The Secret Garden

Fashion Director Bryony Toogood reveals her inspiration behind the 2015 Brides The Show catwalk.

'I grew up reading the story of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and dreaming of finding that place someday. It sounded so intriguing and alluring, with its promise of hedgerows heavy with rambling roses, hidden doorways and crumbling stonework, magical friendships and blossoming love. So, the Brides The Show catwalk is the perfect place to recreate the images I have drawn from the pages of that famous novel.

The inspiration is a combination of otherworldly, fairy-like, ethereal and faded grandeur. Dresses are kept modern with hand-painted and laser-print fabrics with a touch of sheer in chiffon, silk-tulle and organza. Colours creep from the softest ivory clouds, to the pale grey and liquid blue of an early morning sky, and the garden itself, with hazy shades of green, lilac, the palest rose pinks, romantic blush and peach.

In homage to the whimsical wild planting, we see hand-crafted touches of floral embellishment both in oversized traditional silk blooms to layers of 3D flowerbud cutouts, together with leafy embroidery like creeping ivy and overgrown hedgerows, and natural, country-style lace. Hand-painted and printed fabrics add a new dimension to silhouettes ranging from the freshness of the empire line, to the airy volume of a ballgown or the slim layers of a sheath topped with an overskirt of tulle. All have a light floatiness and the added femininity of an off-the-shoulder neckline, a sheer, puffed sleeve or an illusion back. The look is the epitome of wild romance with a magical secret allure.'

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