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trends & subculturesFriday, April 16, 2021

Fall Florals: The Dark Romance Trend


While on the surface it may seem that florals for autumn are just as “groundbreaking” as florals for spring (needless to say, we mean that with Miranda-Priestly-style sarcasm), the new melancholy take on the trend reinvents the very idea of wearing flowery garms.


Stemming from the dark romance movement in womenswear, last season focused on juxtaposing the romantic concept of florals with gothic elements. It was Miss Havisham’s dead bouquet in Great Expectations. Poison Ivy from the Batman comics. Or the West Wing’s slowly-dying rose in The Beauty and the Beast. And this season the trend is back making florals practically perennial. 


Is the concept growing on you? (Pun intended.) Perfect. Here are eight fall florals looks — from the likes of Prada and Valentino — to add to your fall moodboard/Pinterest. 



La DoubleJ Windy Flowers Skirt


Just because the trend is dark romance, doesn’t mean it can’t be glamorous. Designer J.J. Martin (literally ‘la double J’ behind the brand’s name, clever huh?) recreates vintage prints as easy wearing glamour pieces in the form of flowing dresses, color-clashing separates and retro-cool swimwear. Martin makes clothes that make you feel like you’re Italian, even though the most Italian thing about you is your takeaway pizza addiction. The wind-swept floral print on this skirt balances the romance of flowers with the ominous sign that a storm is brewing, making it bang on-brand for dark romantic fashion.



Prada Floral Print Skater Dress


Prada got all things right (as usual) at their AW20 runway: the interplay of pastels against color pops, exaggerated bourgeois silhouettes with nipped-in waists, and, as you may have guessed already, fall florals. This dress is patterned with a bewitching floral print which perfectly encapsulates the dark romance mode of 2020.



Oscar De La Renta Floral Embroidered Cardigan


While Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia’s Oscar De La Renta is lightyears away from anything we’d call ‘dark romantic’ (AW20 was named the “Party” collection, talk about polar opposites), this exquisitely embroidered floral cardigan is giving us big ‘Morticia Addams on the red carpet’ energy. It’s evening-wear for those who want to come across as mysterious and brooding, even though inside we’re praying someone comes and saves us from a group of Z-listers.



Richard Quinn Floral And Polka Dot Silk Crepe Puff Sleeve Mini Dress


We can’t discuss florals in 2020 without acknowledging the Monet of modern fashion, AKA Richard Quinn. With the support from the two most important queens of the world — Queen Elizabeth II and Anna Wintour — Quinn has been rocking the world with his flowery glad-rags since 2016.


For AW20, the London designer combined eighties-style puff-sleeves with his signature floral prints; for an aesthetic we like to call ‘your mum’s prom dress meets punk rock chic’.


Valentino Floral Print Maxi Dress


Fashion’s dark romantic Pierpaolo Piccioli went one step further this season opening with a series of head-to-toe black looks. But fans of ‘old Valentino’ rejoiced when floral embellishments and flashes of color eventually broke through the darker hues that dominated the collection. Piccioli somehow manages to turn this Boho beach staple into one of this season’s trends to try – dark florals – without sacrificing on femininity. 



Kenzo Pre-Owned 1980s Floral Print Blazer


Before tiger sweaters there was Kenzo Takada – the designer behind his eponymous label – Kenzo. As one of the first Japanese designers to make it in Paris, Kenzo made a name for himself by combining Japanese influences with European construction techniques with a focus on handmade fabrics. As he rose (get it) to prominence in the eighties, trippy florals were a key part of his aesthetic making him one of the original dark romantics. Part gothic wallpaper, part fall floral jacket, this blazer was on-trend before this trend was a thing.



Boutique Moschino Flower Graffiti Dress


Boutique Moschino is mainline Moschino’s slightly less fun sister – you know the one, she seems like she has her act together, she’s holding down a decent job in the city, but after a couple of proseccos and espresso martinis she’s doing the splits and hogging the mic at a karaoke bar – she’s still a Moschino girl after all. 


In other words, for this no-less playful diffusion line, Jeremy Scott takes classic silhouettes and injects them with an intoxicating dose of youthfulness with offbeat prints in vibrant colors. It’s Mosch that’s safe for the office, take this jumper dress which just oozes dark romance with its slime green color and purple dark floral graffiti print (which you just know a certain Moschino sister spraypainted on herself after a work party).



Gucci Floral Silk Blouse


No one does the dark romance trend quite like Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s quirky creative director. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this take on autumn florals is nothing short of extravagant. But if the classy flower print on this luxuriously silky shirt isn’t extra enough for you (*rolls eyes*), it comes with a mandarin collar for added Baba Yaga vibes.


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