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Today’s floral fashion forecast: Opulence with a chance of classic

Why discuss fashion in a floral venue? After all, our industry sells flowers, not fashion, right? Yes, but fashion is influenced by pop culture. And our consumer base is looped in more than ever to what it hot in pop culture-and will spend money on it.

Although we may still be selling traditional flowers, we can ensure arrangements and merchandising resonate with our consumer base by incorporating some fashion and pop culture. Below are fashion trends, followed by “floral take-away” tips.

This fall, clothing shapes reflect the 1920s feminine style influenced by The Great Gatsby. Expect to see opulent fabrics, statement jewels, lavish beading and embroidery. Art deco era-inspired designs will incorporate layers of jewels, crystal, jet and pearls.

Floral take-away: Incorporate opulent fabrics into your merchandising area; these make a beautiful display table overlay. Accent floral arrangements and bouquets with jeweled picks or embroidered ribbon.

Animal prints are no longer a trend — they are a classic. Currently en vogue patterns are leopard and zebra. Brown tones are paired with naturals and texture; black and white looks fresh with one bold color such as a strong blue. Camouflage (“camo”) is treated as a serious print in natural, blue and gray, as witnessed with Valentino’s Rock Stud camouflage bag.

Floral take-away: Just a little bit goes a long way. Use animal print or camo ribbon to jazz up a bouquet, personalize a sympathy arrangement and yes, even cater to a bride’s desire for a camo-influenced wedding.

Bold geometrics and classic plaids are hot. You can’t watch a television show or flip open a magazine without seeing clothing and décor guided by this trend. Houndstooth is the classic black and white and no longer just relevant to Alabama fans. Chevron has made its way to the red carpet from the simplified home décor carpet. And classic plaids safely give way to a modern approach.

Floral take-away: Appeal to the uber-fashion-conscious by incorporating these looks into arrangements, wreaths and merchandising. Try lining the interior of your cooler with layers of geometrics prints for a “wow” presentation.

Lace is now being shown in bright colors used in combination with other fabric textures creating a dressed-up punk, gypsy look.

Floral take-away: It is easy to encompass lace in floral. Simply tie a piece of lace around a container, wrap it in a bouquet handle, or weave it through a muted color palette of flowers, creating a soft, feminine look. Add texture by combining the unexpected burlap.

Personalization is still going strong. Marchesa and Revlon are launching a coordinated dress and beauty line including 3-D nail strips, reinforcing personalization in fashion.

Floral take-away: Look for this to push the new “over the top” extreme in special events in contrast to the economy’s more recent DIY trend.

Fashion and floral go hand-in-hand. Appeal to your consumer base by including some simple fashion elements with floral and watch the sales ring up.

Marla O’Dell is vice president of sales for Berwick Offray, Hampshire Paper and Lion Ribbon in Berwick, PA. She can be contacted at