Sunday, January 1, 2017

Avant Garden: Seven Botanical Sculptures Inspired by Haute Couture

Vacation Tradition
Whenever we visit Ann Arbor, we make a trip to the University of Michigan Botanical Gardens. In the summers we spend most of our time in the Children's Garden building and exploring. In the winter, we look forward to the original exhibits in the conservatory.

Exhibits in Nature
This year's exhibit did not disappoint. I wandered through the conservatory with my little family, my mother-in-law and my sister and her husband. The theme? Fashion. We walked up and down the paths in search of seven fantasy outfits made from plants and organic materials. To our delight and surprise, there were a dozen other small treasures to spy - tiny dresses that could fit in the palm of my hand made from silk florals and imitation berries, bark, etc.

To Share with You
Since we're big fans of exploring nature, I had to share this discovery here, with you. (I asked permission to share these pictures with the staff at the gardens.) So without further adieu I offer you images from the University of Michigan's Avant Garden...

Avant Garden
Weaving Fashion & NatureTogether
Avant Garden brings to life the connection between plants and fashion. Seven fantasy outfits adorn the conservatory, each incorporating plant materials such as succulents, Spanish moss, ferns, and poinsettias. The result is topiary couture that ignites the imagination. Permission to try this at home!

Below are the fairy-sized garments we spotted on our journey...

Last but not least... This isn't fashion inspired per se but a fairy-sized castle made out of empty sparkling water cans screams "PRINCESS ENGINEERING!"

Setting the Tone for the New Year
I love everything about these treasures offered by the University of Michigan Botanical Gardens. The way they weave together art and nature echoes how they weave together knowledge and whimsy, which I think are key features for inviting people of all ages to explore, to learn, and to celebrate creativity. And I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of the new year.

Happy New Year!

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