I think as a little girl, I dreamt about having a dress made of real flowers, delicate buds and petals – of course it didn’t take too long for me to realise dresses just aren’t made of flowers, and so as an adult, I satisfy myself with pretty floral prints and beautiful fabrics instead or spend hours looking at frocks by Claire Pettibone.
You know, rare is it I come across something that pretty much stops me in my tracks for it’s absolute brilliance and originality, but designer Zita Elze is one of those rare talents in life that has the ability to do just that. Zita Elze also dreamt of owning a dress made out of flowers too, and so one day, she set out to create one all of her own…
“The skirt and trains of the dress were made of little bunches of stipa – this is a grass that is very soft and feels like fur.
The little bunches of grass were then glued onto the silk organza material. The bodice was built up with the same garments used for a normal wedding dress. The little flowers, seeds, and leaves were glued to the bodice giving the impression of a fine embroidery…”
Did you see that? A dress, that can be worn, that is made of flowers. Flowers! Look! Most of these photographs by the way, were taken at the October Designer Wedding Show, where Zita exhibited for the first time…
Zita Elze was born in Brazil and lived in Italy, Germany and France before later moving to England, where she studied Garden Design and Interior Design. Located in Kew not far from Kew Garden’s Victoria Gate, Zita Elze spends her days crafting out of this world floral creations for her eager clients, as well as teaching at her own Floristry School…
“have always loved flowers but originally, I was not planning to become a floral designer, it just happened. Eight years ago, I came across a former flower shop that had been closed for some time. My idea was to use it as a show case for my garden design practice but in fact the flower business itself became a success from day one...”
I just like to think of the above as two little pots of beauty. Well, aren’t they? Resting there gorgeously on that wooden table with their pretty petals and foliage? Sometimes, it’s the little things. Dear Father Christmas, please may I have two little pots of beauty this year?
“I love working with fabric and its combination with plant material attracts me enormously. The dresses I have created so far are all wearable and not just pieces for display. The concept actually came to me during one of my courses on ‘concept and design’….”
“This technique was first developed for my exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show two years ago when I applied it to a glass vase; right now, I am now using this technique on different materials but I love the result on fabric best.
The dress is comfortable to wear and can be preserved as a piece of art…”
Zita’s stand at The Designer Wedding Show in October this year…
Zita, who describes her signature style as pure, natural and from her heart, gathers her inspiration from many places, but mostly from emotions…
“…they can be either negative or positive – sometimes working with difficult sensations can lead to a very powerful design solution. A good example is my garden design at the Chelsea Flower Show two years ago – I called it “A Celebration of Life” I didn’t much talk about this at the time but I am sure many people could feel “something very strong” when looking at the design. I was working with very painful sensations when I designed it.
I have participated in many exhibitions of late and I am very busy at the moment. A big challenge for me will be to design the Lord Mayor’s Curry Lunch at Guildhall next April which will celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee, so I am currently trying to slightly reduce my activities for next year. Nevertheless, I am considering participating in the Designer Wedding Show in October 2012, for the second time…”
As well as designing, Zita also offers teaching…
“I decided to open the Academy after having so many requests from people interested in exploring my personal style. We offer everything from a single day or evening class for amateurs, to a full four-week class for professionals. We are probably the only course that covers a full training for someone wishing to open a shop, but we focus heavily on finding inspiration and creativity. Our 3-day course ‘Concept and Design’ has a revolutionary effect on students, bringing their creative talents to the fullest and teaching them how to design…”
“A week’s ‘Wedding Design’ takes students through every aspect of wedding work and the work they produce is stunning. After our course, the students have the confidence and the techniques to develop their careers, as well as a portfolio of beautiful work they produced during the course. My great joy is seeing how dramatically they progress and move on to success…”
To find out more informaiton on Zita Elze Design Academy, or to enquire about that dress, email Zita at Zita Elze, or telephone 020 8940 0040. Zita Elze is locaed at 287 Sandycombe Road in Kew, TW9 3LU.
Would any of you be brave enough to consider wearing real flowers on your wedding day? Peraps of not a dress, how about sporting a real flower handbag or decorated parasol?
Much love all,