My name is Esther van Wijngaarden from EVW Freelance Floral Design. I had the honor of presenting my floral dress on the catwalk during the Fleuramour 2022 floral event in Castle Alden Biesen, Belgium. A long cherished dream came true, and this is how it happened.
Dresses From Flowers & Plants
My passion for flowers has always been there. Give me a few bunches of flowers and my head will fill with fifty ideas for large and small designs.
At Wellant College in Dordrecht, I learned to turn that passion into a profession. I was taught a lot there, including making dresses from flowers and plants. I still do that to this day. That's probably because I like the graceful movement that a dress can create. If I tell you that I was a ballerina in a different career, you probably understand where this came from.
Especially in the first and last year of that green education, I was making dresses. I was already kind of inspired by this, like "Oh, how cool that you can't make only a flower arrangement out of flowers, but for example an entire design, and in this case a dress!"
As a student, I also always attended Fleuramour, the annual flower event in Alden Biesen Castle in Belgium. I saw the fashion show there every time, and I loved it. I got super motivated to make my own dress shine here one day too, and that everyone would actually know as well that this is my dress.
After my education, I had already developed a clear signature, my own style. And I wanted to show that. I would like to mention Inge Quint as the person who asked me to participate in the Fleuramour 2022 fashion show with a dress. Inge organizes all this, so I am very grateful to her. A dream was about to come true for me! That question really started the process for me. However, the dress still had to be designed and made...
My Magical Dress
The theme of Fleuramour 2022 and the fashion show was 'Magic', so what do I think would fit? What is the time for now? What kind of material do I want to work with? All questions that I could work with as a designer. I soon arrived at foil as the basic material. I once saw in a Pinterest video that someone had made fairy wings with foil. Someone had used that in a design last year, so I knew it would look great on stage with those lights on it.
My inspiration also came from fashion designer Iris van Herpen. She is such a good designer. My biggest dream right now is to connect with her and learn from her designs for my future floral dresses. Iris makes such cool designs and her signature is so clear! I got the inspiration for my design from two of her dresses. One of them is a dress with a lot of movement. I like that moving effect because I used to be a dancer myself. I don't want a stiff dress for a typical straight 'catwalk walk', but one that swings.
I wanted the model to walk on stage like a kind of fairy/ballerina. Of course, I had to explain that to catwalk model Charlotte Vanhove from modeling agency Miss Fashion before the show, who understood and executed it perfectly. I am therefore very grateful to them.
Setting the Stage
Perfection is in the details, so the stage had to correspond with the dress. I was allowed to choose the background images and music for the presentation myself. Singer P!nk sounded from the speakers with her song 'A Million Dreams', a song that made me cry from happiness, I was so moved when the dress first appeared with that set and that track. I then thought to myself: "It has taken me six years to be right here on stage. And what a dress you have put here!"
Proud & Grateful
I am really proud. I am very grateful to everyone who has helped me with this.