Petals on fashion demand darker palettes

Hello, dark plaids and plush velvets. Goodbye, peonies and poppies. (Right?)

The trendlet

Not necessarily.

Sheaths and slim trousers, blouses and bags, and pumps and pants feature plenty of petaled motifs on wine, evergreen, navy, and, yes, even black backgrounds this fall.

Where do they come from?

Floral-print apparel traces its roots to Asia. In the 11th century, Japanese kimonos featured chrysanthemums, and in ancient Chinese culture, flowers were embroidered on robes. The verdant presence wasn't at all seasonal, but rather a sign of royalty.

European traders brought floral textiles from Asia to the Americas in the 15th century. In the 1800s, the pretty prints were mass-produced.

More expensive than plain cottons and twills, the blooming textiles were a perennial base of high-society ladies' wardrobes as they were fashioned into bustled velvet dresses in winter and lightweight cotton frocks in summer.

It wasn't until the 1930s that the prints became linked to spring. Day dresses dotted with tiny roses, lilies, and sunflowers became symbolic of a new spring start - especially at Eastertime. Since then, flowers, along with pastels, were marketed as springtime must-haves. Flowery spring prints went in and out of style and included all manner of greenery, from tiny peonies to oversize hibiscus.

In 2012, the fashion world went crazy for Riccardo Tisci's fall collection of women's and menswear that featured pink roses on a sheer black background.

The next fall, Marc Jacobs featured wildflowers against reds, greens, and blues. Designer labels from Nicole Miller to Stella McCartney, as well as retailers J. Crew, Theory, and H&M, now feature many a floral piece with a romantic yet wintry mood.

Who is wearing them?

Model Stella Maxwell recently wore a winter floral midriff-pants combo at MTV's Video Music Awards. Today anchor Savannah Guthrie, Abby Elliott as Brooke on Odd Mom Out, Drew Barrymore, and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Would Elizabeth wear them?

Time for a fashion confession: I own not one deep-hued floral. Guess it's time to go shopping.

Should you wear them?

Yes. A cluster of gerbera daisies on a fabulous pump is an easy way to add some pretty modernity to a monochromatic look. Or you can go full-fledged wild with a flower bouquet on silky pajamas.

ewellington@phillynews.com

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@ewellingtonphl