Studio Brunstrum

Fleurs de Villes Exhibition

October 22, 2019

Susan's recap on the Fleur de Villes Floral Couture Exhibition in Chicago! Bonus content: her thoughts on the new Downton Abbey movie!

It’s no secret flowers make me happy. Full disclosure: I left the studio early last Friday afternoon to stop and smell the roses, orchids and peonies at the Fleurs de Villes Floral Couture Exhibition throughout the 900 N Michigan Shops. My friend Julie Anderson and I wandered amongst fifteen bespoke floral-dressed mannequins created by leading Chicago florists. Fourteen women mannequins were clothed in fresh blooms while only one was a man. I voted for my favorite – HMR Designs sponsored Modern Luxury Weddings Magazine. As an alternative to a wedding dress, the bride was clad in a floral silver tree pantsuit with a huge orchid bow and delicate shoe boots. To add to the drama, she wore a pearl necklace made of white snowberries and “hat” that rivals the fascinators worn by Megan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

All fifteen floral ensembles were elegant and reminded me of the Rose Parade, which I have attended twice (both times when University of Illinois played in the Rose Bowl Game. While I love watching the Rose Parade on TV every year, viewing the floral encased floats on TV does not do them justice. Having the opportunity to see them up close and personal, like the Fleur de Villes Couture Exhibition, you realize the creativity, time and passion it takes to create such an item of beauty. We will be in Los Angeles this year for Christmas – maybe this will be my year to be one of the 935 volunteer members that contribute 80,000 hours to the making of the floats for the Rose Parade; it has been on my bucket list since 1984!

We continued our evening of fashion and glamour by going to see Downton Abbey, the newly released movie that followed the wildly successful PBS miniseries of the same name detailing the lives of the Crawley family and their servants. The clothing and jewelry for each of the characters was perfectly exquisite, all due to costume designer, Anna Robbins’s eye for detail. I will need to see the movie a second time as I was entranced with the fashion as much as the plot itself! My favorite character? Dame Maggie Smith. Her targeted quips and sarcastic remarks combined with her regal stature and dress made her one hell of a Boss Woman well ahead of her time.

Susan Brunstrum
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