Love In Bloom

Between the arrival of February 14 and a desire to see even the subtlest signs of spring, we’ve been thinking about the beauty and allure of flowers a lot lately. Delicate and exotic, sweet and seductive, florals—whether real or reproduced—enhance surroundings in all of their forms (as proven by the above image by Charleston-based photographer Peter Frank Edwards), and inspire us to see the world in a more lovely light.

Feminine, sophisticated, and sometimes a little flirty, florals are always in fashion. Above: Lela Rose floral cloqué flared dress, available from Neapolitan Collection in Chicago // white gold cultured pearl and diamond ring from Tenenbaum Jewelers in Houston // Dolce & Gabbana floral slingbacks, available from Marissa Collections in Naples (they’re on sale!).

“Flowers…are a proud assertion that that a ray of beauty outweighs all the utilities of the world.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The corridors featured above by New Orleans-based designer Melissa Rufty feel like passages to secret gardens. Who wouldn’t enjoy walking through pink swirls and petals while getting from point A to point B?

While they’re sadly no longer available, we couldn’t resist sharing these acorn chairs from New Orleans’s Malachite Home, which seem like the seating equivalents of dogwood blossoms.

“After women, flowers are the most divine creations.” —Christian Dior

The attention to detail evident in the above close-up of an antique beaded Victorian-style flower arrangement is simply stunning. The early 20th century piece, available from Baton Rouge’s Fireside Antiques, is a beautiful year-round bouquet that would be a perfect Valentine’s Day present. See more photos here.

Also gift-worthy: an embroidered skull clutch by Alexander McQueen available from Marissa Collections and cherry blossom-inspired earrings featuring emeralds surrounded by petals of pave white sapphires by Charlottesville’s Suz Somersall. Consider spreading the love even further this Valentine’s Day by making a donation to KiraKira, the education/tech startup co-founded by the jewelry artist dedicated to teaching girls mechanical engineering and 3D modeling through art and design.

We’re mesmerized by this work, “Love You All Night” by Raven Roxanne Wilson, who is represented by Gregg Irby Gallery in Atlanta. The gorgeous palette, loose florals, and expressive brushstrokes convey a sense of romance appropriate for the title.

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” —Claude Monet

Set against a dark background, flowers take on a new level of sophistication, as illustrated by the above Edie Parker clutch featuring an embroidered panel, available from Charleston’s Hampden. Also upping the elegance quotient: The exquisite cuff by Northern New Jersey-based jewelers Yanina & Co., which features pink and blue sapphires set in silver.

Of course, there’s nothing so arresting as a beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers. The one above by Denver’s The Perfect Petal is almost too pretty for words. For those who wish to impress their Valentine, this is the gold standard; and for those who enjoy eye candy, follow the florist on Instagram for more exceptional images.

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