This week's couture shows in Paris reminded me how much I love fashion. Specifically, I have long been an admirer of the creative tour de force that is the Paris haute couture. Experimental, hand made by highly skilled artisans, and fitted specifically to each client, these one-off creations are not dissimilar to fine garden design.
Like custom-made Parisian garments, a well designed landscape is created specifically for one client, space and time. A haute couture garment is made from the best materials available in the world and is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. With the same underlying philosophy, a well designed and constructed garden depends on what the onlooker can't see -thoughtful use of the highest quality plants and materials, healthy soil, and skilled planting and hand crafted construction.
Each made-to-order couture garment is fitted specifically to its owner just as a custom garden is designed in response to specific site conditions and is unique to that piece of land and its owner.
With the right client, as with those who buy couture, a designed garden is celebrated for its intrinsic seasonal beauty, creative use of materials and artisinal craftsmanship.
Since it is the middle of winter and the couture has just shown in Paris, these images celebrate the couture's creativity and craftsmanship--hopefully couture designers' unyielding dedication to quality and craftsmanship will inspire new gardens for spring!