Rise of the rose

Rise of the rose

The rose has enamoured mankind for centuries, earning it the pedestal of love, compassion and purity.

Forward to 2017, the rose, in a graphic motif, has won hearts all over again, paving way for H&M, Topshop and Zara to capitalise on this trend, which means it is here to stay a long time, but we also may get bored of it soon. Everything moves quicker now - a tidal wave of fashion that is today, but the rose motif will keep peeking its head up every few years or decade.

We live in times of turmoil, and it is refreshing and soothing to see beauty and florals as an antidote. With that view, Nachiket Barve says the rose remains an eternal symbol of love and this could be reason perhaps for its popularity.

Air of romance

"I have been working extensively with the rose motif for the last few years and you can see it being used prominently in my Chiaroscuro collection in cutwork. Recently, I have been developing an extension in beadwork for festive wear. You'll find this motif on tops, pants, sleeves as prints and embroidery. I have been doing roses in cutwork, thread embroidery, appliqu and beading. We also did a version in Shibori technique," he adds, confirming that this wedding season too, modern brides are asking for rose motif for lehengas and jackets as well as saris.

Nagpur-based designer Shruti Sancheti explains that the rose has always been a popular motif in fashion from time immemorial. "A rose is a symbol of love, romance, beauty and femininity. This floral motif was greatly seen during Edwardian era in clothes, linen and upholstery. Today, it is also interpreted in a grunge style. The British introduced it to India and they would take Indian yarns, process it in Manchester and sell the fabric to Indians. The European memsahibs wore a lot of this motif and the Indians would emulate them and wore these prints in their traditional regalia," says the designer, who has used this motif liberally in two of collections East India Co and Le Pondi, which have European and Indian detailing.

Feminine touch

Delna Poonawala, milliner and fashion designer, "From street-wear brands to art, we see that the retro rose has become a persistent anti-logo, suddenly popping up everywhere. The trend didn't start on runways, but on Instagram. NewYork SS2017 Fashion Week exploded with the rose motifs being everywhere from the first day and used by many designers. Designer Adam Selman pushed the rose motif into full bloom, filling the centre of his runway with vases of roses as well as having it embroidered all over his collection. Ulla Johnson's first runway show included some dresses in black and white rose print," she explains.

The line between high fashion and street wear in blurring and the popularity of rose demonstrates how high fashion and slow fashion in general are becoming one and the same. As with all art a new generation, new circumstances add a different meaning to the motif of the day.

Where gorgeous rose loafers from Gucci are all over the place this season, denim jackets with roses embroidered across the back, rose prints over stripes and patch work on white shirts, rose embellished denims are big this season. You can also never go wrong with a bralette with rose embellishment.

According to designer Swatee Singh, the fact that nobody owns the rose adds to the appeal. The design is as universal as a logo, but it's also anonymous and open to endless customisation. Fashion's infatuation with the rose is an old affair. The Royal Ontario Museum's collection includes a rose embroidered dress believed to have belonged to the trendsetting Marie Antoinette, designed by the aptly named dressmaker Rose Bertin.

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