Everything's Coming up Roses

PRODUCT Flowery fashions HOW IT STARTED Designers decided blooming dresses might lift spirits JUDGMENT May wilt by summer

This spring's fashions come straight from the garden: flowers are in bloom everywhere, on flowing skirts, flouncy dresses and stretch jeans. From silk to leather, no material is left uncultivated. What's behind the desire to turn women into walking bouquets? Escapism. In an uncertain world, the bursting buds are designed to lift spirits with a sense of renewal. "Now more than ever, soft, feminine colors and beauty are what's important," says Jaqui Lividini, a fashion executive at Saks Fifth Avenue. High-end houses...

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