It happens every year. Spring arrives, and flowers appear — and not just in your garden but on all kinds of fashion accessories. This year, the fashion bloom is especially bountiful.
Designers including Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino and Juicy Couture have worked flower embellishments all over their shoes and bags — in rosettes, embroidery, appliqué and straw. And in all manner of design, color and application.
"Flowers never go in or out of style. They're a timeless design element," says Jody Kuss, executive vice president of merchandising for Coach, whose new Natalie handbag pairs a classic straw tote with leather floral embellishments "It's a great contrast in textures," she says.
If you're a flower child, you'll love this season's nod to the garden. Here is a small sampling of some creative floral-embellished shoes and purses:
Isabella Fiore's South Pacific Sofia satchel is a bright bunching of embroidered flowers on a woven cream canvas linen tote. It looks like something you might find on a cruise or on a stroll down a South American street. Tan leather and brass stud details stand out on the edgings, and florals fill the front of the tropical and artsy carryall. $475. http://www.neimanmarcus.com
Dolce & Gabbana
Raffia, macramé style and a briefcase structure make Dolce & Gabbana's take on handbag floral embellishments both funky and fun. With leather and brass stud detailing, the Miss Mama creates a lovely mix of two trends, straw and floral embellishments. $1,945. http://www.neimanmarcus.com
Valentino apparently adores flowers this season; its bags, shoes, even clothes and jewelry sprout florals. The supple leather of the Glam Tote, for instance, sets off scores of hand-appliquéd sequined roses and dozens of silver sequined rosettes. $3,595. Valentino, 360 North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 247-0103.
Decidedly youthful, Juicy Couture's velour-and-silk striped lavender Rugby tote has whimsical puffed flowers dangling alongside a tweetie-bird, which can be detached from thick gold chain straps. $228. http://www.juicycouture.com
Christened the Natalie, Coach's latest straw tote lets leather flowers bloom on its hand-crocheted raffia. White leather, brass studding, a reimagined octagonal turn-key and zebra inner lining make it a new classic. $398. Coach Rodeo Drive, 327 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 247-1309. http://www.coach.com
Kate Spade's sweet black-and-beige raffia Tate bag has a huge pop-arty flower just off-center. Looks like a garden party to me. $345. Kate Spade, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. (310) 788-0791. http://www.katespade.com
These fabulous high platform shoes come in open- or closed-toe styles, or in a variety of other looks, in blue or orange gingham, bright apple green and violet. the shoes sport huge flowers on the ankle strap that look like bows wrapped on a pretty package. $945. D&G at the Beverly Center, (310) 360-7282.
Rosettes circled above the toes of Valentino's beautiful sand-colored leather wedges make the lace-up ankle-strap espadrilles look as if they're in full bloom. $595. http://www.net-a-porter.com
Jimmy Choo's elegant yet edgy cage-style strappy high-heeled sandals have a sweet leather flower romantically attached. Brass studding mimics the flower's center. $950. http://www.net-a-porter.com
Stuart Weitzman Bigrose Jelly Thong Sandal looks like a tropical punch and orange drink on a hot day. Flat sandals have fabric flowers on the toe strap. $135. http://www.nordstrom.com
Even the super-comfy cork soles are embellished with a floral design on Born's Flower platforms, which sport an intricately sculpted flower on the toe straps. The slides come in a variety of colors, including black, coral, turquoise, violet. $95. http://www.bornshoes.com
Bernardo's delicate, bejeweled Moore sandals cross the top of the foot with crystals in the shape of a flower. Fashioned with long ankle straps, the mid-heel shoe comes in a gold-platinum color that shimmers in sunlight or moonlight. $330. http://www.net-a-porter.com