Violet petals cascaded down a shimmering white ball gown. A woven-leaf bodice topped a belt of roses and lilies. A bell skirt featured zinnias, carnations, and chrysanthemums, all in varying hues of pink. Daisy chains formed straps, unfurled peonies accented seams, and sunflowers encircled waists and necklines.

Fashions were literally in bloom at the Taubman Museum of Art’s first-ever Fashion Go Bloom, a runway show that featured fresh floral garments designed and modeled by Virginia Tech fashion merchandising and design students. The show was held to complement the museum’s 2019 edition of Art Go Bloom, an annual exhibition featuring floral masterpieces inspired by works in the galleries.

Forty-two students worked in teams to create 15 garments whose finishing touches were plucked from florist buckets and applied to fabric just minutes before the models took the runway.

“Imagine creating fashions from materials as delicate and unpredictable as fresh flowers,” says Julia Beamish, head of the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management. “The results were astonishing, exquisite, and even fragrant.”