Issue 77
Sakura & Sensation
Visualize the essence of flowers by exploring beyond
its popular appearance in prints and embroidery and sense its impact on designers to portray its soft sensual ephemeral beauty.
eason after season, we see florals making its graceful appearance on the catwalks, in editorials, advertisements and the stores. It may seem: floral as a trend lasts practically forever, but guess what? Real flowers don’t. “The blooming of cherry blossoms is so beautiful and otherworldly when it happens en masse that it's almost hard to take in all the beauty, but because it is over in a flash, it is also easy to forget that it is happening,” explains Pratha Samyrajah of the photographer duo Saty + Pratha about her inspiration for this shoot. “We love the idea of setting aside time to properly appreciate the magic of it, and by putting it on film, we're hoping to prolong the magic a little longer.”

In a similar way, designers have captured their fascination with this magical moment by including it in their collections this season. In New York, wild jungle prints in two tones were paraded down Michael Kors’ cheery show, while Marc Jacobs stamped lithographic prints all over his Victorian punk collection. In Milan, designer duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana showed off almond tree flower prints from their native Sicily through their brilliantly breezy collection, while Donatella Versace showed us digitalized watercolor prints in the house’s signature techni-vivid colors. In Paris, Dries Van Noten flirted with flowers in the same free spirit as muses Tamara de Lempicka and Loulou de la Falaise, while the garden affair is in full bloom at Dior, as models showed off Raf Simons’ creations amongst a set romantically decorated with thousands of lianas, orchids and wisteria.

Here, under the art direction of Saty + Pratha, the team has created a soft sensual story inspired by the beauty and rituals of spring, in particular the way in which Japanese culture formalize its natural occurrence via the hanami festival, which literally means "flower viewing". Accompanied by Kevin Reynolds’ remix of The Rite of Spring as performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, it explores the work of designers, who push boundaries with their construction and subject matter. One of this is Steven Tai who has created woven tops depicting blurred-out seaside scenarios that pair equally well with a ball gown skirt or nearly-destroyed denim. “We liked the idea of these garments being a costume for our own version of the performance,” says Pratha.

Photography & Art Direction by SATY+PRATHA; styling by Chad Burton; set design by Jennifer East; hair by Tami El Sombati / Judy Inc; make-up by Brodine Naugle / PIM; nail Art: Sophie Harris-Greenslade / The Illustrated Nail; models: Charlotte / Sutherland and Logan / Spot 6; photographers' assistants: Quantel Wronski and Hannah Kiviranta; styling assistant: Nelly Akbari.
Words by Carrie Lau