Botanicals are spreading through fashion like wildflowers.
Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Ted Baker and other designers have gracefully incorporated imagery from botanical books and prints — which presents graceful drawings of plants on a plain white background — into their collections. The delicate flora have spurred an ultra-feminine look in styles ranging from 1950s vintage to bohemian.
But certainly, where there’s clothing, there must be accessories.
And that’s where the New York Botanical Garden and Erwin Pearl are leaving their mark.
This past November, the two teamed to launch the exclusive New York Botanical Garden Collection, an assortment of jewelry and accessories inspired by the 125-year-old museum’s diverse horticulture and architecture.
The collection features six lines, with each representing a different season, exhibit or characteristic of the garden. The Orchid Evening Collection, for example, celebrates the popular orchid show, with orchids hand-painted in deep blues and purples, while the Garden Collection celebrates the brightly colored roses, daises, sunflowers, apple blossoms and insects that call the garden home. Additional collections include the Jeweled Foliage Collection, the Botanica Mexicana Collection and the Winter in the Garden Collection.
But particularly striking is the Rudiments Collection, a 12-piece line inspired by Gaetano Testolini’s 1818 botanical manual, “Rudiments of Drawing, Shadowing and Coloring Flowers in Watercolors.” The manual, which is housed in NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library, is considered to be one of the most impressive early 19th-century drawing books in the world.
Each item in the collection references a bouquet illustration in the 200-year-old book. Shown here is the NYBG Rudiments Tote Bag, printed Safiano PVC trimmed in nappa leather. Not only does the bag have plenty of room to store necessities, it’s a way to admire artwork on the go.
In addition to the tote bag — a WAG favorite — the Rudiments Collection includes earrings and bangles in various styles and a teardrop and tassel necklace, all of which are hand-painted French enamel on 22-karat gold over plated brass. The additional accessories include a 25 by 70-inch cashmere and modal blend scarf, a pair of floral sunglasses with a handmade acetate frame and a leather clutch bag to complement the tote.
The collection ranges in price from $145 to $395, and a percentage of the proceeds from each purchase go to the garden’s education and research programs.