American Beauty is a blood red rose cultivar bred in France in the 1800s. A popular Greenhouse variety it soon became the best selling cultivar in the USA in the early 19th century, often referred to as the million-dollar rose.
The 1999 film American Beauty is a satire of American middle class. The film explores romance, love, sexuality, beauty, materialism, self-liberation, and redemption. The rose is used throughout the film and not only symbolises love and romance but more poignantly references decay in the facades of suburban life.
The rose personifies youthful beauty and may easily seduce us with its fragrant, velvety lush pigmented petals, but in reality it is commonplace and ordinary, and can be found in abundance, wilting and rotting in buckets in any corner store. The rose for all its budding beauty also reflects life’s transience.
In this latest collection, the rose is centre stage. Starring in lush vibrant reds, pinks, yellows and oranges, elaborate floral appliques are stitched in rambling patterns, across new season merino. There is a reference to bygone eras; a nod to American high school culture with oversized sweaters and cardigans, pencil skirts and preppy shirts. Rose chokers and buttonholes teemed with plunging necklines and cinched in waistlines. Merino wrap dresses and slouchy pants are essential enduring pieces.
Like the rose itself the collection explores both concepts of ephemeral surface beauty as well as texture, depth and timelessness.