NYBG – Orchids and Fashion Entwined

by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

Had enough of cold, dreary winter days yet? Here’s an idea to cheer you up and to start thinking about spring. Why not make a trip to The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) to see the 21st edition of the iconic orchid exhibition? This year’s show is entitled The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion is a fashion-inspired celebration of all things orchid and runs through Sunday, April 21, 2024. Visitors will see “thousands of diverse orchids and accessorizing plants in dramatic, picture-perfect installations, highlighting the bold, fashion-themed creations of three rising design stars, Collina Strada by Hillary Taymour, Dauphinette by Olivia Cheng, and FLWR PSTL a.k.a. Kristen Alpaugh, who have all been inspired by nature.”The NYBG will bring the catwalk into the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the Garden’s breathtaking dome, crystal building, where the designers can show their love for orchids and fashion-forward connections to the natural world. On seven select dates starting March 30, Orchid Nights offer evening exhibition viewing, music, cocktails, and live performances by the International House of Miyaki Mugler, for adults 21 and over.

Often called the “divas of the plant world,” orchids have inspired designers such as Halston, Rodarte, and others across the globe for decades. They are one of the largest and most diverse families of flowering plants on the planet. To create The Orchid Show, horticulturists at NYBG identified and assembled an extraordinary selection of these colorful and coveted flowers, including iconic and rare specimens from the Botanical Garden’s collections, as well as from some of the finest growers in the world. In this year’s exhibition, orchids are accented by a diversity of other plants, including epiphytic cacti, carnivorous nepenthes, air plants, and more, in displays of living attire. In The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion, three visionaries each present their unique perspective on the connections between the botanical world and fashion. As visitors enter the Haupt Conservatory’s Palms of the World Gallery, they experience a “First Look” installation of floral dresses designed by Dauphinette. In front of a wall of orchids, mirrors, and other plants, mannequins on a grand staircase are adorned with Olivia Cheng’s dramatic arrangements, including headdresses of Tillandsia air plants suspended within an orb to create a floating effect. The plant-based outfits are delicately made of colorful living material, such as elegant blue-green dresses of Huperzia, pastel rosettes of Echeveria, and delicate Spanish moss. The scene sets the stage for the exhibition and begins the orchid-dotted journey through the Conservatory’s verdant Lowland and Upland Rain Forest Galleries. There’s an orchid diversity display along the way and later, a tunnel of lights where visitors can strut their stuff as if walking the catwalk.

More Ways to Be fashionable at The Orchid Show On-site activations and ongoing public programs include “Orchid Basics” Q&A opportunities at NYBG Shop on weekends and Wednesdays, plus “Meet the Orchid Experts” and “A Treat for the Senses: Sensory Table” on select dates in the Conservatory, providing more chances to learn about these marvelous flowers and engage with them through ouch, smell, sight, and even sound. The NYBG Garden Shop provides a multitude of top-quality orchids, from exotic, hard-to-find specimens for connoisseurs to elegant yet easy-to-grow varieties for beginners, along with orchid products and books for purchase. Remember Easter is coming as well as Mother’s Day, so the NYBG gift shop might be the perfect solution for that hard to shop for person on your gift giving list!  Tickets for The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion and Orchid Nights may be purchased at https://www.nybg.org/event/the-orchid-show-florals-in-fashion/