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Mark Colle’s orchid spectacle at Dior

At Dior’s latest couture show, all eyes were on flowers. 15.000 phalaenopsis orchids to be exact. Colle did it again, creating a magic flower wall for Raf Simons. 

Belgian mega-florist Mark Colle - who we recently interviewed on Coffeeklatch is a longstanding collaborator of Simons and has worked with him on his fashion shows since his A/W12 Jil Sander collection. For his fall 2014 Dior couture show, Colle covered the curved mirrored walls of the Rodin Museum entirely in phalaenopsis sensation white and red lips."The idea was to create transparency", he explained to Another Magazine. "Something very light. The use of phalaenopsis orchids was perfect in this particular setting – they have a feminine feel yet there is something alien and futuristic about them. Rather then having them hanging from the walls in a garden type of way, I thought it would be more interesting to have them go many different directions, as if they were an army of white spiders spreading out over the mirrored walls.”


Orchids & couture as commodities

On Coffeeklatch Mark Colle talked about working on location: "It is extremely stressful, but I need the rush. I always find it challenging to do something I haven’t done before. Every assignment starts by bringing my own flowers on location, because I don’t always know what the local market will look like.” He din’t have to worry about the accessibility of orchids, as in recent times, they have become a less favored species. Perhaps as a result of the availability in supermarkets and department stores? This questioning makes the use of orchids particularly interesting.


"My dream is to save women from nature," Christian Dior said when introducing the New Look, with its restrictive wasp-waisted, Bar-jacketed silhouette, in the '40s. Raf Simons did the opposite, embracing all things natural with a series of relaxed silhouettes. Did the orchid’s turn to commodity inspired Simons in any way? It’s his assertion that Couture need not be for special occasions. True luxury is spending five or six figures and wearing something not once or twice, but incorporating it into your daily wardrobe.


Just when we thought we were over orchids in favor of succulents and cacti, this haute couture show put the ornamental plant back in the spotlight. Is it yet another brilliant and beautiful showcase of Colle’s love for ’ugly flowers’ or should we consider it as his unique way of adding an extra layer to the Dior cake? Will the orchid find its way to our homes once again?

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