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Why the Stars Are Flocking to Floral on Red Carpets This Year

While flowers are a perennial favourite for fashion designers, this crop of red-carpet creations is unusually diverse.
Emma Stone attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards wearing Louis Vuitton.
Emma Stone attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards wearing Louis Vuitton. (Lionel Hahn)

Christian Dior would have loved the fashion dominating this award season’s red carpets. The designer’s much-quoted remark – “After women, flowers are the most divine creations” – must have been pinned to the mood boards of the stylists and designers of many of the outfits seen this month at the Golden Globes, Emmys and Critics Choice Awards, where florals were the main look.

Last week alone, Kate Moss celebrated her 50th birthday in a vintage black floral lace dress; at the Emmys, actor Ali Wong wore a Louis Vuitton look with beaded flowers; and “Salthburn” actor Rosamund Pike chose a Simone Rocha dress with long-stemmed roses sewn into its pockets for the Bafta tea party.

They are the latest stars to step out in flowers as the awards season – which culminates with the Oscars on 10 March – kicked off.

While flowers are a perennial favourite for fashion designers, this crop of red-carpet creations is unusually diverse. Some are ultra-feminine, made of tulle and sequins, while others are stylised. “White Lotus” actor Simona Tabasco wore a Marni dress at the Emmys with flowers collaged like a primary school art project. Representing for trouser suits, “The Last of Us” actor Bella Ramsey wore a toile patterned Thom Browne suit to the Critics Choice Awards, and musician and actor Donald Glover accessorised his Emmys embroidered Bode suit with a pair of opera slippers. The sling that actor Pedro Pascal wore for his broken shoulder featured a black corsage.

Amy De La Haye, professor at the London College of Fashion, and author of Ravishing: the Rose in Fashion, says that, historically, the cultural connotations of flowers varied widely. “In Ancient Rome, it was men who wore flower-scented perfumes; women preferred stronger scents. It was not until the 19th century that flowers became gendered feminine. This coincided with the evolution of haute couture and mass-production fashion industries.”

Dresses have been spectacular this award season. Cailee Spaeny, star of Sofia Coppola’s film “Priscilla,” showed that wallpaper-esque ditsy florals – courtesy of Miu Miu – look good on the red carpet. The Dior outfit worn by “Wednesday” actor Jenna Ortega to the Emmys was embroidered with a silver trellis and wisteria, roses and clematis made of silk and sequins.

Emily Blunt also wore a dress inspired by flowers climbing a trellis last week – but hers was in leather, by Oscar de la Renta.

Audrey Taillée, editor in chief of lifestyle magazine Lula, says: “Floral can be a risky choice for print on the red carpet, but as embroidery or lace it gives a very delicate silhouette – such as Emma Stone’s sequinned Louis Vuitton dress or Riley Keough’s Chanel at the Golden Globes.”

Beyond the celebrity world, flowers are on trend for this year’s spring fashion. Roses appeared in many 2024 fashion week shows. Unusually, the long-stemmed rose, thorns and all, cropped up in many collections, twisted into handbags, earrings and decorative motifs.

Human affiliation with nature is often referenced as a creative influence – it was cited by fashion designer Miuccia Prada at her latest menswear show – but the fascination with plants is as old as time. “Humans have always worn natural flowers,” says De La Hay. “They have ornamented the body with flower artefacts since at least Ancient Egyptian times, when rose petals were charred to darken brows and the first artificial flowers – known as permanent botanicals – were crafted.”

Or, as Miranda Priestly, Vogue editor in “The Devil Wears Prada,” says in a line quoted as often as Dior’s: “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.”

By Alice Fisher

Further Reading

After the SAG strike put red carpets on pause over the summer, the Golden Globes — an event that’s battled controversy in recent years — ushered some much-needed glamour back to Hollywood.


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