How many weddings have you attended where the guests wistfully look at the flowers in the wedding bouquets and say what a shame it is they can’t last forever? This, of course, is before the bridal flowers have been ceremonially shredded in the traditional throwing of the bouquet. The flowers at ones wedding are so carefully chosen, often not just for their visual appeal but for symbolic meaning too. But while photographs, invitations and even the dress can last as physical memories for decades, the flowers inevitably fade after their single day in the sun.
One New York artist has come up with an entirely sympathetic and unusual way to capture the delicate memories of wedding flowers however. Cara Marie Piazza is an expert in natural dye techniques and clothing design, creating unique pieces of clothing as well as hosting workshops on traditional dyeing techniques using plants, minerals and even food waste. As Creative Director and designer for clothing label Calyx she also offers a service allowing brides to memorialise their day by turning their wedding bouquets into a one-off garment, using the petals to colour and pattern the silk.
Piazza is dedicated to creating ethical and sustainable clothing, all made locally to her studio in New York, and her all-natural processes mean each item is a one-off. The project using wedding bouquets is a perfect example of how her work imbues fabric and clothing with specific memories and stories, anchored in place and time.
She also runs regular workshops – also available online – to teach others the arts of alchemical dye sessions, ancient shibori techniques and bundle dyeing that she uses in her work. Gourmets may prefer for example to take a class in using pomegranates, avocados, edible flowers, onion skins and nut shells to create colourful natural dyes.
For more information on Cara Marie Piazza’s work and workshops visit her website.