpiece to the domestic level, of ones bedroom or tabletop.
Paper can continually change shape and improve with the right artist. Whether accenting a larger living floral creation, or standing on its own, the construction of paper flowers provides a fresh perspective on a timeless design concept.