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If I Had a Flower

"If I Had a Flower" was inspired by the quote from Alfred Tennyson: “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever.” Telling the story of a flower surviving in a hard world that is not designed for it to survive, "If I Had a Flower" translates this story to one that is all too familiar to the human experience—how we as people can remain soft in a hard world that has not been kind to us. Worn by models of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, abilities, this collection is meant to embody the struggles of evolution throughout the human experience. There is nothing stronger than someone who has remained soft in a world that has not always been kind to them.

Stage 001: Emerge

Emerge is the beginning of “If I Had a Flower” and depicts the flower at the start of its journey in life and in its purest form. As the flower breaks through the earth, it blooms and becomes whole, connecting with and becoming part of the world around it. Gentle and graceful, the flower remains underestimated in its power. It is in this sense that this flower exists in its own contradictions—it is delicate yet strong, small in size yet big in its beauty, and so short in life yet so lasting in its impact.

Emerge illuminates what it means to be innocently sensitive before one becomes part of the human narrative through lived experiences, learned behavior, and exposure to the larger world and the perspectives it brings. It is in this instance that we can see purity and beauty in our own lived experiences as humans; where flowers bloom, so does hope. And it is through this look that a person can juxtapose their own identity with that of a flower—as they must allow themselves to grow in all the places that they never thought they would.

Thus, Emerge emphasizes the ideas that both flowers and humans can remain soft in a world not designed for them to survive.

Stage 002: Embrace

Embrace describes the flower’s acceptance of its solitude and of its fleeting presence. Adorned with dragonflies and bees, the flower views the world as one that is in constant motion. Meanwhile, it can only remain steadfast in its singular position, viewing the world as all but a stranger of paradise. However, it is also in this moment that the flower begins to question its own existence and whether or not its delicate qualities will lead to its being forgotten.

Thus, the flower begins to understand and accept that each of us is an ephemeral instance in the universe.

Stage 003: Encounter

In Encounter, the flower recollects its meeting a human for the first time. Although their meeting was brief, the human and the flower took care of one another, nurturing each other and providing the connection both needed. Despite the flower’s ephemeral existence, it will always remember that moment it met its human for the first time. In fact, it was at this moment that both the human and the flower’s lives were changed forever.

It is in Encounter that one can understand that we as people can touch another person’s life as our lived experiences allow us to be more human versions of ourselves.

Stage 004: Engage

Engage depicts the flower as it begins its own journey of self-discovery within the context of the human experience. Increasingly curious since its encounter with a human, the flower meets the present world with innocence and kindness, honoring its desire for a more compassionate world while curiously exploring what this mysterious and ever-changing world holds. The flower has only known what it has experienced firsthand in its ephemeral life; however, through its interactions with the world around it, the flower begins to understand the differences between its own fate and the fate of a human.

It is in this sense that the flower deconstructs its own self and its own world view as it comes to understand that its future is full of indeterminacy.  However, it is also at this moment that the flower begins to desire to live the life of a human—a life where its legacy can remain and even be celebrated even after its physical existence returns to the earth.

Stage 005: Effervesce

Effervesce represents the flower making a wish on what appears to be a dandelion, a humble plant that is also a symbol of hope, healing, and resilience around the world. The flower continues its journey to learn more about the human experience and to reunite with the human it once knew. When it meets this dandelion for which it was searching—some kind of Blue Fairy in this story—the flower makes a wish.

Instead of wishing to become a human, the flower simply wishes for its human—the one thing it has always loved—to return.