Fleurs de Villes- Floral Mannequins in Chicago

Dear Garden Diary,

Fresh florals

Delicate, ephemeral

Living, Breathing, Transforming.  

Mannequins come to life


Yesterday, I attended a red carpet event where the stars were the dresses.

I got up and close and personal and spent the better part of the morning looking up spectacular skirts, peering through billowy blouses, smelling bodices, gazing at necklines...all the while trying to deduce how these extremely talented floral designers did it.

They brought 14 mannequins to life when they dressed them up in real live fresh floral couture creating experiential, immersive works of art.

Fleurs de Villes showcased the works of 14 floral designers at 900 North Michigan Shops at a free event in Chicago. 

I had a hard time deciding which one was my favorite. But, let me know which one was yours.

Meet the models...in their floral finery. 

1.  Four Seasons Hotel Chicago Mannequin inspired by Rey Parla and James Welling. 

Created by Da Vinci Rose Flower Co.

This mannequin's dress was extremely stunning- an arrangement of succulents, orchids and hydrangeas made up just a part of this fantastically full skirt, edged with a border of peonies and fragrant hyacinth. It was a feast for the senses.

Fleurs de Villes, Chicago 2024, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago Mannequin inspired by Rey Parla and James Welling.


Ferns dyed blue gave the skirt an airy feel that was balanced on the opposite side with Spanish moss. Thistle and large red roses woven into the skirt punctuated the delicate with the bold.

Fleurs de Villes Chicago 2024

2.    Inspired by The Soul of the Rose painting

Pre-Raphaelite Mannequin created by Esther's Private Garden

The next mannequin was inspired by John William Waterhouse. His 1908 painting The Soul of the Rose was likely inspired by an Alfred Lord Tennyson poem, and presents a woman's pleasure in nature, with themes of sensuality and longing for love. 

The Soul of the Rose, painted by John William Waterhouse in 1908.

Isn't she lovely?

Fleurs de Villes Chicago 2024
Her fiery red hair is made with burnt orange amaranthus.

Her red hair is a common feature of the Pre-raphaelite paintings and is made with burnt orange amaranthus.

Her delightful blouse is made of pressed and dried blue hydrangea flowers, interspersed with fresh delphinium.

Fleurs de Villes Chicago 2024
A blouse of pressed blue hydrangeas and a skirt of white winter ferns and folded leaves.

And her skirt is so intricately designed in layers with folded dried leaves and winter white ferns. They seem to be bleached and I must find out how that's done.

3. Surrealism Mannequin created by The Shy Flower

How fantastical is this? Woodsy and earthy, punctuated with tillandsia in just the right spots, yet overflowingly romantic with a skirt of fist-sized roses and saucer like orchids. I feel like she just stepped out of Pan's Labyrinth. Do you see the egg? And the apple dangling from her hat? Make what you will of it. That's the point.

Fleurs de Villes Chicago 2024- mannequins, floral art

4. Inspired by Yayoi Kusama, the Queen of Polka Dots

Sculpture Mannequin created by IGS Plantscaping Group

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known the world over as the Queen of Polka Dots, was the inspiration for this mannequin. 

This design is inspired by her renowned Obliteration room, a blank canvas which visitors are invited to cover in stickers, transforming it into an explosion of colour. 

Mannequin design inspired by Yayoi Kusama, the Queen of Polka DotsFleurs de Villes Chicago 2024, floral artists
An interactive experience where the observers could add the 'polka dot' flowers to the mannequins skirt of roses.

We had an opportunity to add our unique touch to this wonderful masterpiece by adding dots (dried flowers) to this mannequin's skirt.
Interactive art! Love it!

5. Inspired by Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel's exuberant, distinctive personal style made her a true American original. She worked in fashion magazines and interned for designers, but her rise to fame came late, when at the age of 84, she was approached by the Museum of Art in New York for her last minute exhibition. 

Good things come to those who wait.

Iris Apfel
Iris Apfel, 'the world's oldest living teenager' and 'geriatric starlet' are two of Apfel's self-given monikers.

Iris Apfel floral mannequin, Fleurs de villes, Chicago 2024
Iris Apfel created by Lucalessa Floral Design

Here, her ornate suit is woven from greens, succulents and skeleton leaves, and she is surrounded by bright flowers, a vibrant reflection of her unique spirit and indomitable charm. 

6. Inspired by Claude Monet's "Woman with a Parasol"

The next mannequin draws inspiration from Claude Monet's Woman with a Parasol and is set in a garden scene evoking the tranquility of his Water Lilies studies. 

French-inspired floral choices like irises, lavender, hyacinth, larkspur and roses nod to Impressionism's origins, and enhance the sensory experience with their sweet fragrances. 

Impressionist mannequin, floral art, fleurs de villes, chicago 2024
The most fragrant skirt of them all! Designed with hyacinth, iris lavender, larkspur and roses.

Impressionist mannequin, floral art, fleurs de villes, chicago 2024
How do you do?
A bodice of silvery pressed leaves, contrasted with fresh whites and a corsage of leaf skeletons.

7. Inspired by Andy Warhol's Pop Art

There are 4 emergency exits; 2 in the front and 2 in the rear.
In case of an emergency, keep calm. 
Follow the exit signs and my spectacular self to safety.

Andy Warhol mannequin, floral design, flowers, fleurs de villes, chicago, 2024
Pop Art mannequin created by Sol Bloom

8.  Inspired by Vivaldi's Four Seasons

Italian compose, Antonio Vivaldi was inspired by nature to compose The Four Season in 1723. Each movement uses musical imagery to tell the stories of the seasons. 

This stunning mannequin captures the essence of each season with a symphony of flowers and colors.

fleurs de villes, chicago 2024, Vivaldi's Four Season, flower arrangements, floral skirt, fresh florals
Reflecting the beauty of nature's cycle , delicate green amaranthus symbolizes the tender beginnings of spring, while vibrant roses burst forth in a celebration of summer.
    Created by bloomingeventschicago.com

Dried greens and red amaranthus represent the colors of fall , while white blooms represent the serenity of winter. Each element harmonizes to evoke the imagery and emotion of Vivaldi's timeless masterpiece.

9.   Ritz Carlton Derby Mannequin

These corn husk trousers held up by a fresh floral belt were ingenious. I'd like a pair, too.

Corn husk trousers
Corn husk trousers created by FLEUR

Wonderful inspiration for me to try some day.

Which one was your favourite?

Enjoyed your visit?

Contact Me


Email *

Message *